Is the lichen still alive

I spoke with my mom recently about my Lichen. I am not sure it is till alive. Here is her recipe for checking whether any organism still perspires (that is, releases co2).


  • A pH Indicator
  • a drop of alkalide (or a very strong base)
  • A bit of lichen (or a small bit of the organism you are testing)


Put your lichen or organism fragment in a jar, add in a little alkalide. Just a drop, no more! You don’t want to kill the organism. Insert the pH indicator (strip, or any other cheap indicator)

Put the mixture in a dark place and wait a day or so.

In the morning: See if indicator will change colour

CO2 is acidic, and will eventually neutralise the alkalide.

Can be used on any perspiring organism

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