USDA Forest Service

Forest Inventory and Analysis National Program


Forest Inventory & Analysis
National Office
U.S. Forest Service
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-0003

(703) 605-4177

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

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Lichen Communities

Photograph of Hypogymnia imshaugiiMonitoring Air Quality and Biodiversity

The Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program seeks to assess the condition and trend of the forests of the United States. FIA recently assumed responsibility for all former Forest Health Monitoring Program (FHM) plot work on a national level.


Lichen community monitoring was included in FIA in order to address key assessment issues such as the impact of air pollution on forest resources, spatial and temporal trends in biodiversity, and the sustainability of timber harvesting. 

The Lichen Community Indicator collects data on the epiphytic lichen community (i.e., those species growing on trees, shrubs and standing dead wood) on a subset of permanent forest plots in the nationwide FIA grid. This long- term lichen monitoring program dates back to 1994, and is currently working in 32 states. 






Photos courtesy of: OSU Lichen Group (unless otherwise indicated). 1999. Photographs of Pacific Northwest Lichens: A Two CD Set. Oregon State University, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Lichen Research Group.

USDA Forest Service
Last Modified: February 14, 2005

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