The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has an active lichen research group, reflecting (i) the global importance of fungal diversity, (ii) the importance of symbiosis in evolution and ecology, and (iii) the international conservation status of lichens in Scotland.
Our research programme is founded on:
Taxonomy and Systematics. Basic descriptive taxonomy and biogeography remain fundamentally important for lichens. The lichen relationship between fungal partner and photobiont is a model system in understanding how symbiosis generates and maintains biodiversity on a broad scale.
Ecology and Conservation. Lichens are used at RBGE to explain the biodiversity response to environmental drivers, and the processes structuring ecological communities; lichens are dominant in key-habitats (e.g. temperate rainforest, arctic tundra) and are functionally important in food-webs and nutrient cycles. They are a focal group in conservation biology.
See our Guide to Lichens in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
What's new? Follow Frances Stoakley's blog on using urban lichens to explain biodiversity, assess environmental health
and encourage greener living, in partnership with the TCV and Edinburgh Living Landscape.