May 18, 2016

Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands Annual Meeting


Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands Annual Meeting and Program on “Looking at Lichens: An Illustrated Talk by Dr. James Lendemer” will take place on Thursday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. at 145 Mapleton Road, Kingston. 

Dr. James Lendemer, a lichenologist from the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, will speak on the fascinating and little known world of lichens. The slide talk will be preceded by a short business meeting. The event is free, refreshments will be served, and all are welcome. For more information and directions, visit or call (609) 683-0483.

Almost everyone has seen a lichen, but few people know much about these small plantlike beings that have no roots, stems, or leaves, despite the fact that over 5,000 species of lichen and related fungi have been documented in North America. Lichens are a fusion of two unrelated organisms, usually a green algae and a fungus. Most lichens grow slowly and may grow only in a narrow range of habitat conditions. This makes them especially susceptible to habitat disruption. Many species are sensitive to air pollution, and lichens are used throughout the world to assess and monitor air quality. They are an important part of the food chain, are used as nesting materials, dyes, and medicines, and serve as an important food source for reindeer and caribou.

Dr. Lendemer holds both a PhD (2012) and an MPhil (2010) in biology, both earned through a joint program of the City University of New York and The New York Botanical Garden, where he currently serves as assistant curator of the Institute of Systemic Botany. Their lichen collection is the largest in the western hemisphere.

He and his colleagues have collected thousands of specimens and identified several new lichen species, including Japewiella dollypartoniana, a lichen of the Appalachian Mountains, recently discovered in Tennessee. Dr. Lendemer’s research focuses primarily on conducting comprehensive inventories of lichen biodiversity. The results have been used to understand lichen taxonomy, biogeography and ecology, and ultimately to develop and implement conservation management policy.

Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands (FPNL) is a 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to the preservation and protection of the historic, horticultural, and natural resources of the former Princeton Nurseries Kingston Site. Their goals include promoting restoration, development, and interpretation of the site for the education and enjoyment of the public. As part of this overall goal, FPNL sponsors interpretive and educational walks and talks on history, nature and horticulture-related subjects.