Lichens are a combination of fungi and algae, each existing incognito while providing for the other’s wellbeing. The bodies of lichens are totally different from their independent members: algae and fungi. Each is able to exist by offering what the other needs. Fungi absorb water and they “mine” minerals that algae need. Algae create food, providing the sugars that fungi need. Together they form another entity. Of the thousands of lichen species, all are though and leathery, but that’s where lichen likeness ends. They range in color, texture, size and shape; from leafy pale lichens growing on bark, to dark tubular ruffles growing in dirt.
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