Lovely lichen, everywhere…but did you know it’s actually a symbiotic organism? (yes, Star Trek nerds, like the Trill – but different 🖖). It’s composed of fungi and algae, cooperating to improve their chances of survival.
So why would fungi and algae want to create a partnership like this? Because both benefit: the fungus gains nutrients produced by the alga through photosynthesis (which the fungus cannot perform on its own, lacking chloroplasts), and the alga gain the protection of the fungus. Read more about it here.
The variation in the forms of lichen make it particularly fascinating. See for yourself…
What isn’t lichen? Moss. Moss is worth observing and exploring in its own right, but it’s not lichen; in fact, moss is a plant, which lichen isn’t. Check out these cool facts about moss.
Don’t forget to really look at the world around you, even the tiny things – and prepare to be amazed!