Lichen growing on a rock

Lichen growing on a rock

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Caption: Lichen. Orange lichen growing on a rock. Lichens consist of an alga and a fungus living in partnership. It is not certain whether this partnership is symbiotic (mutually beneficial) or parasitic, as the algal component appears to gain no advantage from its fungal partner. The alga, which is confined to a layer of single cells in the main body of the fungus, produces nutrients for the lichen by photosynthesis. While the fungal component cannot live without this food source, the alga grows faster by itself. Lichen grow on a variety of substrates, from bare rock in arctic regions to tree trunks in rainforests. Photographed on Somerset Island, Canada.

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Keywords: alga, botany, fungus, lichen, lichen growing on, lichen on rock, lichens, mutualism, nature, on rock, plant, rock, somerset island, symbiosis, symbiotic

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