Lichens are fascinating organisms that come in a multitude the colors and shapes.Their appearance might be deceptively plant-line, however in reality they are different from any type of plant, pet or fungus. That is since lichen are not separation, personal, instance organisms, however instead the result of two (or more) distinctive organisms living together in a symbiotic relationship. The resulting biology is a partnership the is technically known as a lichenized fungi. This entity typically takes top top a kind very various than one of two people of the 2 free-living members the the cooperation (the fungus and also the algae). Amazingly, this association deserve to involve a combination of three or an ext partner organisms! In general, the algae includes photosynthetic colors that allow the lichen to record energy from the sun, and also in some cases to fix nitrogen indigenous the atmosphere into a mineral type usable through the organism. The fungal partner, in turn, supplies the lichen through a home, protects the from desiccation (drying out) and is maybe to relocate water and also nutrients to assistance life processes.

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Lichens are an extremely important materials of subarctic and arctic ecosystems due to their role in weathering that rock and minerals and also their contribution of nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil. Lichens are regularly the very an initial life develops to colonize fresh exposed rock surfaces high in the mountains, and also they instantly begin the very slow procedure of weathering minerals from the barren rock and also incorporating them into their bodies. As soon as lichens ultimately decompose, these nutrients become obtainable to other forms of plant life, precise breaking under rock into its component minerals that space then accessible for nutrition.

There room three main development forms of lichen:

Leaf-like, flattened expansion (Foliose)Growth tightly over a substrate, like a crust of repaint (Crustose)Growth prefer a leafless shrub (Fruticose)

Lichens deserve to be beneficial for producing dyes, indicating air and also substrate quality, and also providing a food resource for reindeer and caribou on the Seward Peninsula. Inspect out several of the most typical lichen genera you"ll find approximately Bering land Bridge!

Cetraria Lichen picture - Jason Gablaski


Cetraria are small to huge foliose lichens with narrow or channeled lobes. Regularly yellow, brownish, or blackish, these are extremely usual on the tundra and an essential element in reindeer and also caribou diets.

Cladina Lichen picture - Matt Jenkins


More commonly known together reindeer lichens, Cladina types vary widely and also cover a wide selection of land and also habitats. These are commonly shrubby and also vary in color ranging indigenous white, green and yellow. Together the usual name suggests, reindeer lichens are critical food source for neighborhood caribou and reindeer populations.They are uncovered in abundance transparent the tundra.

Cladonia Lichen Photo


Not come be confused with Cladina, Cladonia lichens room stalk-like, and also usually ideal identified by your cap of red fruit or your cup-like structure. Be aware though, these deserve to be tricky -- all lichens through these qualities fall under the Cladonia genus, but not every Cladonia have actually red fruit caps or the cup structure!

Xanthoria Lichen Photo


Lichens in the genus Xanthoria are easily recognized by their bright orange or yellow coloration. These space usually seen farming on absent faces roughly the Seward Peninsula, often where bird of food hang out. Xanthoria love nitrogen-rich atmospheres - and also incidentally, bird feces save high level of nitrogen, for this reason it have the right to be provided as one indicator of wherein you could find a raptor roost or nesting area.

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Umbilicaria Lichen Photo


This tool to large black foliose lichen is typically found on rock surfaces throughout the tundra. It can be identified by having actually a solitary point of attachments to the rock (like an umbilical cord), a dark top side and pale underside.