Lichen, SEM

Lichen, SEM

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Caption: Lichen. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a lichen. Lichens are symbiotic organisms formed of a fungus and an alga that mutually benefit one another. The alga is contained within the hyphae (filaments) of the fungus. They are therefore protected from harsh conditions, and in particular from dessication. The alga supplies the fungus with nutrients that it makes by photosynthesis. Lichens are usually found growing on stones and the bark of trees. They are very sensitive to air pollution and their presence or absence in an area is used as an indicator of air quality. Magnification: x21 when printed 10 centimetres wide.

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Keywords: alga, algae, bodies, botany, coloured, fruiting body, fungal hyphae, fungi, fungus, lichen, lichens, mutualism, mutualistic, nature, plant, scanning electron micrograph, sem, symbiosis, symbiotic

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