The sensitivity of Hypogymnia physodes, Lobaria pulmonaria and Peltigera aphthosa to six photosystem II herbicides and to DBMIB was tested in the laboratory by chlorophyll fluorescence and oxygen-exchange measurements. In addition, experiments with freshly isolated photobiont cells from H. physodes and L. pulmonaria were performed. Generally, the lichens were most sensitive to the urea herbicides diuron and isoproturon, whereas the triazines atrazine, terbuthylazine, and simazine and the triazinone metamitron were less inhibitory. Among the three lichen species investigated, H. physodes was the most sensitive to the urea herbicides. For the other agents, no significant differences between lichen species could be found. The highest pI50 values obtained from dose response curves were around 6.5 for isolated photobionts, but most values for lichen thalli were in the range 5–6. Thus, there is no particular sensitivity of green algal lichen photobionts to photosystem II herbicides as compared to other algae, higher plant chloroplasts or protoplasts. In nature, we observed recovery from (damaging) treatment with 10−5 mol diuron 1−1 for H. physodes within weeks. Therefore, damage to lichens from the use of photosystem-II herbicides in agriculture is probably only of very local occurrence.