Monday, September 29, 2008

Lichen

If the other fungi are nature's recyclers, lichens are nature's pioneers. Lichens find their homes in some of the most barren and inhospitable parts of the world. From there they slowly begin the process of creating a foundation for habitation by others. A lichen can literally eat stones, survive severe cold, and remain dormant for long periods without harm.


Structurally, lichens are among the most bizarre of all forms of life. That's because every lichen species is actually composed of two, possibly even three, distinct species of organisms. One species is a kind of fungus. Usually the other species is an alga, but sometimes it can be a photosynthesizing bacterium known as a cyanobacterium. Sometimes all three organisms are found in one lichen. Lichen is also very sensitive to air pollution. If you live in an urban environment, finding lichen won't be easy. See how many types of lichen you can find.


5 comments:

Deb said...

Such intriguing photos. I have seen this on many walks and always catagorized it as a fungus.
Thanks for giving me the heads up on a little piece of nature.

Country Girl said...

I am liking your lichen. I love photographing it as well. I find it beautiful in its own way.

Doughboy said...

Congratulations on your photographic migration from bugs and weeds to fungus ! It's been a long and grueling journey but I'm sure now that you've arrived you will look back and say the ewffot was all worth it. I'm lichen it.
Just one word, algae. Yes, algae Doris. It's a whole new level. That's where the world is going.Tastes like chicken.

Roxanne Schwandt said...

Wow! Interesting facts about this fungus. It can survive in extreme conditions, but it pulluted air that can cause it harm. It actually looks pretty, but I still wouldn't touch it.

Mama/Baby-Catcher/KellyJellyBelly/KJB/Wifey said...

Ooooh, cool. And Dad!!!! You shush! Tastes like chicken? Where do you come from? Well, I suppose for that matter where do I come from? Oy ve! Deb, I dunno sometimes. I suppose it's 9 parts comic relief and 1 part lovin'. No?