Discover Nature: Lichen - A Natural Mystery

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Manage episode 246411029 series 1256501
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Discover Nature this week and a natural mystery called lichen. "United we stand, divided we fall". And so it is with lichens. A lichen is made up of two unrelated organisms: a fungus and an algae. If the fungus and the algae were divided, the lichen would no longer exist. The fungus gives the lichen form and shape -- it also holds water and slows evaporation. The algae, a green plant, provides food for the fungus. Lichens look like nature's living carpet and are often seen covering rocks and trees in Missouri's Ozark region. Identified by the way they grow, lichens may have a soft, crust-like, or leafy appearance. They come in a wide variety of colors including muted greys and browns, green, bright orange, and red. They grow on almost any type of surface including bark, soil, rocks, and stones. They have even been found growing on glass, sun-bleached animal skulls, and the backs of insects! Lichens are quite hardy and are prominent in harsh regions where few plants can survive. Slow

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