Difference between revisions of "Lichens"

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(Crustose lichens)
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Edited by student of Angela Kent at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
 
Edited by student of Angela Kent at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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Revision as of 21:23, 2 April 2010

Introduction

Lichens are a form of symbiotic association of fungi and algae. Lichens can also be formed by symbiotic association between fungi and cyanobacteria.Lichens are unique organisms that can be found in different and contrasting environments. For example, lichens are found growing in Alaskan Tundra as well as in African Sahara desert.Lichens are morphologically diverse and found in different forms resembling even plants and fungal fruiting body. Lichens grow at very slow pace, a few millimeters a year and take a lot of time to establish on the substrate. From the size of the lichens that is around us we can estimate their age. Lichen structures growing on forest trees and the lichens surviving on rocks can be very old, some times even million years old. For example, in recent years, researchers have identified lichen as old as 600 million years through analysis of fossil and phylogenetic data [2]. Lichens play a significant ecological role as it can colonize barren earth and rock and make the harsh environment to a fertile one where other organisms can start establishing themselves [1].In addition, some species of lichens inhabiting forests are important in providing food and shelter for birds and animals [3]. Further, lichens are being used as ecological indicators of pollution as they are very sensitive to changes in the environment.

Xanthoria parietina. Photograph of Lichen .US Forest Service, USDA.






Other examples:
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Other examples:
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This template gives you a general idea of the layout of your page. You are not completely restricted to this format, so feel free to try out different things. I'll give you feedback as you work on your pages. Make sure to copy the "code" of this page to your own page before editing. -Prof Kent

In the introduction, briefly describe the habitat that is the topic of this page. Introduce the habitat, its ecological significance, and the importance of microorganisms in this environment. (What processes do they carry out? What functions do they perform?)

Classification

Crustose lichens

Ophioparma ventosa. Crustose Lichen .Photograph courtesy, US Forest Service, USDA.

Crustose lichens grow holding tightly to their substarte, which may be rocks or trees. Subtypes of crustose lichens are [5],

Powdery or Leprose

Endolithic

Endophloeodic

Squamulose

Peltate

Pulvinate

lobate

Effigurate

Suffruticose

Foliose lichens

Nephroma bellum, a foliose lichen: photograph by OSU Lichen Group,1999. Photographs of Pacific Northwest Lichens. Oregon State University, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Lichen Research Group.

Fruticose lichens

Pilophorus acicularis a fruticose lichen: photograph by OSU Lichen Group,1999. Photographs of Pacific Northwest Lichens. Oregon State University, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Lichen Research Group.

Diversity of organisms associated

Symbiosis

The algal or cyanobacterial cells carry out photosynthesis and provide nutrients for fungus. The fungal partener in turn helps algae with improved water and nutrient uptake and also helps to survive under extremely unfavorable environmental conditions as a unit.

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Habitat

What microbial processes define this environment? Describe microbial processes that are important in this habitat, adding sections/subsections as needed. Look at other topics in MicrobeWiki. Are some of these processes already described? Create links where relevant.

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Ecological importance

What kind of microbes do we typically find in this environment? Or associated with important processes in this environment? Describe key groups of microbes that we find in this environment, and any special adaptations they may have evolved to survive in this environment. Add sections/subsections as needed. Look at other microbe listings in MicrobeWiki. Are some of the groups of microbes from your environment already described? Create links to those pages. Specific microbial populations will be included in the next section.

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Current Research

Enter summaries of recent research here--at least three required

References

[Sample reference] Takai, K., Sugai, A., Itoh, T., and Horikoshi, K. "Palaeococcus ferrophilus gen. nov., sp. nov., a barophilic, hyperthermophilic archaeon from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimney". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2000. Volume 50. p. 489-500.

Edited by student of Angela Kent at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.