Nature,  science

The Precious Coexistence of Nature: Lichens

In everyday life, how many things do we talk about that should be mutually supportive? Cooperation is sometimes intertwined with each other’s lives as a reciprocal relationship. But today we are not going to talk about the interrelationships between human beings, but about the wonderful bond of nature. That’s it.

What are these lichens?

“Lichens”. Some may be familiar with the word. Others may not even have an idea of ​​what this is. Lichens can be described as one of the most amazing symbiotic symbiotic associations on Earth, believed to have formed on Earth 400 million years ago. Lichens are a structure in which two groups of fungi and algae coexist. They reciprocate their basic needs.

The specialty of lichens is that they can grow on rocks, trees, etc., as well as anywhere on earth. They often come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and shapes. Green, gray, orange, and yellow lichens are common and are also found in other colors. Sometimes this color varies depending on the environmental conditions.

Lichens absorb mineral nutrients through its growing substrate, and algae cell parts produce photosynthesis from photosynthesis. Lichens therefore grow on plants, but are not parasitically dependent on plants, so it does not interfere with plant survival. An example of this is the growth of lichens on some rocky surfaces.

Where do these lichens grow?

Rather than asking where lichens actually form, it is better to ask where they do not exist. Because there is hardly a place where they do not grow. About 40% of the fungi in the family Ascomycota are coexisting as lichens. In almost all terrestrial habitats, from the North Pole to the South Pole, there are lichens that adapt to different environmental conditions. Lichens cover about 8% of the Earth’s surface and are able to sustain their existence, says Douglas Larson, a professor of biology at the University of Golf in Ontario, Canada.

Are lichens worth it?

If you ask me if lichens are valuable, you will be very interested in them. Of course the value of lichens is priceless. Lichens do some of the work for nature. The lichens that grow on the rocks decompose the rock fragments and contribute to the formation of new soil fragments that help maintain the balance of nature. Therefore, these lichens are important for soil reproduction ecologically.

Currently, about 15,000 species have been identified under 400 lichen groups in the world, of which the most abundant are lichen-shaped lichens. They are often found on plant stems, bark, decaying stems / stems, etc. Lichens found in the temperate zone as well as in the tropics are often found in association with natural forest systems.

Lichens are capable of efficiently absorbing various constituents. Lichens are able to absorb certain radioactive constituents such as strontium (90 Sr) and cesium (137Cs). Because of this, lichens can be described as a group of organisms that have the ability to naturally purify the atmosphere. Lichens reproduce sexually as well as asexually. Because they grow so slowly, a lot of time is spent on growth.

More than 700 secondary metabolites have been extracted and isolated from lichens, many of which are medically important. These are often produced as metabolic fluids, and are widely used in the perfume industry.
Fate of the future

Lichens, despite their high diversity and high metabolic productivity, are somewhat resistant to adverse environmental conditions, but are highly sensitive to pollution. Currently, air pollution is a serious threat to the survival of lichens. Because of this, lichens are recognized as an indicator of air pollution.

Recent global warming and changes in atmospheric composition have threatened the survival of lichens. Air pollution, primarily due to smoke emitted by factories and vehicles, is a very sensitive factor in the existence of lichens. Acid rain and significant changes in weather and climatic conditions threaten the survival of lichens.

Hundreds of species are becoming extinct every day in the face of recent environmental degradation by man. Who can say how long lichens, nature’s invaluable link, have survived on earth for millions of years?

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