Do u know what ‘Lichens’ Are?
You must have noticed the green patches of irregular raised structures of about few millimeters (observe closely) on bare rocks, walls, branch of trees ,gravestones, window panes, that sporadic network of foliose are scientifically known as “Lichens” . Lichens are conglomerate organism living on this earth before the time of great reptiles. Lichens are pervasive and may be long-lived. They are the only organism which shows amazing composite relationship of fungus and algae. Lichens have got such a flabbergast endurance to survive in a hostile environment like desert, coast full of rocks, toxic scoria heaps, arctic. The term Lichen was first coined by the Father of Botany “Theophrastus”.
There are about 15000 species of lichens. Lichens commonly live under soggy and open condition but can endure intense desiccation. They are slow grower. Some lichens in arctic region are found to be 4500 years old. They show many incongruities in their coloration like they may be grey, yellow, green, orange, black, dark brown. Colored lichens are mostly toxic.
In semblance, lichens mainly are of three kinds- fruticose, foliose, crustose.
Fruticose lichens look like a bush and attach to the bottom by a disc for instance Usnea. Foliose, this kind of lichens have flat and lobed and leafy structure for example Parmelia. Crustose lichens are substratum compressed and crust-like Graphis, Rhizocarpon is all example of this.
Lichens are diminutive to say only they have got so many ecological beneficiary factors to save this earth from bipedal extra brainy minds. Lichens are considered as the pioneer colonizers of non- productive vicinity. Actually lichens secrete some acid which delineate the rocks and form cervices where organic matter amalgamates which help lower category plants to grow like mosses and grasses. In some country people also consume lichens as an edible food like in tundra main food of reindeer, musk is reindeer moss ( Cladonia rangifera) , in Iceland -Iceland moss ( Certaria islandica) is used as a food. Norway and Sweden consider a lichen alias Lecanora esculenta as bread of heaven. In Japan a vegetable stone mushroom is actually lichen scientifically known as Endocarpon miniatum.
Many biological stains like orcein, litmus have been extracted from lichen named Rocella tinctoria . Ramalina, Evernia, Lobularia pulmonaria are some lichens from which scented incense are formed.
Lichens have got many importances in traditional medicine as well. Usnic acid from Usnea and Cladonia has antibiotic property. Many ointments for wounds and burns have been prepared from lichens. It’s a true adage to say- “everything has two facets bad and good” So as lichens have. Apart from its importance let’s discuss some damaging effect of lichens- in hot season lichens are the reason to produce forest fires mainly by Usnea ( fruticose lichen).
As lichens loves humid place to grow and as mentioned above they secrete some acids which can etch the rocks, building, window panes, marble, and cement hence mutilate the human structure.
Lichens are great indicator of increase in air pollution especially pollution cause of sulphur dioxide, Hence known as environment “Biomonitors”. Actually lichens don’t posses any root system to absorb nutrient from soil for their survival so they cardinally depends on air to fulfill their requirement. And hence elements in lichens often reflect the accumulated composition of air. Lichens also don’t have guard setup like stomata and cuticle to cease the deposition of unwanted gases and toxic material like aerosol which directly affect its photobiont layer and eventually lichen die.
God is so creative no doubt, he created us and gifted humans with brain and so angelic nature. But the human creator was unaware of the fact of being betrayed by his creation. God made us and gifted his alluring garden of love to be glorified by humans but rather than doing so we have converted ourselves into a ‘mannequin of annihilation ‘.
So it’s the time to evoke the wave of empathy to protect our planet, to protect ourselves to enjoy being in the lap of nature.
Do u know what ‘Lichens’ Are?