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Posted at November 7, 2020

In American English, "lichen" is pronounced the same as the verb "liken" (/ˈlaɪkən/). Like some mosses, liverworts, ferns, and a few "resurrection plants", upon desiccation, lichens enter a metabolic suspension or stasis (known as cryptobiosis) in which the cells of the lichen symbionts are dehydrated to a degree that halts most biochemical activity. Since they take care of their own food production, they can be classified as producers and provide food for other organisms. [79] Other[28] common cyanobacterium photobionts are from Scytonema. Colonies of lichens may be spectacular in appearance, dominating the surface of the visual landscape as part of the aesthetic appeal to visitors of Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park. Some algae and cyanobacteria are found naturally living outside of the lichen. A major ecophysiological advantage of lichens is that they are poikilohydric (poikilo- variable, hydric- relating to water), meaning that though they have little control over the status of their hydration, they can tolerate irregular and extended periods of severe desiccation. Lichen-like fossils consisting of coccoid cells (cyanobacteria?) [46]:30[28]:171, In the arctic tundra, lichens, together with mosses and liverworts, make up the majority of the ground cover, which helps insulate the ground and may provide forage for grazing animals. The fungi benefit from the carbohydrates produced by the algae or cyanobacteria via photosynthesis. [35] Cyanobionts produce glucose. The seven candidates for the vote were selected for being widespread in Canada and more common in Canada than in other countries, as well as for their ability to be recognized, their beauty, and their functions in nature. [80], Common algal photobionts are from the genera Trebouxia, Trentepohlia, Pseudotrebouxia, or Myrmecia. Lichens are being integrated into the classification schemes for fungi. Dissertation Leiden University. The pH indicator (indicated acidic or basic) in the litmus test is a dye extracted from the lichen Roccella tinctoria by boiling. Like the word moss, the word lichen is also used as an uncountable noun, as in "Lichen grows on rocks". [104] However, Lutzoni et al. [12][13] It is thought that lichens may be even more complex symbiotic systems that include non-photosynthetic bacterial communities performing other functions as partners in a holobiont.[14][15]. This breeding system may enable successful reproduction in harsh environments. If the whole lichen produced by the same fungus growing in association with different algae or cyanobacteria, were to be classified as different "species", the number of "lichen species" would be greater. [7]:5, It appears many, probably the majority, of lichen also live in a symbiotic relationship with an order of basidiomycete yeasts called Cyphobasidiales. [35] According to one source, about 90% of all known lichens have phycobionts, and about 10% have cyanobionts,[35] while another source states that two thirds of lichens have green algae as phycobiont, and about one third have a cyanobiont. Further experimental proof of the dual nature of lichens was obtained when Eugen Thomas published his results in 1939 on the first successful re-synthesis experiment. Orcein and other lichen dyes have largely been replaced by synthetic versions. The star-tipped reindeer lichen forms yellowish green, rounded, foam-like tufts that not only cover thousands of square kilometres of boreal woodland soil from coast to coast to coast, but also extend into the temperate parts of southern Canada in certain habitats. However, some lichens, notably those of the genus Diploschistes are known to parasitise other lichens. after they remove it from the rumen of caribou or reindeer that have been killed. The photosynthetic partner in a lichen is called a photobiont. Common names for lichens often come from a growth form or color that is typical of a lichen genus. [42], In a case where one fungal partner simultaneously had two green algae partners that outperform each other in different climates, this might indicate having more than one photosynthetic partner at the same time might enable the lichen to exist in a wider range of habitats and geographic locations. Toby Spribille and colleagues found that many types of lichen that were long thought to be ascomycete-algae pairs were actually ascomycete-basidiomycete-algae trios. Many squamulous lichens are terricolous. [2] Common names for lichens may contain the word moss (e.g., "reindeer moss", "Iceland moss"), and lichens may superficially look like and grow with mosses, but lichens are not related to mosses or any plant. [citation needed], Two or more fungal species can interact to form the same lichen.[79]. [122][124][125][126][127][128], Not all lichens are equally sensitive to air pollutants, so different lichen species show different levels of sensitivity to specific atmospheric pollutants. [37] The cortex may be further topped by an epicortex of secretions, not cells, 0.6–1 μm thick in some lichens. [34] The cortex is made of densely tightly woven, packed, and glued together (agglutinated) fungal filaments. [34] The top layer, where the lichen contacts the environment, is called a cortex. [29] When a crustose lichen grows from a center and appears to radiate out, it is called crustose placodioid. [70] Some of these lichenized fungi occur in orders with nonlichenized fungi that live as saprotrophs or plant parasites (for example, the Leotiales, Dothideales, and Pezizales). [35] More than one phycobiont may be present in a single thallus. Foliose lichens may sometimes branch and appear to be fruticose. Northern peoples in North America and Siberia traditionally eat the partially digested reindeer lichen (Cladina spp.) Common groupings of lichen thallus growth forms are: There are variations in growth types in a single lichen species, grey areas between the growth type descriptions, and overlapping between growth types, so some authors might describe lichens using different growth type descriptions. Ottawa, March 31, 2020 – A species found in every province and territory of Canada that is a favoured winter food for caribou has topped the list in an online vote for a proposed national lichen. 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