The Sycamore tree with the yellow hiking signpost, directly above the path, is the next location. Watch more closely the bark of this tree. Much of the surface is overgrown with mosses and lichens. The Sycamores provide important habitats for these organisms.
The tree is merely used as substrate and is not damaged by the mosses and lichens. Scientific studies on the biodiversity in Sycamore pastures have shown that up to 60 different moss and 67 lichen species can occur on a single tree! Among them many rare and endangered species. Some of them, however, are only to be found in the tree crown and thus only visible to good climbers. The pastures under the trees host also a rich biodiversity. At first glance hardly recognizable, numerous mosses find their habitat in the gaps between grasses and herbs. Overall, 264 moss species were detected there, which is equivalent to around a quarter of all species known in Switzerland! Mosses emerged about 460 - 480 million years ago from green algae and colonized as one of the first plants the land. In Switzerland around 1,100 moss species occur. Lichens are no individual organisms, but communities (symbiosis) of fungi and algae. 1,800 species are known from Switzerland. Mosses and lichens have extraordinary abilities and can grow under extreme living conditions.