Purpose: To foster knowledge in lichen identification, the American Bryological and Lichenological Society has supported an exchange program for many years. Anyone interested in lichens is welcome to participate (societal membership is not required, although certainly encouraged).
Frequency: In general, exchanges are planned for twice a year. Distributions are anticipated in December-January and July-August. Specimen submissions are accepted year round.
Procedures: Individuals submitting material for exchange are requested to include a variety of species and not to overly emphasize common ones. Each species should ideally include 5-15 duplicates, although smaller sets of duplicates will be accepted. Each packet submitted is worth one in exchange. Throughout the year, members of the exchange will send their specimens to ASU.
Biannually, a specimen list will be emailed to exchange members so they may make their selections ahead of time.
About two weeks later, the list is posted electronically on this website as an online form.
Members are notified via email when the list has been posted and they then make their orders online.
Upon ordering, members will receive an email listing the lichens they have requested.
Requests are filled in the order they were recieved, and the selected specimens are promptly mailed to the exchange member.
We will continue to fill members orders even if their balance is negative, within reason.
One specimen from each collection submitted will be retained by the Arizona State University Lichen Herbarium as consideration for coordinating the service.
The Specimens: All specimens should be fully identified (partially identified or unidentified material will be discarded). It is recommended that each specimen's packet be ca. 4"x 6" (e.g. 10 x 15 cm) and that the specimen be large enough to fill most of the packet. Labels should be on 100% rag paper and should not be glued to the packets (because styles of herbarium packets vary widely). The labels should include information on location (major and local political units), longitude and latitude, substrate, habitat, collector and his/her collection number, date of collection, and the determiner (see Hale's How to Know the Lichens or The Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region: Collection and Curation for an example). Large specimens may require pressing to prevent fragmentation and rock and bark fragments should be mounted on a card.