Lichens, like other lifeforms, are sensitive to air pollution. So the relative scrubbing of the air in the last few generations — before the Republican counter-revolution — has brought back lichen communities to NYC. Cemeteries are the one of best places to see lichens because they don’t have the road traffic of the streets and have both trees and stones, the substrates lichens thrive on.These pictures were taken last month at a Torrey Botanical Society walk in Woodlawn Cemetery. The tour leader was one of the authors of a paper in the Society’s Journal about the discovery of a Usnea lichen species that hadn’t been seen here in two centuries.

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