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This page is no longer updated. The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute joined forces with SCRI joined forces on 1 April 2011 to create The James Hutton Institute. Please visit the James Hutton Institute website.

Sunday 14th April 2024

Ecological Investigations of the Scottish Lichen Flora


Calvitimela armeniaca, a species restricted to high-altitude boulders.Lichens in montane boulder fields are being used to examine spatial and altitudinal patterns of lichen distribution and diversity. Some species appear to be restricted to boulders above a certain altitude, while others are much more generally distributed although the reasons for this are not clear. In this Cairngorms-based study, species lists and accumulation curves are being drawn up at 100m altitudinal intervals in boulder-fields that extend from 600-1200m asl. This exercise will give baseline information on patterns on commonness and rarity and how these vary with altitude. At the same time information is being collected on the micro-climate experienced by the lichens (temperature and humidity) to establish the amount of variation which occurs due to altitude in the sheltered conditions of the boulder-field. This should give some information on the likely importance of climate in producing lichen distribution patterns.

Contact: Andrea Britton
Measuring temperature and humidity in a montane boulder-field.