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But it cannot be foretold which lichen assemblages will provide good ages and which bad ages.

The logical conclusion is that no assumption of good ages can be made, and that it is folly to assign numerical ages to a deposit on the basis of lichen sizes.

The distributions of different types of gravestones are non-uniform in both time and space, making the comparison of growth rates on different rock types impractical.

The results indicate that there may be a gradual decrease in the growth rates from W to E, reflecting the decreasing maritime influence towards the E.

The ‘great period’ of growth lasts for approximately 20 years after the erection of the gravestone.

The lichen factor (growth after 100 years) is correlated with the growth after 25 and 250 years indicating that it is a representative index of the growth rates. Calculated lichen factors for acidic igneous substrates range from 33 to 104 mm.

Experiments indicate that numeric lichenometric ages are not reliable, and in general do not advance the cause of Quaternary science.