The total antioxidant activity, total phenolic content and reducing power of methanol and water extracts of four lichen species, Bryoria fuscescens, Dermatocarpon intestiniformis, Peltigera rufescens and Pseudevernia furfuracea, were determined in vitro. Water and methanol extracts of P. rufescens showed the highest antioxidant activity. However, there was no correlation between antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of the extracts. Although the methanol extract of P. furfuracea had the highest total phenolic contents, it exhibited low antioxidant activity. In contrast, there was a strong correlation between reducing power and total antioxidant activity of the extracts. The highest reducing power was determined for the methanol extract of P. rufescens. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.