A guide to lichens

Like in plants, photosynthesis in lichens is limited by cold temperatures and dry conditions. Water freezing within their tissues can also cause cellular damage. However, the lichens you find in Lapland and further north are well adapted to surviving the harsh winters. Some species can photosynthesize under the snow to depths of about 40 cm.

Lichens are a prominent feature of the rugged landscape of the fells, covering every surface from the bark in the birch forests to the boulders and soil itself. But what exactly are lichens? What makes them able to thrive here and what can they tell us about the environment? Lilith Weber, researcher at the Finnish Museum of Natural History, gave an introduction to this fascinating group of organisms, their diversity and connection with humans and other animals, and why the Kilpisjärvi area is such a special habitat for lichens in Finland.

Watch the webinar recording of Kilpisjärvi lichens to find out more! The webinar was held originally 23rd of February 2023 as part of the Kilpisjärvi Science Trails webinar series.