News

New Lichen Species Named After Dilmah’s Queensberry Estate

August 26, 2014
  • New Lichen Species Named After Dilmah’s Queensberry Estate

A new species of Lichen, Heterodermia queensberryi, has been named after Dilmah’s Queensberry Estate in Nawalapitiya, Sri Lanka where it was discovered by Dr. Gothamie Weerakoon of The Field Museum in Chicago with the support of Dilmah Conservation. Thus far, this species has only been observed on smooth tree bark in high mountain forests in Sri Lanka.

Occurring in some of the most diverse and extreme environments found on Earth including the arctic tundra, deserts, tropical rain forests and temperate woodlands, lichens are often overlooked even though they can serve as useful bio-indicators of air pollution, ozone depletion and metal contamination. A symbiotic organism comprising a fungus, and either an algae or cyanobacterium which are capable of photosynthesis, lichens can occur in various forms and are found all across Sri Lanka from coastal rocks to peak forests. As such, even though they are frequently encountered, the dearth of knowledge on the subject entails that they go unnoticed. Dilmah Conservation is committed to supporting research which enables improved efforts for conserving Sri Lanka’s biodiversity and fostering greater interest and learning about species which are overlooked or neglected due to the absence of accessible information and research.

Initiative to support research which enables improved efforts for conserving Sri Lanka’s biodiversity and kindling a greater interest and learning about species which are overlooked or neglected due to the absence of accessible information and research.