Iowa Lichen Project

*Updated July 14, 2014

Lichens have been studied in Iowa since the pioneering work of Charles Bessey and Bruce Fink in the 1880s and 1890s, but there’s still a great deal to learn about the diversity and distribution of lichens in the state.  Improved knowledge will be required to determine whether any of Iowa’s lichen species are extirpated or should be considered for listing as threatened or endangered species.  The distribution patterns of lichen species throughout the state are poorly understood.  Taxonomic nomenclature follows Esslinger, 2014.

1. The Ada Hayden Lichen database provides a list of all the lichen accessions (~ 5,000) present in the Ada Hayden Herbarium. 
2. The Iowa Lichen database provides a list of all accessions of lichens collected in Iowa (~ 8,000), regardless of the herbaria in which they are deposited. 
3.  The Iowa Lichen Checklist provides a list of the 512 lichen species reported for Iowa as well as additional information.

Please note that these databases are works-in-progress, so check back for updates.  We would also appreciate knowing about Iowa lichen specimens that aren’t included here – contact Jim Colbert if you are aware of such collections.