This study of the lichens of Hercules Glades Wilderness was designed 1) to collect lichens for a lichen flora census,
2) to collect lichens for elemental analysis, 3) to study the health and distributions of species most sensitive to air pollution, and 4) to assess the effects of air quality on lichens. Seventeen localities were studied throughout the
wilderness. Samples of two species were collected at five localities for elemental analysis.
The lichen flora is quite diverse. There were 179 species present and several species very sensitive to sulfur dioxide.
The distributions of these sensitive species do not show patterns that would suggest air quality problems. All of the lichens found were in good health and with normal fertility.
The lichens studied by elemental analysis show normal levels of all elements with the possible exception of levels of manganese at Coy Bald. Therefore, there seem to be no
indications of air quality problems in the wilderness.
Recommendations are for periodic (5 years} restudy of the lichens by elemental analysis. A complete lichen restudy of
the lichen flora should be done every 10-15 years. If extensive manipulation of the vegetation of the balds is planned, a lichenologist should be consulted to prevent loss of species that grow only in the balds.
Wetmore CM. Lichens and air quality in Hercules Glades Wilderness of Mark Twain National Forest. Final Report. 1992:1-29.
1 PDF computer file (Working copy, includes handwritten corrections, 22 pages plus 2 pages tabular data and 8 pages of maps)
USDA Forest Service, Contract 42-649
Wetmore, Clifford M..
Lichens and air quality in Hercules Glades Wilderness of Mark Twain National Forest: Final Report..
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