Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute (MTRI) : Institut de recherche du Mersey Tobeatic

MTRI - Projects - Forest - Lichens


MTRI is a non-profit co-operative with a mandate to promote sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity conservation in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve and beyond through research, education, and the operation of a field station.

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News & Events
March 26th at 11am at Kejimkujik's Visit... more »
2017 Central Woodlands Conference
Saturday, March 25th Maple Ridge Elemen... more »
Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association AGM
Saturday, April 8 For more info visit ... more »
Medway Community Forest Co-operative AGM
Saturday, April 22nd North Queens Busin... more »
Western Woodlot Management Mentorship Field Days!
Saturday, April 29th: With Kevin Veinott... more »
Mentorship field day at Otter Ponds
Saturday, May 13th Roads and bridges. ... more »
Mentorship field day in Sydney
Saturday, June 10th Working with fores... more »

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Backyard Biodiversity

Backyard Biodiversity

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What is so important about lichens?

Boreal felt lichen (BFL) and other rare lichens that inhabit coastal forests in Nova Scotia are at risk because of air pollution and forestry.  Boreal felt lichen and other rare cyanolichens are difficult to detect and as a result the knowledge of their ranges and distributions is incomplete.  Little is known about which sources of air pollution pose the greatest threats and at what levels.  A Geographic Information System (GIS) habitat algorithm was developed by the Nova Scotia government and has allowed the forest industry to use precaution when harvesting in potentially sensitive areas.  This project has fostered partnership with industry to search for Boreal felt lichen.  Since the algorithm was developed, knowledge of Boreal felt lichen populations has increased greatly.  The continuation of this long term data set will be crucial to conserving Nova Scotian populations of Boreal felt lichen.

Photo Credit:  Brad Toms


Project Objectives 



Photo Credit: Brad Toms


2014 Results


Years of Data





Photo credits:  Tom Neily and Brad Toms



Additional Resources