Map lichen

Map lichen

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Caption: Map lichen (Rhizocarpon geographica) growing on a granite gravestone. This type of lichen is known as saxicolous lichen as it grows on or among rocks. 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, grave, gravestone, headstone, lichen, lichens, map lichen, mutualism, mutualist, mutualistic, nature, plant, rhizocarpon geographicum, rock, stone, symbiont, symbiosis, symbiotic organism

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