7th Grade Travels to Study Lichen

7th grade classroom for a day!

There are many species of algae and fungi, but when certain species of fungi join with certain species of algae in a symbiotic relationship, they become a unique organism called lichen.

Our 7th graders had the unique opportunity through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park Service to participate in the Lichen Program.

Lichens are used as bioindicators of poor air quality. Monitoring lichen composition is important in order to detect the loss of biodiversity as pollution intolerant species die and are replaced by more tolerant species.

During this study students observed and identified the growth forms of the lichens on assigned trees and determined the percentage of coverage of each form.

TLC! 7th graders were incredibly fortunate to spend a day in this diverse outdoor classroom.


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