Two lichens growing on a boulder in the park

Physcia stellaris (white) and Xanthoria polycarpa (orange)

California Lichen Society Photo

Lichens are not a single organism like most life forms we generally see. They are actually alliances between two very different organisms: fungi and algae. Lichens can be found throughout Whiskeytown growing on boulders, trees, and decomposed granite soils. While a complete inventory of lichens in the park has never been conducted, a preliminary survey was undertaken in 2003 by the California Lichen Society. This two day survey documented 22 lichen species in the park and was a great first step to gaining a more complete understanding of these little known organisms.

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