Home / FT Lite/ Sri Lanka – Land of lichens

Sri Lanka – Land of lichens


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Saturday, 21 October 2017 00:00

Facebook

 

Lichens are curious life forms – an entity formed by the association of two living organisms- fungus and alga. 

Exhibiting a brilliant morphological and genetic diversity, lichens have adapted themselves to every possible environment – frosty landscapes, damp caverns, scorching deserts, and flat stretches of low lying plains; outliving the organisms that have inhabited these habitats. 

These microcosms inhabit nearly every inch of our planet – existing in plain sight, but hidden away due to limited interest and awareness. The scientific information available on these cryptograms is yet to strike an equilibrium with their abundant presence on the planet. 

Although unnoticed, lichens are present in an unimaginable number in Sri Lanka. Speculated to host over 5,000 species of these composite life forms, Sri Lanka is believed to be one of the richest hotspots for these organisms in the world. However, the scant availability of data available on these organisms is a compelling reason that calls for in-depth research on these composite life forms. 



Lichenologist Dr. Gothamie Weerakoon works closely with Dilmah Conservation in an attempt to account for the unknown number of lichen species scattered across the island, with the joint support of National Geographic and British Lichen Society. Under the Novel Species Program, which was initiated by Dilmah Conservation to identify lesser-known underdog species, Dr. Weerakoon has so far identified nearly 60 new species of lichens. 

“Lichens are an essential but often unnoticed part of nature. There is a dearth of knowledge about lichens which is hampering people’s opportunities to learn more about and appreciate their important role in the ecosystem,” notes Dilmah Founder, Merrill J Fernando. 

Their fragile existence is exceedingly dependent on the specific conditions provided by the environment. Thus, the natural vulnerability of lichens to the changing dynamics of its environment makes them one of nature’s clearest indicators of the changing climate and effect of anthropogenic activities.  

‘Fascinating Lichens of Sri Lanka’ by Dr. Gothamie Weerakoon is an outgrowth of Dilmah Conservation’s attempt to stir individuals towards taking an interest in organisms that are seemingly insignificant but are of critical importance to the environment.  Dilmah Conservation, which was established as an affirmation of Dilmah Founder Merrill J Fernando’s commitment to protecting nature and the environment, hopes that these efforts at addressing the gaping hole in the existing knowledge will help in understanding the vital role played by these seemingly insignificant constituents of nature which play a vital role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem.


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Is voting the only expression of democracy?

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Aspirant Sajith Premadasa has openly and repeatedly said he will contest the Presidency whatever anyone says. His party has not selected him and neither has he asked for the nomination from the party. One could interpret that he may contest whether o


Private or State hospitals? State, of course!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Framing the debate For those of us who can afford them, the question is often raised whether we should go to the neighbourhood private hospital or State hospital when sick. The purpose of this article is to share my experience over my lifetime in alw


Teaming up with the CIO for a journey towards transformational ERP

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

An ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) implementation with a focus on a business outcome can bring significant competitive advantage across every area of the business. Earlier, it was the CIO who had to figure out the design and implementation of the


CRIB – Individual Credit Score

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

With the recent announcement of releasing credit scores of banked citizens commences a new chapter of the country’s lending industry. The General Manager of the Credit Information Bureau (CRIB) Nandi Anthony stated that the Bureau plans to release


Columnists More