Lichens!

I was just recently introduced to the fascinating world of lichens! So much complexity in such little packages. They are often needlessly vilified and still not fully-understood.

I was also recently introduced to InDesign and since starting the class, I’ve not found much time to blog. I combined lichens and InDesign today [trying to get a feel for upcoming homework] and here is the result:

Nerd-dom on a sizable scale!

lichen Lichen is a complex relationship of different parts. Fungus is one of the parts of a lichen. A photobiont, a living organism that can create food like plants do, completes the partnership. Photobionts can be an algae or cyanobacteria. In most cases, the fungus and photobiont can exist outside the lichen form. Occasionally, multiple species of fungus can exist in a lichen ‘co-op’.New lichen, depending on the species, starts from a piece breaking off and establishing in a new area or the fungus part of lichen releases spores through disc-shaped structures [see right]. These spores, once established on a surface, hope to entangle a photobiont partner already living on that surface. After entrapping a photobiont, a lichen forms!   Lichen can take many forms, from powder that can be removed just by touching it [dustose or leprose], to crusty growths that are completely attached to their growing surface [crustose], to lobes of growth only attached at one point [foliose], and even forms that look like miniature branched trees or dangling bunches of thread [fruticose]. See if you can spot some of these forms in the photos.

Feel free to use at your will.

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8 thoughts on “Lichens!

  1. Nice! Colourful, fun typeface on the headers, clear layout, jaunty piece of foliose lichen flowing through the whitespace. Nothing to do this evening? Write a textbook!

    • A textbook! It would be a neat endeavor, but the research would take years [calculating from how long it takes me to just write a blog post!]. Sounds like something for next winter!

      • I hear ya! It took me four hours to get the Nanabush post just right (and two later small edits after posting), and I moped when most of my regular commenters were too busy with real life to comment for the first three days. Knitting may be boring, but it has the advantage of being a much smaller emotional investment. :-D

  2. Fantastic presentation, very informative. Way better than the stuff I got from the Extension Service. Lichen have fascinated me ever since I found them growing on trees we planted and our roof in Myrtle Point.

    • They are really neat little things. There’s one around the coastal forests that you and I roam that is commonly called ‘Sasquatch hair’ and it looks like thin, wiry tuffs of hair growing on trunks of trees. They are air quality indicators, but seem like they are really hard to spot. I’ve only seen it once! Maybe you’ve got some on your trees???

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