A number of studies have been conducted to locate and identify the lichens found within the Lakeshore. Since 1985, researchers have found 195 species which is believed to be over 90% of the lichens present. This amount of lichen flora is good for an area comprised of mostly hardwood forests and dry sand dunes. The bogs and wetland areas were host to several of the northern lichens. Trees along the forest edge, around the farmsteads, and in the abandoned orchards produced many lichens.
The woodlands on stabilized dunes near the Lake Michigan shoreline produced many lichens on both the trees and on the ground as the various lichen species took advantage of the moist, marine environment. Interest in studying lichens as an indicator of air quality and atmospheric pollutants may lead to future research studies within the Lakeshore.
Did You Know?
The lighthouse on South Manitou Island (Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) was commissioned in 1872 and served Lake Michigan Shipping for over 100 years. You can take a tour of the lighthouse and climb its 117 step circular stairway to a great view of the Manitou Passage. More...