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Lichen Basics

Lichens are amazing organisms. They are all around us and we hardly notice them. Found on soil, tree bark, rocks and even some under water, they are actually two organisms living together (symbiosis). The major component is a fungus (mycobiont), hence they are classified as fungi — the vast majority being ascomycetes. Lichens are fungi that have taken up farming, and they are known as lichenized fungi. There are four major growth forms — crustose, foliose, fruticose and squamulose.
To see the page on Lichens written by Dorothy Smullen, follow this link...

McIlvainea Vol. 29:

Animal-Fungal Interactions 4: Observations of Coleopteran use of Ganoderma and other fungi in the southern Appalachian Mountains

Umbilicaria mammulata, photo by Jason Hollinger
Todd Elliott

A diversity of North American beetles rely on fungi for a substantial portion of their life cycle, but there has been limited research into the larger ecological implications of these associations. The dieback of eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis) has led to an increase in the fruiting numbers of the shelf fungus Ganoderma tsugae; in some areas, this has in turn caused an increase in the populations of pleasing fungus beetles (Megalodacne heros).

This paper is the fourth in a series of research on Animal-Fungal Interactions, including bowerbirds, hedgehogs and brush-tailed porcupines.

Todd Elliott is a champion fiddler, storyteller, and performing artist who has played music and told tales on stages from Carolina to California. He has worked with TV networks including PBS, National Geographic Channel, and UNC-TV. Todd has been involved with research projects exploring biological diversity on six continents and has discovered and described organisms new to science. He is currently a PhD student in the department of Ecosystem Management, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia.