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Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve Lichens

Lichens are present throughout the monument and preserve at Aniakchak. Since the majority of the unit is composed of wet, alpine, or moist tundra, lichen thrive. Lichens were able to prosper first after the 1931 eruption that covered the area with ash. Lichen multiplied and expanded, and as they died they left organic matter to mix with erosive sands to form a fine layer of thin cryptogamic soil on which mosses began to grow. Slowly these pioneer associations worked with the rain and the winds to create a soil hospitable to other flora. The succession process is still fragile and in its beginning stages.

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Maine Puffins
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Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.