Cryptogams and nature conservation

Last changed: 05 February 2024
A green lichen on a tree trunk. Photo.

Welcome to an exciting course on lichens, mosses and fungi! The course Cryptogams and Nature Conservation is focused on cryptogams (lichens, mosses and large fungi) and their conservation. It is popular and many people who work with nature conservation have already taken the course.

Cryptogams are widely used in practical nature conservation in Sweden and many other countries. There are, for example, species that can be used as indicators for areas with special natural values. Many species we can utilize in connection with environmental monitoring.

Practical knowledge

With this course you get:

  • A current overview and in-depth insight into how cryptogams (large fungi, mosses and lichens) are used in practical nature conservation.
  • An insight into cryptogam species used as indicators for environments with high natural values as well as examples of species which are used in environmental monitoring.
  • Experience of red-listed cryptogams in fields such as Neckera pennata, Cystostereum murrayi, and Gyalecta ulmi.
  • A presentation of current nature conservation-oriented research on cryptogams.
  • Knowledge of the biology of cryptogams and which management benefit or disadvantage them.
  • Carry out a project work on cryptogams of conservation concern.

Visit species-rich environments

During the course, we meet on three occasions, each for three days to visit environments with many conservation-interesting cryptogams. We can promise you to see many interesting, beautiful and useful species! We hope and plan that the situation with Covid-19 will allow that this year's course 2022-2023 can be completed with physical meetings and excursions.

Course leader for this course is Mari Jönsson as a nature conservation researcher at the SLU Swedish Species Information Centre (Artdatabanken in Swedish) with lichens and wood fungi as her specialty. Lichen researcher Göran Thor who was the course leader for this successful course 1999 - 2020 will participate.


The course is structured with three compulsory meetings, a project work and self-study of literature. You pay for travel to and from meetings as well as food and accommodation. Mari Jönsson ( is the course leader. Participating are Göran Thor and Anders Dahlberg from SLU. For approved courses, attendance at the compulsory meetings, approved home examination, approved project work is required.

Course period: 2024.09.02 - 2025.03.24
Prerequisites: 60 credits in biology, including 7.5 credits in botany and 7.5 credits in ecology
Language: English
Number of credits: 15 credits

Schedule Cryptogams and Nature Conservation 2023-24

Registration for the courses takes place through

Course codes and more information about the course can be found in SLU's course catalougue "Cryptogams and Nature Conservation"

The application opens on March 15, apply no later than April 15 2024

Contact, 018-671598, 070-3502745