Sunday, September 21, 2008

Take a closer look

Usenea species and Ramalina celastri (bottom)

Purple thing is just a fungus

Xanthomendoza (yellow)

As part of my work as a freelance writer, I'm always researching something. Like lichens. Just go outside, get up close to a dead tree limb on the ground, and see what you can see: probably several different species of lichens. The colors are amazing, too: gold, purplish, green, off white. I walked outside and spotted four different kinds on one limb. You can also find lichens growing on live branches, rocks, gravestones, and even insects.

Lichens consist of fungus (on top) and alga (underneath) in what's considered to be a symbiotic–not parasitic–relationship. They're divided into three types: foliose (papery), fruticose (hairy or branchy), and crustose (crusty). For more info, check out Lichen Biology.

Just had to share. Get outside and find some!

[Note: Lichen IDs are thanks to Taylor Sultan Quedensley, who's in the Plant Biology Graduate Program at the University of Texas at Austin.]

1 comment:

Lorilee said...

Wow, Great pictures. I noticed the lichen on the rocks while climbing Enchanted Rock this summer! The colors were amazing!

Post a Comment