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The prevailing view of lichens for the last 150 years or so has been that they a composite organism resulting from a mutually beneficial relationship between a fungus and an algae. It turns out that recent research from the University of Alberta (which is in my neck of the woods) has found that this relationship is more complex than previously thought. Researchers found that a lichen may be made up of up to three different fungi and that no two lichens necessarily have the same mix of fungal partners. Most lichens are rather plain looking, not particularly flashy and are easily overlooked. What this research shows is how little we know and understand about nature that is right under our noses. One could easily spend an entire lifetime understanding and studying nature that is right outside ones doorstep without needing to go to any more exotic locations.
May the curiosity be with you. This is from “The Birds are Calling” blog (www.thebirdsarecalling.com). Copyright Mario Pineda.