The Pacific Northwest is a particularly rich region for lichens. Over 580 species of macrolichens and over 1400 species of microlichens have been found. Lichens are ecologically important as food and shelter for wildlife, large and small, and native Americans. Lichens also provide a significant source of nitrogen to the old-growth coastal forests. In the arid lands, lichens are a key component of the crusts that stabilize soil and sand.
This site is an introduction to over 240 macrolichen species of this region, with over 1200 photos of these beautiful lifeforms.
How to Use This Site
This site is initially designed for those with some background in lichens. To browse, go to the Species List and hover to see a preview, click for details. Click on any photo for the full-sized version.
The interactive random-access identification key uses probabilitistic methods to calculate most likely species based on location and user selected characteristics. If you are a beginner, you will be helped tremendously if you spend some quality time studying the Characteristics before using the key.
Any feedback is much appreciated.