Monday, February 07, 2011

Macro Monday: Fruticose Lichen

Fruticose lichen covered with ice after freezing rain.


Fruticose lichens are the most three-dimensional lichen type.  They're usually round in cross section, and most are branched, looking like small shrubs.  The lichens in the lower right are foliose.  They are leaf-like and look something like foliage.  Neither are harmed by ice nor freezing temperature, though dry conditions will cause them to go dormant.


Fruticose lichen with apothecia (fruiting bodies).


The same type of lichen a few inches up the branch are "blooming", producing fruiting bodies called apothecia.  All lichens are an alga and fungus living in a symbiotic relationship.  Most (but not all) of the fungi involved in producing lichens are Ascomycetes, which reproduce by growing a cup-like fruiting body called an apothecium.  The apothecium's spores will only reproduce a fungus.  To form a lichen it must combine with the appropriate algae.



Macro Monday is hosted by Lisa's Chaos.  Please visit this site to participate and/or see more macros.

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10 comments:

mostlymacro said...

Such good images.
Fascinating to see them so enlarged.
They take such a long time to grow.
People use them for dying wool, in natural dyes. That always makes me sad, as it takes such a lot of them to get a decent colour.

KaHolly said...

I love lichens, and these are beautiful images! They are very complicated, and come in so many different sizes, shapes, colors, and textures! What a delightful mid-winter post. ~karen

Appalachian Lady said...

Great photos. I'm not sure I know what the difference between a lichen and moss is but your explanation helps.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

That ice covered lichen looks cold. Great shots.

K T Cat said...

Linked!

Tammie Lee said...

Lichen is wonderful stuff, nice images.

Carol said...

They sure made for some nice photos.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Fascinating! I lich lichens!:) Super-good photos, Marvin.

amatterofhowyouseeit.com said...

Wonderful details and light!

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a wonderful photo of the lichen with the ice!