(The Gist of Science Reporter) World’s First ‘Lichen Garden’ Developed in Munsiyari, India
(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) World’s First ‘Lichen Garden’ Developed in Munsiyari, India
World’s First ‘Lichen Garden’ Developed in Munsiyari, India
The research wing of the Uttarakhand State Forest Department has developed a unique ‘lichen garden’ at Munsiyari, Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. This is the first ever garden dedicated to lichens in the world.
Munsiyari is a hill station located in the Himalayas at an altitude of 2,200 m and harbors more than 300 species of lichens, and hence is an ideal location for establishing the garden. The tourist spot will now have a new attraction in the form of a lichen garden.
Lichens are dual organisms made by symbiotic association between a fungus and an alga. They are found growing in all biogeographic regions of the world, from Arctic to Antarctica.
They usually grow as whitish or greyish circular patches on tree trunks and rocks. Some hang from the trees while some make colourful mosaic on rocks.
They are even capable of growing on leaves, soil, cement plasters, plastics, glass and metals.
In the world about 20,000 lichen species are known to occur and from India 2,900 species have so far been recorded.
In India, the Western Ghats and Himalayas are considered as hotspots for lichen diversity. Uttarakhand is one of the richest states for lichens with 1000 species.
Lichens are very sensitive to air pollution and microclimate changes.
They grow luxuriantly in pollution-free areas accompanied by cooler temperature and high humidity.
They are found attached to tree trunks, twigs, rocks and soil. These lichens have been identified by experts and labelled.