(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.
Courtesy: Science Reporter