• Canoers

    Ozark

    National Scenic Riverways Missouri

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  • Alley Mill Closed for Renovations

    The Alley Mill will be undergoing renovations much of summer of 2014. It will be open daily through Aug 17 and then only on weekends after that. There will be fencing around the Mill which will prevent close access. More »

Lichens

Nature and Science

Photo courtesy North American Lichen Project

Lichens are lessons in co-operation we all could learn from. The body or structure of the lichen is made of a fungus, while inside the cells are a green alga. The fungus provides structure and water holding capability, while the algae make food for both through photosynthesis. This known as a symbiotic relationship. Lichens may be found on rocks, ledges and older tree trunks throughout the area. Lichens release acids as they grow and are actually part of the weathering process that eventually wears away mountains. They also provide small micro-habitats for plants such as columbines by holding small pockets of soil. Lichens are intolerant of air pollution, and the abundance of them in the Ozark forests indicates that we can breathe a little easier.

Did You Know?

thick stand of rivercane, which looks like bamboo.

Cane brakes are thick stands of rivercane, which is much like bamboo. The endangered Swainson's Warbler nests in these thickets. Many stands have been lost to reservoir impoundments throughout the South, but many stands are protected at Ozark National Scenic Riverways. More at www.nps.gov/ozar More...