︎WHAT IS A LICHEN?
Lichens are symbiotic organisms formed by fungi, algae, and/or cyanobacteria. They are found on all seven continents and have even survived in outer space! They are ancient organisms that begin to show up in the fossil record around the Devonian, close to 400 million years ago! They have a broad distribution on all seven continents and can be found growing on rocks, bark, leaves, old metal cars, and even soil. These unique life forms also have useful roles as biomonitors and ecological indicators that can tell us about the quality of the air, water, and even soil.