Epiphytic lichen growth is abundant on the boles and branches of balsam fir trees at high elevations in New Hampshire. These lichens absorb elements needed for growth from solutions flowing over their surfaces and from direct impaction of water droplets. This study describes how epiphytic lichens and fir needles altered the chemistry of simulated rain water solutions under laboratory conditions. Experiments showed: 1) lichens absorbed ammonium and nitrate from solution; the rate of uptake increased with increasing temperature of the solution, 2) lichens lost calcium, magnesium, and hydrogen to the solution, 3) lichen thalli also initially lost potassium, but in time, net movement was reversed back into the thallus, 4) cation movement increased with increasing temperature, and 5) fir needles responded in a manner similar to that of the lichens, but the amount of change was much less. From these results it seems that epiphytic lichens have potential ecological importance in altering the chemistry of throughfall and stemflow.