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Project 365 - 69


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Project 365 - 69

10 Mar 2014 8:35PM   Views : 363 Unique : 306

A symbiotic relationship.

What a glorious day it's been today, up here in North Yorkshire. And it's a pleasure to be working on a roof in such weather.

The place we're working at is on the edge of a moor, and is the last dwelling up the very long track. surrounded by moor, farmland and woods. The highlight of the day was spotting a number of Buzzards gliding effortlessly on the thermals. Sadly the pics i took haven't really come out, just due to the distance to them.

So todays subject is something a little more static.


Spotted this on an aging fence rail.

And now the sciencey bit: A lichen is a composite organism consisting of a fungus (the mycobiont) and a photosynthetic partner (the photobiont or phycobiont) growing together in a symbiotic relationship. The photobiont is usually either a green alga (commonly Trebouxia) or cyanobacterium (commonly Nostoc). The morphology, physiology and biochemistry of lichens are very different from those of the isolated fungus and alga in culture. Lichens occur in some of the most extreme environments on Earth—arctic tundra, hot deserts, rocky coasts, and toxic slag heaps. However, they are also abundant as epiphytes on leaves and branches in rain forests and temperate woodland, on bare rock, including walls and gravestones, and on exposed soil surfaces (e.g., Collema) in otherwise mesic habitats. The roofs of many buildings have lichens growing on them. Lichens are widespread and may be long-lived; however, many are also vulnerable to environmental disturbance, and may be useful to scientists in assessing the effects of air pollution, ozone depletion, and metal contamination. Lichens have also been used in making dyes and perfumes, as well as in traditional medicines. It has been estimated that 6% of Earth's land surface is covered by lichen.


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