Introduction: Despite the Pacific Northwest's reputation for clean air and high quality of life, clean-air-demanding lichens are slipping away. To some extent these may be replaced by pollution-tolerant species, alien species common in polluted regions of Europe and eastern North America.
Although botanists may have little to say about regulatory decisions that affect air quality, the least we can do is document the changes around us and report these to the public and the scientific community. Loss of our native flora and the invasion of alien species reflects deterioration of air quality and implies a deterioration in the quality of life.
Invasion of alien species is a pervasive problem with vascular plants, but the phenomenon is slipping by unnoticed with lichens. This project starts to fill that gap by documenting the presence and distribution of four pollution-tolerant non-native lichens in the Pacific Northwest. This information will be useful as a baseline for comparison in the future.
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