Symbiotic Advantage

On their own, ascomycotes and cyanobacte-ria—or ascomycotes and fungi—are not able to grow in some places that they can grow in while teamed up as lichens. Lichens, for example, are a common sight on bare rock; over hundreds and thousands of years, the lichen partnership can erode rock into rich soil, changing geology into biology. The symbiosis between fungus and algae or green cyanobac-terium is to the advantage of both: the pho-tosynthetic component provides the fungus with the organic nutrients, access to which it might not otherwise enjoy; the fungus, for its part, retains water for both partners, dissolv ing mineral nutrients, and sensitizing the partnership to environmental change. Reproduction in lichens is via soredia, which are propag-ules composed of cells of algae surrounded by the fungal reproductive threads known as hyphae. Thus the lichen symbiosis—or rather, lichen symbioses, since many different species have come together to reinvent lichen—is not optional but hereditary; it makes a lichen a lichen. Lichens, which may also reproduce when bits are blown about to new locations, are among the first organisms to colonize barren areas. Very sensitive to air pollution (such as sulfur dioxide), lichens are also useful as markers of ecosystem health, a kind of herbal equivalent to the canaries that coal miners used to gauge gas leaks before they could become fatal to humans. Breaking down rocks, lichens release into nearby puddles, ponds, and streams the phosphate and nitrate compounds required by organisms, thereby generating nutrients for soil microbes and the roots of plants. All other things being equal, forest environments rich in lichens can be assumed to be healthy with a rich allotment of biodiversity.

Worm Farming

Worm Farming

Do You Want To Learn More About Green Living That Can Save You Money? Discover How To Create A Worm Farm From Scratch! Recycling has caught on with a more people as the years go by. Well, now theres another way to recycle that may seem unconventional at first, but it can save you money down the road.

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