North American Lichens and Bryophytes: Sensitive Indicators of Environmental Quality and Change
Lichens and bryophytes (mosses and their relatives) are sensitive indicators of environmental change, and are dominant organisms in arctic-alpine and desert habitats, where the effects of climate change are well-documented.
This project will image about 2.3 million North American lichen and bryophyte specimens from more than 60 collections to address questions of how species distributions change after major environmental events, both in the past and projected into the future.
Large-scale distribution mapping will help identify regions where such changes are likely, fostering programs designed to protect these organisms. Awardees plan to build and enhance a national volunteer community, and provide online seminars, extensive online training materials, and local workshops and field trips.