Pictorial supplement to The Fifth Kingdom - Chapter 7
Lichens - Dual Organisms(24 pictures)
Exposed rock faces on the north shore of Lake Superior, Northern Ontario, almost entirely covered by lichens.
Landscape near Schefferville, northern Quebec. The spruce trees are there courtesy of their ectomycorrhizal fungal partners, and the ground cover is entirely composed of lichens.
crustose lichens on tree bark - road to Dingo Beach, Queensland, Australia.
Verrucaria zone on rocks along shore at Letite, New Brunswick, Canada (also seen along west coast)
a basidiolichen with Omphalina (Tricholomataceae) as the mycobiont, the green alga Coccomyxa as phycobiont. The association is sometimes called Botrydina (courtesy of Fred Notzel).
model of a lichen thallus, showing round algal cells among fungal hyphae.
vertical section through lichen thallus: algal cells are stained dark blue.
foliose and crustose lichens on rock, Highwood Pass, Alberta, Canada
Cladonia rangiferina ("reindeer moss") (Cladoniaceae, Lecanorales), with sterile, branched podetia
a Cladonia sp. showing basal squamules, erect podetia and apical brown apothecial ascomata
Pilophorus aciculare (Stereocaulaceae, Lecanorales) - podetia on a stone
colonies of Umbilicaria (Umbilicariaceae, Lecanorales): the large black dots are apothecial ascomata
Icmadophila ericetorum (Leotiales) on rotten stump, with convex, pink apothecial ascomata.
discolichens on tree bark The orange (left) and brown disks (right) are apothecial ascomata
the discolichen Letharia vulpina on a small conifer branch
vertical section through half of an apothecial ascoma of Physcia (Physciaceae, Lecanorales). Algal cells (pale green with dark centre) are present in the margin and underside of the ascoma.
a pyrenolichen, Pyrenula nitida (Pyrenulaceae, Pyrenulales) in tree bark.
If you'd like to see more (and better) pictures of lichens, please visit the following web site:
These are pictures from a new book on the Lichens of North America, that will be published
in the year 2,000. There is more about lichen biology at:
But there are things about lichens (other than their appearance) that you need to know,
so please keep on scrolling to the pictures below -
tips of archaeasceous asci
soredia - cells of a green alga caged by fungal hyphae.
steps in lichen synthesis (SEM)
a lichen-encrusted tombstone, the kind of thing that inspired lichen-dating
distribution of fruiting (solid red dots) and sterile (red outlines) lichens in Montreal. Small red dots indicate absence of the lichens.
sulphur dioxide levels in Montreal. Higher values correlate strongly with the occurrence of sterile lichen thalli, or absence of lichens (see above).
Lichens are thus seen to be sensitive indicators of air pollution.
Ascoma of Mycosphaerella ascophylli embedded in the thallus of the brown seaweed, Ascophyllum nodosum. The fungus is always present, and may indicate a kind of reversed lichenization - or a universally distributed parasite.
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