T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Foliose lichen photos

Foliose lichens

Foliose lichens take their name from the fact that they are vaguely similar to "foliage," or leaves. These have an upper and lower cortex like a sandwich of fungal layers with algal mat in middle. They are generally raised to some extent above the substrate but connected to it by rhizines (Hair like growths that anchor the thallus to its substrate). They are easier to remove from their substrate because of this.

The top surface and underside of a lichen


Xanthoria spp. The bowl-like structures are apothecia which produce spores.
The fungal partner this lichen reproduces by shedding spores from its splash cups. These yellow splash cups are on the upper surface.. In wet conditions, the cup releases its spores and some are carried away on drops of water that splash into it. Once a fungal spore germinates, it needs to combine with a photosynthetic partner before it can form a new lichen.

A foliose lichen with fruiting bodies which instead of being tiny cups appear on the curled edges of the  body.



A Pseudocyphellaria spp on a fallen branch

Pseudocyphellaria spp The brown, bowl-like structures are 'apothecia': spore-producing structures that, in some ways, are a lichen's flowers. In wet conditions, the cup releases its spores and some are carried away on drops of water that splash into it.