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Contributors » sam » Fungus

Fungus discovered by sam (#4029)

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Sighting Info

Observed: July 27, 2014 @ 10:15 AM
Posted on: August 9, 2014 @ 1:01 PM (diff: 13 days)

Sighting's Identification

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Newfoundland Nature

Newfoundland Nature

Comments by Site Members (scroll to post comment)

By Mardon on 8/10/2014 1:10:49 PM

I'm no expert at this stuff but I would have thought that was a fungus rather than a lichen.  Just a thought.

By sam on 8/11/2014 12:02:02 AM

Thank you, Mardon, that is better than I can come up with.

By Lessa on 8/11/2014 9:56:26 AM

Agreed - it's a fungus, but not sure what kind. 

By Mardon on 8/11/2014 1:23:45 PM

From the little bit I've read about lichens, it might be useful to comment that lichens are actually composed of two different organisms (a fungus and an alga) in a symbiotic relationship.  But these two components together as lichen look very different than either the fungus or the alga growing separately.  It can be confusing that for taxonomic purposes lichen are placed in the Kingdom Fungi even though for practical purposes, the people who study lichens hardly ever study the standalone version of the corresponding fungi.  That's why it's acceptable to say that lichen are not a fungi even though thy contain a fungus and taxonomically are located in the Fungi Kingdom.  Hope I've got this correct.

By Lessa on 8/11/2014 1:30:21 PM

Mardon, I think you've got it! Lichenologists tell me lichens are "a symbiotic association between an alage (single celled plant) and a fungus"... So they are not technically an "organism" in and of themselves, although they have species names and are treated as unique by lichenologists since they are two organisms that when living in association produce something unique. 

It gets more interesting/confusing - some of the algae components (I think) can't live independent of the fungal host, while others can. As well, some of the algae can partner with various species of fungus (or maybe it's vice versa, or both). The more rare a lichen is seems to do more with the availability (abundance) of the algal partner, as far as I understand it. 

But, lichens are very fascinating and I'm only just starting to learn about them. 

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