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The dunes are a difficult environment for most plants to grow. The open sandy surfaces don't offer much in the way of water or nutrients. Because lichens receive the majority of their needs from the air, such undesirable places for plants are exactly what lichens need: minor or no competition from others for light! In the dunes, lichens don't just grow on the ground. You also find them on trees and brick paths or stone buildings. However, compared to other types of nature areas, most dune lichen species are ground specialists. The most common species are the reindeer mosses and cup lichens. Unfortunately, very few of these species have common English names.

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