Moss and lichen

Moss and lichen

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Credit: GUSTOIMAGES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Moss and lichen. Lichen (pale green) and moss (bright green) growing on a tree stump. Lichen is a good indicator of air quality, as it is intolerant even of small amounts of the pollutant sulphur dioxide. A lichen is a symbiotic organism comprising an alga and a fungus. The alga (a plant) produces carbohydrates by photosynthesis, used as food by both the alga and the fungus. The role of the fungus is to protect the alga from harsh conditions. Fungi cannot photosynthesize, and instead gain their nutrients from decaying organic matter or other organisms. A moss is a primitive type of plant that photosynthesizes with its leaves and gains nutrients and water through root-like structures called rhizoids. Photographed in Scotland, in the spring.

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Keywords: air quality, alga, algae, algal, biological, biology, botanical, botany, britain, british, europe, european, fungal, fungus, indicator species, lichen, moss, mutualism, mycology, nature, plant, pollution, scotland, scottish, spring, symbiont, symbionts, symbiosis, symbiotic, tree trunk, uk, united kingdom

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