Global warming is causing a continuous retreat of glaciers in the Alps. Glacier forefields are increasing and providing new ecological niches for pioneer organisms. The diversity and frequency of lichens growing in soil and plant debris were investigated in two glacier forefields of South Tyrol (Italy): Rötkees (Ahrntal) and Matscherferner (Matschertal). The geographical position, geomorphology, geology, soil, vegetation, climate, colonization history, agriculture and glacial retreat of both of these areas are all introduced. Three sampling sites were established along an increasing distance from the glacier. The first sampling site was set up where the first lichens appeared as well as where it was first possible to reach the observation area by foot. The second and third sampling sites were located 600-700 m and 1000-1500 m away from the glacier front, respectively. Five 1 m plots divided into 100 1 dm quadrates were selected randomly at each site. The altitude, exposition and inclination of the plots were recorded. Specimens were collected from each species from all plots and the frequency of lichens was noted. The specimens were prepared and verified using light microscopy techniques and/or thin-layer chromatography (TLC). 31 lichen taxa were discovered in the Rötkees glacier forefield and 37 in the Matscherferner forefield. The species diversity and the frequency increased with increasing distance from the glacier in both glacier forefields. The observed number of species in the glacier forefield of the Rötkees had more than tripled between the second and last sampling sites. The number of species in the Matscherferner forefield increased by 42,8 %. These results overlap with those of the glacier forefields of Austria (Gaisbergferner, Tyrol and Pasterze, Carinthia) and of Switzerland (Morteratsch, Oberengadin). The species and their frequencies of these glacier forefields were included as an appendix, as they are part of a larger project.