Or at least that’s what I think they are. According to the North American Mycological Association in Lichen Basics:

Lichens are amazing organisms. They are all around us and we hardly notice them. Found on soil, tree bark, rocks and even some under water, they are actually two organisms living together (symbiosis). The major component is a fungus (mycobiont), hence they are classified as fungi — the vast majority being ascomycetes. The other component is photosynthetic (photobiont) and may be green algae or cyanobacteria (once known as blue-green algae) or sometimes both. The photobiont can make food — sugar. The fungus can kill some of the algae cells or penetrate the algae cells to obtain food. So… the symbiotic relationship is actually a controlled parasitism. The algal cells, however, are protected from damaging excess light. Lichens are fungi that have taken up farming, and they are known as lichenized fungi.

Certainly, these complex organisms can inhabit many conditions and substrates that would deter other kinds of species — hence they are known as pioneer organisms in ecological succession.

I just like the way they look: the often pastel color and the textures. Fungi to me are rather disturbing. They make me think of death and decay. Lichen on the other hand seem rather cute, as if someone has made them.

Taken with a Sony A6000 and Venus Optics Laowa 85mm f5.6

Leave a Reply