Lichens

Lichens

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Credit: KAJ R. SVENSSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lichens. Unidentified lichens growing on a basalt rock. Lichens are mutualistic organisms that comprise an alga and a fungus living in a mutually-beneficial relationship. The alga produces carbohydrates for the fungus by photosynthesis, and the fungus protects the alga from harsh conditions. Lichens are sensitive to pollution: several are used as indicator species for sulphur dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

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Keywords: alga, algal, basalt, botany, fungal, fungus, lichen, lichens, mutualism, mutualist, mutualistic, mutualists, nature, organisms, plant, rock, symbiont, symbionts, symbiosis, symbiotic organism

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