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)
Here in Ireland the National Biodiversity Data Centre have just produce a junior version of the 2015-2020 All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. Pollinators include wild bees including bumblebees, butterflies and other insects. This junior plan is a great resource particularly for schools. It includes lots of ideas on actions you can take to help pollinators both at home and in your school grounds. There are also lots of fun facts about pollinators and why they are so important. And also some information about why bees are under threat.
There are even a few bee jokes!
What bee is good for your health?
Have you any good bee or butterfly jokes ? Post in the comments below.
As the weather gets warmer I hope to do some more pollinator activities. In the meantime, think about what you can plant in your garden to attract some bees.
Happy New year! Here we are in the brand new 2016 and there is much to do and much to learn, and most important of all lots of fun to have.
One of the things I want to do this year is to get an even better idea about all the wild things that live in my garden and I’d like you to join me.
In May every year the world celebrates International Biodiversity Day. Last year in Ireland we were asked to record all the plants and animals in our gardens. I concentrated on wild flowers, trees, butterflies, bees, birds and mammals and got 64 species!
So now it is over to you. Why not go into your garden, or if you don’t have a garden go to your nearest park or green space and find ten different wild things? They could be birds, plants, trees, insects, animals – what ever you want. But they must be wild, so your dog or cat won’t count!
You can use this form to help you. If you want to print out, right click on your mouse and select “copy image”, then paste into a programme you use such as “word” or paint”.
You may think January is a strange time of year to look for wildlife things but you may be surprised at what you find. Here is my table:
Why not let me know what you find in the comment box below. Have fun!