Lichens are fantastic organisms that can tell us a lot about the environment where they are found – or even where they are not! The Goldeneye lichen hasn’t been found in Britain for about a century. Recently it has began to re-colonise here, having been found at various locations along the south coast. Why has it come back?
The burning of fossil fuels releases previously ‘locked up’ Sulphur Dioxide into the atmosphere, and so concentrations have been continually rising since the Industrial revolution. The use of renewable energy sources and tighter emission regulations have caused levels to fall once again – lets hope it is a trend that continues!