In a February forest, evergreens provide welcome color. But look more closely on the bark of trees, both conifers and hardwoods, and you’ll find other bright hues, from sunny yellows to blue-greens. These are lichens, common but often overlooked members of the winter woods.
Lichens have varied and intricate growth patterns, but with their small stature, they can be easy to miss. While they often seem plant-like, they are actually a symbiosis between fungi and one or two other kinds of organisms, algae and cyanobacteria. They are tough customers, surviving in habitats that thwart many other organisms, including the arid and exposed surfaces of rocks. [Read more…] about Lichens in Winter