Lichens are a complex life form that is a symbiotic partnership of two separate organisms, a fungus and an alga.
Lichens are fungi and algae (alga) or Fungi and Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae).
Lichen’s Alga and Fungi work in a symbiotic partnership which means they help each other. The Fungi help algae by providing protection and acts as a surge volume or a sponge for water. -Meaning the Fungi holds and stores water for the Algae. The Algae feeds the fungi nutrients using photosynthesis from the water provided by Fungi and sunlight.
Lichens can be found in the water, on rocks, and on trees. Some people even have them growing on their roofs. So lichen can be found virtually everywhere that one could find fungi or algae.
There’s actually profound research into the relationships and applications of lichen for medicine and science. I’m not the expert, but there are several out there such as Thorsten Lumbsch who focuses on Lichens.
Lichens are more than Fungi which is interesting, and their relationship (algae and fungi) is interesting as well. Lichens aren’t the only symbiotic fungi relationship that exist- and the research into Lichens can yield many new things. Lichens also provide a non-negligible impact to the ecosystem and absorption and filtration to the environment.
So we could better monitor the health of our environment with Lichens too. That’s pretty neat if you think about it.
As always, comment down below with questions, comments, or anything to add.