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Lichen dating

However, some lichen species are very adaptable and hardy.

When left undisturbed, lichens live in many varying climates and altitudes throughout the world.

In addition to their morphological forms, lichen thalli are also classified by the ratio of phycobiont cells (i.e., cells of the photosynthetic partner) to mycobiont cells (i.e., cells of the fungus).

The homoeomerous type of thallus consists of numerous algal cells distributed among a lesser number of fungal cells, while the heteromerous thallus has a predominance of fungal cells.

Most lichens are very sensitive to air pollution, and like canaries in coal mines, may serve as indicators of air quality.

Lichen is composed of two or more dissimilar organisms that form a mutually beneficial (symbiotic) relationship to produce a new vegetative body that is called a thallus.

The photosynthetic algae or cyanobacteria form simple carbohydrates that, when excreted, are absorbed by fungi cells and transformed into a different carbohydrate.

Since the fungus cannot produce its own food, it is dependent upon another life form to provide that essential function.Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work! Lichens are found worldwide and occur in a variety of environmental conditions.A diverse group of organisms, they can colonize a wide range of surfaces and are frequently found on tree bark, exposed rock, and as a part of biological soil crust.By continuing to use this site, you consent to the use of cookies.We use cookies to offer you a better experience, personalize content, tailor advertising, provide social media features, and better understand the use of our services.

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Evolutionarily, it is not certain when fungi and algae came together to form lichens for the first time, but it was certainly after the mature development of the separate components.

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