Lichen

Lichen

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Credit: SIMON FRASER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lichen. Unidentified lichen growing on a rock. A lichen is a mutualistic organism comprising an alga and a fungus that live 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 highly sensitive to pollution: several are used as indicator species for sulphur dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

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

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