What are Lichens? Lichens are made up of two things. Firstly a fungus and secondly an algae or cyanobacteria. The relationship the organisms have is called symbiosis. In other words, they help each other, a type of partnership. Fungi can’t photosynthesize, that is, make their own food from sunlight but the algae or cyanobacteria can. The fungus is the dominant partner in the relationship and gives the lichens it’s form and structure. And collects water. Lichens can be found growing in all kinds of harsh climates where other organism would not survive (e.g. desserts and the Arctic).
On the photo above see if you can spot three different lichens?
Lichens come in all shapes and sizes and can be found growing on rocks, trees, deadwood, and on the ground.
For more information
Kids Britannia here.
Mosses, ferns and Lichens (Wildlife Trust UK)