Lichens provide a mode of survival in harsh environments for algae–lichens protect algae and thus algae are able to live in harsh conditions they cannot normally survive in. Lichens also provide a way to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen through photosynthesis. Lichens benefit the atmosphere in that they can absorb pollutants.
Just ask the caribou! They love feeding on lichen that they can find on the tundra. In fact, during the winter lichen is their main staple.
Lichens are viewed in nature as pioneers – blazing the trail to set a base for others to grow after them. Lichens are classified in three different forms: fruticose, foliose, and crustose. Here is a photo of a crustose lichen.
Photo credit: http://www.perspective.com/nature/fungi/lichens.html
Lichens have been used throughout history for medicinal purposes and it is estimated that roughly 50% of all lichen species have antibiotic properties. Researchers today are actively developing pharmaceuticals from lichens. Species of Usnea have been used to treat wounds and other medicinal purposes in Asia and the Pacific Island. On the other hand, “wolf lichen” is poisonous and has been used by northern Europeans and native peoples in North America for hunting.
Lichens are very important in that they indicate sulfur dioxide levels in the nearby region if they are saturated. Lichens also have many common uses, such as food, medicine, clothing dyes, perfume, and also various scientific purposes.
Click here to cancel reply.
Sorry,At this time user registration is disabled. We will open registration soon!
Don't have an account? Click Here to Signup
© Copyright GreenAnswers.com LLC