Lichen filaments

Lichen filaments

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Credit: ANDY HARMER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lichen filaments. Macrophotograph of filaments or hyphae of a lichen (Cladonia coniocraea). Lichens are mutualistic organisms comprising an alga and a fungus, which live in a symbiotic (mutually- beneficial) relationship. The alga produces carbohydrates by photosynthesis for the fungus, and the fungus protects the alga from harsh conditions. Lichens are highly sensitive to pollution, and used as indicators of air quality.

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Keywords: alga, algal, botany, filament, fungal, fungus, hyphae, lichen, lichens, mutualism, mutualist, mutualistic, nature, plant, symbiont, symbiosis, symbiotic organism

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