Lichens: a cast-iron combination

Lichens are very diverse and form a symbiosis between different organisms;- a fungus and an alga, or a blue-green alga. They are ecologically very important because they break down rocks and thereby create the soil. They also fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, making it available for plant growth. 

Our herbarium houses 150,000 specimens of this group, including more than 50,000 specimens from the 'Aptroot' herbarium. Scientists of Meise Botanic Garden enrich the collection every year with specimens from all over the world.

Read more about lichen research in the Botanic Garden here