Lichen on rock

Lichen on rock

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Credit: ART WOLFE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lichen. Lichen growing on a rock face behind a dead tree. Lichens consist of an alga and a fungus living in partnership. It is not certain whether the 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, makes 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. Photo- graphed in Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA.

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Keywords: america, american, botany, canyonlands, dead, dead tree, lichen, lichen growing on, lichen on rock, lichens, mutualism, nature, on rock, parasitism, plant, rock, symbiosis, symbiotic, tree, usa

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