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Zoom in to a tree trunk and really look, what is this beautiful spot on a tree, is it moss, mold? No, it’s forest lichen and it’s not even a plant but a mushroom!
This project is called „Ready, set, lichen!” which invites public to take pictures of lichens on large trees in the forests and clearings. The images and few details about the tree will help researchers observe and compare the data with their previous knowledge.
Lichens are like sticky notes pasted on bark, sending us messages such: “Very nice, here is a lovely natural forest” or “Caution! There are pollutants in the air “. There are also some special „Wanted!” species that some of the public managed to photograph.
The website includes a gallery with scientist educational comments to photos that people have sent during the observation sessions.
Campaign „Ready, set, lichen!” invites public to take pictures of lichens on large trees in the forests and clearings in order to help Estonian Nature Science Fund to create a better understanding of the plant.
The project was a success with over 1000 observations done in few months period, a bit under 2000 lichen pictures were collected and 91 different species detected and helped to involve those who do not do science on a daily basis.