Dates are being revised due to Covid-19
Lichens in Scotland are conspicuous and diverse, and they form an important part of our natural heritage. This course is a hands-on exploration of coastal lichens with an emphasis on will be on how they can be identified. We will focus in detail on understanding the most important characters for identifying lichens, so that participants can gain confidence in using keys and identification guides for themselves. We will spend time exploring lichen-rich coastal habitats on Great Cumbrae, but there will also be dedicated time for ‘consolidation’ of new terms and characters by practicing with keys as a group and individually.
Part of the course will be to introduce participants to best practice in collecting, and tips and techniques for identification, including using chemical spot tests. Evening lectures will include diversity, ecological roles, and evolution of the lichen symbiosis along with reviews and discussions of the species encountered on the excursions. The course is taught at an introductory level, but learners at all levels are welcome. By the end of the course, beginners should expect to be confident with fundamental structures and terms in addition to good familiarity with coastal genera; intermediate level students should expect to learn species-level identification for many of the common lichens of rocky shores. Course fee includes FSC fold out chart: Guide to Rocky Shore Lichens.
We anticipate that this course will run with between 5 and 17 participants.