From January through early March 2023, Volunteers are recording observations of lichen species along trails across Mount Pisgah, specifically focusing on locating cyanolichens which are relatively uncommon, have specific habitat requirements, and are more sensitive to environmental change. Volunteers are uploading their observations to iNaturalist, where they will be identified through a project managed by Mount Pisgah Arboretum staff.
Though Mount Pisgah remains a refuge for lichen species in the Willamette Valley, the lichens here face mounting threats from climate change, decreased air quality, catastrophic fire, and most recently the introduction of the emerald ash borer, which is predicted to cause substantial mortality among Oregon ash trees. Oregon ash trees are a primary host for a number of lichen species. This project will establish a baseline understanding of lichen distributions across Mount Pisgah, allowing future researchers to more quickly assess and respond to changes in lichen community composition.
A report will be produced at the culmination of the project, but you can follow along here in real time!