Namibia’s unique lichen fields - News - Gondwana Collection

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Namibia’s unique lichen fields

Avatar of inke inke - 18. June 2019 - Environment

On this slope in Dorob National Park the orange-coloured lichens are clearly visible on the dark rock, but there are several other types of lichens as well. Particularly large quantities of fog moisture condense in the westward facing hills.

Dirk Heinrich

The largest lichen fields outside the arctic and subarctic regions of the northern hemisphere are found in the Namib Desert of Namibia. In many places lichens grow on almost every pebble. Some of them a striking orange-yellow, others dark green or the colour of sand. Dark, almost black plant material can be seen in depressions next to the gravel road in the northern parts of Namib-Naukluft Park. Living lichens make up this material, carried there by the wind. The Namib Desert is alive, though it may not look like it at first sight.

Lichens are often not easy to recognise at first glance. But if you leave the road and drive across these seemingly lifeless plains your vehicle will not only destroy countless lichens – the tyre tracks will also leave a very visible ugly scar in the desert landscape, which will remain visible for decades.For more information on lichens and the state of research please have a look on Namibia Outdoor. 

For more information about lichens and the state of research please have a look on Namibia Outdoor. 

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