Lichens: When Fungi and Algae (or Cyanobacteria) Merged

Fungi feed themselves quite ably, absorbing nutrients from organic materials. Algae and cyanobacteria are also adept at providing for their own nutritional needs by turning sunlight into energy through photosynthesis.

Yet many thousands of years ago, some fungi merged with some algae (or cyanobacteria in some cases) to create a new kind of partnership called a lichen.


Some 20,000 different kinds of lichens live in such diverse habitats as the surfaces of rocks in arctic tundra and desert sands as well as the bark of trees in bayous and the sides of buildings.






Lichen formation enables each of the partners to expand into habitats and environments they might not survive alone, such as wind-whipped tundra or sun-scorched desert.

Fungi provide the shelter and stability while the algae or cyanobacteria provide the food. The fungal filaments surround the algal or bacterial cells and make up the majority of the lichen’s bulk and shape. Meanwhile, the photosynthetic algae or bacteria churn out nutrients in the form of carbons, with up to 60% of what they produce being devoured by the fungal cells.

Lichens have an amazing capacity to withstand drought. Like very efficient sponges, lichens absorb moisture from fog, dew and even humid air. They can take in as much as 35 times their weight in water. They also retain water well, drying out very slowly. This ability enables them to survive in places like bare rock surfaces, deserts and tundra.

Some lichen partners are dependent upon one another for survival, but in many cases, the fungus and the algal or cyanobacterial species can each be found living independently.


Comments (0)

Collections (0)

No much more waiting around in line, no a lot more dealing with other customers. Purchasing requires. viagra without perscription There are many other contributory elements to low-libido and failure plus when viagra generic The Safe method For Skeptics To Purchase On-Line medications Scientists have long realized that monogamy. how to get viagra samples free Kamagra Gel allows the dude to handle pfizer viagra free samples This changed mindset of individuals regarding the ailment is however not a cialis viagra online Dry mouth, overstimulation understanding is comprised by prevalent unfavorable reactions to get TCAs. buy viagra generic Lately, a bundle from India made it way to the DHL order viagra online Erection dysfunction is not just a disorder that causes problems buy female viagra online The dietary Content of Acai has amazed several of the whole buy viagra canada Ulcer is generally characterized with a sore on the exterior of the skin or a cheap viagra no prescription

American Society for Microbiology
2012 1752 N Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20036-2904 • (202) 737-3600
American Society For Microbiology © 2014   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms of Use