Welcome to the website of the
Ohio Moss and Lichen Association


Saturday, February 23, 2019

Dawes Arboretum
7770 Jacksontown Road (State Route 13), SE, Newark, OH
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The Ohio Moss and Lichen Association will meet on Saturday, February 23 at the Dawes Arboretum.  The Dawes Arboretum is located on the west side of State Route 13, north of Interstate 70 (about 1 hour E of Columbus), and south of Newark.

Thanks to Carole and Bill Schumacher presenting moss programs at the Dawes Arboretum, the usual $10 entrance fee will be waived for OMLA members.

TO BRING:  Lunch, beverage, and a snack to share.


LICHENS:  In the morning, Ian Adams will give a presentation on The World of Lichens.  Lichens cover 6-8 percent of the world’s land surface, and have been described as “the fungi that discovered agriculture.”  Ian will present a photographic introduction to the fascinating Lilliputian world of lichens – what they are, where to find them, tips on lichen identification, and their use in air pollution monitoring, clothing dyes, and food for wildlife.

MOSSES:  After lunch, Carole and Bill Schumacher will conduct a workshop on moss identification.  If you have a dissecting microscope, please bring it along. Also, bring a good hand lens.  The Arboretum has a few dissecting scopes that we can use.  The workshop will be based on using the keys and photos in Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians by McKnight, Rohrer, Ward, and Perdrizet (Princeton Field Guides, Princeton University Press). If you have a copy, please bring it.  If not, you may want to purchase one prior to the workshop. The book costs about $25 on Amazon. The keys in this book aids moss identification without making slides and the need for a compound scope.

For more information about our forays, visit the UPCOMING FORAYS page.

National Geographic Society Video on Lichen Symbiosis

The National Geographic Society posted a fascinating video on the lichen symbiosis, embedded below.

Lichen Guide Published by
Ohio Division of Wildlife

Lichen Guide Cover

In mid-March, 2015, the Ohio Division of Wildlife published “Common Lichens of Ohio,” an 80-page booklet authored by OMLA co-founder Ray Showman, who is also the co-author of The Macrolichens of Ohio (2004). This is the 15th in a series of ODW nature guides, and the first such guide to focus on non-animal wildlife. While the heart of the booklet is descriptions of 56 lichen species, accompanied by photos contributed by several different OMLA members, it also includes material on lichen structure and reproduction, along with numerous descriptions of lichen and animal interactions. There is a brief essay entitled “Lichens, Moths and Bats” by Dr. David Wagner, the author of “Caterpillars of North America.”

The guide is free, and can be obtained (along with all the other ODW identification guides) at the ODW District 1 (Central Ohio) office at 1500 Dublin Road Columbus, Ohio 43215, or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE. Additional  contact info for ODW including an e-mail address that will probably also work for requests, can be accessed HERE (link).



OMLA sponsors illustration in Flora of North America

The Flora of North America Editorial Committee offered bryologists the opportunity to help defray publication costs by sponsoring illustrations for volume 27 or volume 28 of FNA. These are the two moss volumes, of which 27 was completed in 2007, 28 will appeared about mid 2014. Individuals and organizations sponsored one or more drawings, at a modest financial cost. Sponsors have their names acknowledged in the introductory chapter of Volume 28. OMLA has chosen to sponsor Ohio haircap moss, Polytrichastrum ohioense, the only illustrated taxon with “Ohio” in its name. We’re pleased to be able to help with such a worthy endeavor, and aqre enjoying seeing and using the new volume.

OMLA-sponsored illustration in Flora of North America

OMLA-sponsored illustration in Flora of North America

The Ohio Moss and Lichen Association (OMLA) is an informal group of people interested in the study of these cryptogams. OMLA was born from an organizational meeting of a number of naturalists and professional educators held in June, 2004 at the Gorman Nature Center.

OMLA founders at Gorman Nature Center June 2004

Founders meeting of OMLA at Gorman Nature Center in June, 2004.

Goals of the association include encouraging amateur and academic students in study of these organisms, expanding the knowledge of lichen and bryophyte distributions in Ohio, and gaining a better understanding of rare lichens and bryophytes in Ohio.

OMLA pursues these goals through workshops and field trips (forays). The first Fall Foray was a two-day field trip to the Edge of Appalachia preserve system in Adams County (October, 2004). This was such a success that one member asked “So what are we doing next weekend?” It was decided to have a two-day foray every fall. OMLA also does one-day forays.

The First OMLA Foray: Edge of Appalachia in October, 2004.

Ten years later at The Edge of Appalachia. October, 2014.

Ten years later at The Edge of Appalachia. October, 2014.

Sunday morning at Straight Creek Preserve, Pike County, Ohio.

Ten years later at Strait Creek Preserve, Pike County, Ohio. October, 2014.