Monday, 22 October, 2018

Lichens in and around Ouimet Canyon

Come join Hanna Dorval, a graduate student at Lakehead University, as she shares her explorations of lichen communities in and around Ouimet Canyon. Although often overlooked, lichens are everywhere. These composite, epiphytic organisms have the talent of thriving in places where nothing else can live or grow. However, some species are found exclusively in only the oldest undisturbed forests. A unique community of lichens exists around Lake Superior and in the Thunder Bay District. The size of Lake Superior is responsible for creating microclimtaes found nowhere else in the region and, as a result, arctic-alpine and coastal species of lichens can be found scattered along the lakeshore and within the surrounding forest. Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park holds a similarly unique microclimate, as do many of the canyons found in the Dorion area. Her research has allowed her to explore and document the lichen community found within the canyon and forested area within this park. Her work increases our understanding of lichen biogeography in the Thunder Bay area and provides a baseline understanding of the lichen communities in this area against which future changes may be measured.