Lichens on a tree

Eradicating Moss-like Lichen

Two different mosses can be seen on this apple branch. Orthotrichum sp. is the erect one and the other going down the side of the branch is Homalothecium sp.

Bruce McCune.

Usnea sp. is a fruticose lichen.

Bruce McCune.

The crustose lichen, Phlyctis argena, on this apple branch is often mistaken for a disease.

Bruce McCune.

Unknown algae growing on the wood siding of this barn.

Bruce McCune.

The foliose lichen on this apple branch is Parmelia sulcata.

Bruce McCune.

A.D. Davison and R.S. Byther, Professors emeriti of Plant Pathology, WSU

Algae, lichens, and mosses grow profusely on trunks, limbs, and twigs of many trees and shrubs. The cool, cloudy, wet weather in western Washington and Oregon is ideal for these organisms.

Algae are the simplest of green plants. They are present nearly everywhere and are numerous in almost any place that has sufficient moisture, such as on tree trunks and twigs, shrubs, soil, rocks, and walls, as well as in fresh and salt water. In large numbers, algae form the “scum” on ponds and wet areas of lawns.

Lichens have two components—a fungus and an alga living in association with one another to give the appearance of a single plant. Lichens grow on soil, on trunks and branches of trees and shrubs, and on rocks. Rarely are they found in water. Like the algae, lichens manufacture their own food. They occur in several forms, such as crusty gray, green, yellow, and white growths. Some are leaf-like, others resemble a tuft of horse hair hanging from the branches.

Mosses are green plants somewhat similar to algae except they have a complex structure that resembles stems and leaves. Because they contain chlorophyll, mosses can manufacture their own food. Mosses grow on soils, on tree trunks and branches, on rocks, and in water. Liverworts are closely related to the mosses and grow under similar conditions.

All these primitive plants contain chlorophyll and make their own food, so they do not directly injure the plants on which they grow. Heavy growth, however, may have disadvantages for the commercial operator or homeowner. Some people like the hitchhiking plants as they add a bit of color to shrubbery and trees in winter. At times, however, the growth becomes objectionable or unsightly, and it is desirable to control it.

Cultural Control

Reduce conditions favorable for growth of these hitchhiking plants by opening up the plant canopy to allow better air circulation and light penetration. Pruning both shrubs and overstory trees may be necessary. Reduce plant numbers to open up the landscape. Algae, lichens, and moss often become established on slow-growing plants. Therefore, improve plant vigor by proper fertilization, watering, and cultural management. In moist, humid climates, these practices probably will not eliminate these epiphytic plants, but they will reduce their number and vigor.

Chemical Control

A number of fungicides not only will control fungus diseases but also will kill algae, moss, and lichens. The copper-based fungicides, mancozeb and lime sulfur, are examples. In order to use the fungicides, you must find the plant that you want to spray listed on one of these labels. Since the dormant season is a good time to apply sprays for algae, moss, and lichen control, follow the label directions for disease control during the dormant season. You will note that during the dormant season, these fungicides are used in higher concentrations, making them more effective. They should not be used at these concentrations during the growing season because they can injure the leaves. When using these sprays during the dormant season, be careful not to get them on evergreen plants nearby because leaves may be injured. Also, lime sulfur should be used carefully around painted structures because it can stain.

One dormant spray should give adequate control. However, although the sprays may have effectively killed these growths, they will remain attached and visible for some time. Weathering and plant growth eventually will slough them off. The density of the original problem, the local environment, and the vigor of the plant will determine whether treatments are required each year.

Those using organic growing practices will find some of the copper-based fungicides and lime sulfur sprays acceptable. Cultural controls should be used in conjunction with any spray program.

Contents

  1. 1 Lichen and Algae Damage
  2. 2 Eradicating Lichen

Lichen and Algae Damage

Mid DECEMBER

QUESTION: Now that our fruit trees have lost their leaves, we have noticed that the branches are covered with grayish colored growths. Our neighbor told us the growths are algae and lichen and should be removed. How do we do this?

ANSWER: Algae and lichen are not particularly harmful to fruit trees. They usually develop on weak branches where light intensity is poor and humidity high. Lichens are frequently blamed for weakening and killing trees, but in reality they usually appear after the decline starts. Dormant spray treatments with lime sulfur will help to prevent lichens and algae from becoming established on tree branches.

Eradicating Lichen

Early DECEMBER

QUESTION: Both our fruit trees and some of our deciduous shrubs are covered with crusty, gray colored growths. What is this? Will it kill our plants? Should we be spraying with something?

ANSWER: The crusty, gray colored growths you are referring to are most likely lichens. The cool, cloudy wet weather in our area is ideal for these organisms. Lichens have two components a fungus and an algae living in association with one another to give the appearance of a single plant.

Lichens grow on soil, trunks and branches of trees and shrubs, and on rock. Lichens are found nearly everywhere, particularly under the most extreme environmental conditions. The Arctic tundra for example, is dominated by lichens. They serve as an important food source for reindeer. Worldwide, some 20,000 species can be found. They are rarely found in water.

Like algae, lichens manufacture their own food. They occur in several forms, such as crusty gray, green, yellow, and white growths. Some are leaf-like, others resemble a tuft of horse hair hanging from the branches. Some people like these plants for the color they add to trees and shrubs during the winter.

Some lichens are really primitive plants which contain chlorophyll and make their own food. They do not directly injure the plant on which they grow. Heavy growth however, may have a “suffocating” effect and can reduce the sunlight reaching the leaves.

One of the easiest things home gardeners can do to eliminate lichens is to simply prune infested trees and shrubs to allow better air circulation and light penetration. A dormant spray of lime sulfur applied in January will effectively control lichens on deciduous plants when used according to labeled directions. Do not apply lime sulfur on evergreen plants such as rhododendrons and conifers as it will damage the leaves.

JANUARY 2013

QUESTION: Now that all of the leaves have fallen from our deciduous trees and shrubs, we noticed a lot of the branches are covered with moss, algae and lichens. How do we get rid of this stuff?

ANSWER: Now that the majority of deciduous trees and shrubs have lost their leaves, gray, powdery, mossy , crusty growths have become highly visible. The combination of these growths often give heavily infested plants a ghostly appearance. Although most noticeable on deciduous plants, conifers may also become infested. The growths are a mixture of lichens, algae and moss which thrive in our cool, wet coastal climate. Home gardeners often wonder if these growths might kill their plants and if there is a way to prevent the growths from invading their plants.

Moss, algae and lichen growth on trees and shrubs in the home landscape may be unattractive, but in most cases it isn’t harmful to plants. In fact, some people have remarked they like the aesthetics of these growths by giving landscape plants a “mature” look. These primitive plants contain chlorophyll and make their own food so they do not directly injure the plants on which they grow. Despite this, there are still good reasons why they should be controlled. They can harbor insects and also hold extra water on the plant. During a freeze, the water turns to ice and adds weight to the plant, making it more susceptible to wind damage.

Lichens have two components, a fungus and an algae living in association with one another to give the appearance of a single plant. Lichens grow on soil, trunks and branches of trees and shrubs, and on rock. They are mainly gray to green in color. They may form as crusty patches, leafy mats, or upright branching or hanging growths that resemble a tuft of horse hair hanging from the branches. Lichens are found nearly everywhere, particularly under the most extreme environmental conditions. The Arctic tundra for example, is dominated by lichens. They serve as an important food source for reindeer. Worldwide, some 20,000 species can be found. They are rarely found in water.

Our wet winters favor the development of both moss and lichens. They are most prevalent where landscape plantings are crowded and in trees that have been pruned poorly or not at all. Opening up the plant canopy to allow better air circulation and light penetration will help prevent moss, algae and lichen growth.

Dormant sprays applied now, according to labeled directions should give adequate control. Be careful not to get dormant sprays on evergreen plants as leaves may be injured. Although dormant sprays will effectively kill these growths, they will remain attached and visible for some time. Weathering and plant growth eventually will slough them off.

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – Lichen

By Doug Hensel Talking Gardening With Doug

WHAT TO DO ABOUT LICHEN ON MY SHRUBS AND TREES

First, in doing some research for this blog, I found writing this blog more educational for me than I originally thought it would be. Over the years I have talked to many customers who wanted to know what was this grey looking barnacles growing on their dogwood trees or on their azalea plants. And, would it kill their plants?

Like with most anything in life, education and knowledge is the key to understanding lichen and their existence on our beloved trees and shrubs.

Here is a little biology lesson for you and for me:

Lichen is an unusual organism that is referred to as symbiotic between different organisms. Lichens are composed of a fungus (the body of the lichen) and algae (the part that photosynthesizes food for the fungus), living together in the same body. Lichens grow in a range of colors, from bright to grayish green. They are not parasitic or harmful to the plant. Lichen is not attributed to being the cause of poor health on any plant. Typically, less vigorous plants and plants with declining growth due to lack of light, poor conditions, and health are susceptible to lichen growth.

The number one question that I get from customers all the time. “My tree is dying!!! It has all of these greenish-gray growths on the trunks and branches. What is this disease and can I save my tree?” The bad news with my advice to these customers is that lichens are not the reason for the tree to be dying. When lichens are found growing on trees or shrubs, it may simply be a sign that a plant is naturally slow growing, such as a dogwood or Japanese maple, or that it is an older plant that is not growing at a vigorous rate. Lichens do not harm the plants they grow upon, but often plants that are struggling will be covered in them. When lichens are found growing prolifically on a plant that also has lots of dead twigs and branches it is usually a sign that something more serious is wrong. Lichen is rarely found on healthy, fast growing shrubs and trees because they are always shedding bark, making it difficult for lichen to attach. As I stated earlier, if you have a tree or shrub that now has lichen, and this has been accompanied by loss of leaves and dying stems, there is a very good chance your plant is not healthy.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT LICHEN?

Although there are no products listed to specifically kill lichen on shrubs and trees, spraying the lichen with COPPER FUNGICIDE can kill the fungal portion of lichen. Ultimately, the real question is why is the shrub or tree declining? We at The Great Big Greenhouse & Meadows Farms Nurseries are always here to help diagnose and discover what the cause could be. However, if the tree looks perfectly healthy and the lichen is on its trunk, there is generally no reason to be concerned. In my opinion, this lichen is just adding character to the bark of the host plant.

What’s that growing on my tree?

Ever notice something growing on the trunk of a tree? Mosses are common but seldom generate concern. Although, the microclimates of tree trunks can produce some intriguing life forms. In addition to mosses are many common lichens (pronounced LIE-kins), which are sometimes mis-identified as mosses or harmful fungi.

Lichens are a weird classification of living things, partly defined by what they are not. They are not plants. They do not have roots, leaves, or flowers. Lichens defy absolute descriptions.

Lichens have curious relationships, often complex and variable. Basically, a specialized fungus provides shelter for either a species of green algae or blue-green bacteria (or both, in some cases!). In turn, the algae/bacteria provide food and energy to the fungus via photosynthesis. These algae or bacteria grow within the fungal filaments. Lichens are different from either of their constituent parts.

Foliose greenshield lichen on oak.

Lichens are not parasites on trees or other plants. Lichens use tree trunks merely as a substrate, or a place to grow. They’ll grow on rocks, buildings, and other structures, too.

Worldwide, there are thousands of lichen species. They can occupy some fairly extreme environments. Lichens are long-lived and slow-growing. There’s an entire science involving lichens. They are classified by the shape and size of the non-reproductive structures, the “thallus” (not a term unique to lichens). Lichen biology has its own lexicon of unique terms.

Lichen taxonomy is largely based on the constituent fungus. Sometimes, the same fungus will harbor different species of algae. It’s the fungus that also produces the fruiting bodies, which produce spores. Identification to the species level may require the application of certain chemicals to see how the lichen color reacts. Needless to say, lichen ID isn’t always easy.

The more common lichen types in the Great Lakes area are grouped by “fruticose”, “foliose” and “crustose” appearances. The fruticose lichens are branched or tubed, and resemble mosses. The foliose appear flattened or leafy, and the crustose, as the name implies, are crusty. Most are pale green or brownish-green. Some are orange or yellow. However, the variety of appearances ranges widely.

Crustose lichen growing on rock.

Foliose lichen common on rock seeps.

Old man’s beard (Usnea longissima), British soldier (Cladonia cristatella) and reindeer “moss” (Cladonia rangiferina) are fruticose lichens, familiar to many people. Interestingly, the Latin genus for reindeer is Rangifer.

Fruticose “old man’s beard”, common in moist boreal forests.

The “green fungus” on a tree is usually a foliose or crustose lichen, often the genus Flavoparmelia. Again, harmless to the tree, although it’s been argued only an ailing tree grows bark slow enough to accommodate lichens.

The leafier lichen forms are often indicators of good air quality. These lichens decline or die when air becomes polluted with components such as sulfur or ozone. However, some of the crustose lichens may actually fare better in these environments.

Lichens are highly vulnerable to dry conditions, as they cannot control water loss. They will “come alive” and “go dormant” depending on moisture conditions. Pale, brittle lichen usually suggests a dormant state. Lichens with pliable thalli that are dark brown or dark green suggest that they’re actively growing.

The thalloid liverworts resemble foliose lichens. In fact, the green structures of this liverwort subgroup are also called thalli. Some of the mosses resemble lichens, too. However, without much practice, it’s usually pretty easy to identify a lichen as a lichen.

Lichens are one more intriguing and fascinating element of our northern forests.

Fruticose “British soldier” lichen.

Lichen has a lot to tell you about your trees

CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINEMAILMORE

Those green-blue growths that you see on tree trunks and branches are not mosses. They are lichens. Lichens are not killing your tree, nor are they causing it to fail. They are telling you something about your tree’s health, though.

First, what is a lichen? A lichen is composed of two or more different organisms. The organisms exist in a mutually beneficial relationship called symbiosis.

The components are a fungus and a green alga with perhaps a blue cyanobacterium. The fungus provides support and protection plus moisture and minerals from the atmosphere. The alga or bacterium makes food via photosynthesis. Together, they provide the sustenance that enables the lichen to exist. Tree bark is not used as a food source. It is simply a place for attachment. It is an epiphyte, sort of hanging out in a place where it is happy.

Lichen grow on many kinds of surfaces including trees, soil and rocks. The kinds that land on trees have found a stable surface that has sufficient sunlight, moisture, and minerals to sustain them. They won’t grow in heavy shade. Different species live on substrates other than trees (even gravestones and walls) for the same reasons of sufficient nourishment. They are not eating the substrate that they landed on. They do carry to new locations on wind and rain. Lichens are not mosses, by the way. Moss is a plant. It is not algal or fungal.

So why are lichens found on mainly dead or dying trees? They need sunlight for photosynthesis to provide food for themselves. During the summer the leaves of deciduous trees, which drop their leaves in winter, provide shade to help retain moisture. During the winter leaf drop allows more sunlight through. Lichens will attach and grow where moisture and sunlight are appropriate for photosynthesis to manufacture carbohydrates for sustenance.

When they are found on dead or dying branches, particularly when accompanied by thinning of the tree crown, they have located themselves because of the geater availability of light from leaf drop.

A resident brought in some branches of a redbud (Cercis spp.) that had lots of blue-green lichen at every joint and bud. All of the leaves had visible signs of downy mildew. The resident noted that the top of the tree was losing leaves.

The conditions described are a good example of the presence of lichen providing an alert that trouble may be arising and should be evaluated. Redbud should not be dropping canopy leaves right now. Canopy die-back is a warning of a potential disease for the species. The presence of downy mildew indicates another stressor, a moisture excess, that allowed a fungal infection to advance but not from the lichen.

We provided a list of certified arborists with the recommendation that the tree be evaluated on site for stressors including insect, disease, or environmental. Removal of dead branches to encourage new growth, or cultural change in watering or fertilizing might help the tree, but a tree expert needs to assess the cause.

You may have heard that lichens indicate good air quality. This is true. Lichens are very sensitive to air pollution and aren’t found in atmospheres that contain a lot of ozone, sulfur dioxide, or acid rain.

It is not true that lichen favor the North side of trees. Moss favor the shady side of trees and lichen is not moss. Moss is a plant. Lichen favor sun.

There is no need to try to remove lichen. It is not a parasite or other pathogen. This unusual organism cooperates to be self-sustaining throughout the harshest world environments and is beneficial to insects and wildlife for food and shelter.

Bernadette Eichinger is a Rutgers Master Gardener in Camden County.

Send your lawn and garden questions to [email protected] county.com, and include ‘Courier-Post’ in the subject line if you’d like to be considered for write-up in the column. A Rutgers Master Gardener will respond to all questions received.

Visit the offices at the Camden County Environmental Center, 1301 Park Blvd., Cherry Hill. Or call us at (856) 216-7130. Master Gardeners are there from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday. Bring your garden questions and samples for identification or diagnosis.

Master Gardener – Lichen may signal more serious problems

In winter gardeners and homeowners are more likely to notice a grayish green crusty or mossy-looking growth on the stems and branches of trees and shrubs.

Winter is a time when gardeners and homeowners are more likely to notice a grayish green crusty or mossy looking growth on the stems and branches of trees and shrubs. This common organism, known as lichen (pronounced “liken”), is a primitive life form and is the result of two different organisms, an alga and a fungi, living together.
Lichens will grow on anything that sits still long enough, including slow growing plants, tree trunks, rocks, fence posts, fallen logs, tombstones, and even the ground. When lichens are found growing on trees or shrubs, it may simply be a sign that that particular plant is naturally slow growing, such as Japanese Maple, or that it is an older plant that is not growing at a vigorous rate.
Lichens do not harm the plants they grow upon, but often plants that are struggling will be covered in them. When lichens are found growing prolifically on a plant that also has lots of dead twigs and branches and that produces few, undersized or off color leaves, it is usually a sign that something more serious is going wrong.
The root of the problem
Lichen are rarely found on healthy, fast growing trees and shrubs because they are always shedding bark, making it difficult for lichen to attach to them. If you have a tree or shrub that has recently been inhabited by lichen, which has been accompanied by loss of leaves and dying stems, there is a very good chance your plant is not healthy. In most cases, the plant’s problem is in its root system. Because roots are rarely seen it is easy to overlook how important they are to plant growth and health, when in fact the root system is the most important part of any tree or shrub. Roots provide plants with the water and nutrients they need to grow and survive. Just consider, a plant can loose all of its leaves and still recover, but if it looses all, or even most of its roots, it will die.
One of the most common causes of root system problems is drowning due to water logged soils. Though roots live in the soil, they must have oxygen to live and grow. This is especially true for the tiny, sensitive roots known as root hairs. These fine roots are responsible for absorbing the vast majority of the water and nutrients plants need each day. Oxygen exists in soil in the tiny spaces between individual soil particles, but when these spaces fill with water there is no room left for oxygen, causing roots to literally suffocate. In addition, soils that stay wet often harbor root rot diseases that can slowly or rapidly kill susceptible plants.
There are no curative products available to treat or eradicate root rot diseases. The main strategy for dealing with these soil dwelling diseases is to plant trees and shrubs that are resistant to them. Which trees and shrubs to plant will depend on which type of root rot disease is living in your soil.
Another case where low soil oxygen causes plants to grow poorly is in compacted soils. In these situations, where vehicle traffic or other factors have caused the soil to become hard and compressed, soil particles are pushed very close together, leaving little room for oxygen. Plants struggle in compacted soils because it is harder for their roots to penetrate through the soil, and low oxygen levels limit root growth. The only cure for compacted soil is deep cultivation and the addition of compost, which literally fluffs soils up, but this is only possible before trees and shrubs and planted.
Once plants are in the ground, it is difficult to improve compacted soils without damaging plant roots, though mulching with pine straw or bark mulches will slowly improve the soil as the older layers of mulch decompose. In very compacted soils where plantings consistently struggle, the best answer is often to dig up existing plants, improve the soil, and replant.
Roots can also be damaged during construction when they are cut by equipment digging in the soil or when heavy equipment compacts the soil they are growing in so severely they cannot survive. In these cases little can be done to remedy the situation. Whether or not a plant survives depends on how much damage was done and which species of plant it is, especially for trees since some can survive more damage than others. In all cases where root damage is causing plants to grow poorly, fertilizer will not help improve growth since damaged roots cannot take up nutrients very efficiently – the key to helping these plants grow better lies in finding out exactly what is going wrong and then fixing the underlying problem when possible.
Learn more
If you have questions about what is going wrong in your lawn, garden or landscape contact your local Cooperative Extension office. In Pender County, call 259-1235, bring samples to our office at 801 S. Walker St. in Burgaw or visit us online anytime at http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu and post your questions using our ‘Ask an Expert’ widget.

Large yellow fungus shelves attached to tree trunk. Sources: Laetiporus. Chicken of the woods.

When walking in the woods, if you stumble upon a large yellow or orange shelved mushroom growing on a tree, it is quite possible you have found a species of Laetiporus, colloquially known as chicken of the woods, among other name variations. If cooked correctly, it does in fact taste like chicken.

Laetiporus is a genus of edible bracket fungus, or a mushroom that grows on trees, that can be found around the world, including North America. The fungus causes brown rot, a type of wood decay, in its host tree, thus threatening the tree’s health.

Despite its parasitic nature, mushroom connoisseurs rave about Laetiporus because of its chicken-like flavor, making it a unique vegetarian alternative. The fruiting bodies, basically the mushroom’s shelves, are the edible part, which are rendered tasty only when cooked. The sources reviewed for this CSI claim that smaller, younger mushrooms have the best taste.

But the curious should be warned: a small percentage of people have mild allergic reactions to Laetiporus. If it’s your first chicken of the woods experience, start with small portions to see how your body reacts.

If you are not a seasoned mushroom hunter, we advise you consult a field guide before sampling what you think might be chicken of the woods…just in case.

Yellow Tree Fungus Stock Photos and Images

(6,289) Narrow your search: Vectors | Black & white | Page 1 of 63

  • Yellow Bracket Fungus growing on a tree beside the River Barle on Exmoor, Somerset
  • Green tinder / bracket fungus and dry leaf
  • Close up view of an olive tree bark texture with yellow fungus.
  • The Bracket fungus Laetiporus sulphureus growing on an old Oak tree in Bodium
  • Sulphur shelf mushroom (Laetiporus sp.), growing on Live Oak tree (Quercus virginiana), Dinero, Lake Corpus Christi, South Texas
  • Trees on the shores of a lake. A child lying down inspecting a small yellow fungi mushroom.
  • Brown shinning needles in moss on the fallen tree. Leaves forest in fall season in background.
  • Yellow tree fungus
  • Big yellow tree fungus, macro, autumn
  • Wildlife tree. Saved for food, shelter and nesting.
  • A Toadstool isolated on a white background.
  • Mustard-Yellow Polypore (Phellinus gilvus) on dead tree, Rolesville Millpond Natural Area, North Carolina, USA
  • Yellow brain fungi growing on a tree in woodland. Also known as butter fungus, witches butter or golden jelly fungus Latin name tremelia mesenterica
  • Porcelain Mushroom
  • Wild Mushrooms in the forest in autumn
  • Orange Trametes Fungus Detail on a Dead Tree Trunk
  • Yellow Fungus Growing On Tree Trunk
  • Yellow tree fungus on a tree branch, closeup
  • Small yellow tree fungus isolated on white background
  • Yellow Bracket Fungus growing on a tree beside the River Barle on Exmoor, Somerset
  • Yellow Brain, Golden Jelly Fungus or Witches’ Butter (Tremella mesenteric), Bavaria, Germany
  • fungi with yellow gelatinous sporophores on branch
  • Yellow plate Fungus growing on a fallen tree in a tropical rainforest, Paluma, Queensland, Australia
  • A yellow tree fungus growing in trees in Mexico which is used as a natural dye.
  • Yellow mushroom at base of tree
  • Yellow lichen and moss fungus growing on tree bark
  • Yellow Brain Fungus or Golden Jelly Fungus (Tremella Mesenterica) on Oak.
  • Common orange lichen (also yellow scale, maritime sunburst lichen or shore lichen) (Xanthoria parietina) on tree bark isolated on white
  • Wildlife tree. Saved for food, shelter and nesting.
  • close up of yellow fungus on tree stump
  • yellow mushroom fungus on tree stump
  • Yellow Slime Mould fungus on dead Corsican Pine tree stump, Wales, UK
  • Yellow shelved tree fungus Chicken of the Woods, Laetiporus Sulphureus
  • Wild Mushrooms in the forest in autumn
  • Orange Trametes Fungus Detail on a Dead Tree Trunk
  • High Angle View Of Yellow Fungus On Tree
  • Closeup of yellow tree fungus on a tree branch
  • Mushroom, Gurjee, Tripura , India
  • Huge yellow bracket fungus Laetiporus sulphureus on a tree near a river
  • Large yellow and orange Shelf or Bracket fungus grows on the trunk of a tree in early autumn.
  • Large, yellow and brown, flat fungus growing on the side of a tree on the Isle of Bute, Scotland.
  • Yellow Brain Fungus or Golden Jelly Fungus (Tremella Mesenterica), Tremellaceae, on Oak Tree, Somerset, UK
  • Men gather a yellow tree fungus used as a natural dye in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico.
  • Yellow mushroom at base of tree
  • Yellow fungi on girdled tree where the bark should be. Bracket fungi or shelf fungi grows in various sized tiers and gets larger than this new one.
  • Yellow moss fungus on a tree branch enlightened by sunlight, Mediterranean Sea, Malta.
  • Brightly coloured Yellow Stag-horn Fungus, a Coral fungus, growing in moss on a tree trunk in a dark forest
  • Wildlife tree. Saved for food, shelter and nesting
  • wild mushroom on a tree. yellow color
  • Tree fungus growing on a bark
  • Yellow Slime Mould fungus on dead Corsican Pine tree stump, Wales, UK
  • small bracket fungus (probably Crimped Gill, Plicatura crispa), alongside crystal brain or a washed out yellow brain fungus. There’s a pumpkin in the
  • Wild Mushrooms in the forest in autumn
  • Honey fungus (Armillaria mellea / Armillariella mellea) cluster growing on tree trunk in autumn forest
  • Close-up Of Yellow Fungus On Oak Tree
  • Tree Bark Up Close with Yellow Lichen
  • Tree trunk overgrown by yellow fungus
  • Huge yellow bracket fungus Laetiporus sulphureus on a tree near a river
  • With green mosses and Yellow-brown crust fungus, Stereum hirsutum, is a saprofyt and grows on dead wood
  • Large, yellow and brown, flat fungus growing on the side of a tree on the Isle of Bute, Scotland.
  • Mustard Yellow Polypore, yellow and brown tree fungus, Central Texas
  • Yellow orange fungus bracket fungus – growing on a tree trunk
  • Yellow fungus parasite on a tree close-up
  • Yellow fungi on girdled tree where the bark should be. Bracket fungi or shelf fungi grows in various sized tiers and gets larger than this new one.
  • Yellow mushrooms growing over mossy tree trunks in Santa Margarida volcano forest (Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park, Santa Pau, Girona, Spain)
  • Brightly coloured Yellow Stag-horn Fungus, a Coral fungus, growing in moss on a tree trunk in a dark forest
  • Wildlife tree. Saved for food, shelter and nesting.
  • wild mushroom on a tree. yellow color
  • Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) tree growing fungus attached to a trunk
  • Yellow brain fungus, Tremella mesenterica, growing on a dead, fallen branch and photographed in a studio on a white background. North Dorset England U
  • Swollen Yellow Brain fungi growing on a tree in woodland.
  • Wild Mushrooms in the forest in autumn
  • Yellow brain / golden jelly fungus / yellow trembler / witches’ butter (Tremella mesenterica / Helvella mesenterica) on tree trunk in autumn forest
  • Close-up Of Yellow Fungus Growing On Tree Trunk
  • Yellow mushrooms growing on a tree trunk
  • Yellow Brain fungus – Tremella mesenterica – on an oak branch with lichen
  • Huge yellow bracket fungus Laetiporus sulphureus on a tree near a river
  • Yellow crust fungus, Stereum hirsutum, is a saprofyt and grows on dead wood an is also knwn as Yellow Brown crust fungus
  • Large, yellow and brown, flat fungus growing on the side of a tree on the Isle of Bute, Scotland.
  • Small yellow and orange bracket fungus on a mossy tree stump with bark missing
  • Orange Yellow Fan Shaped Fungus or Wild Mushroom Growing on Tree Trunk, Rain Forest in Thailand
  • Yellow Lichen Xanthoria parietina Covering Tree Trunks At Pennington Flash CP, Gtr Manchester, UK
  • Yellow shelf or bracket fungi on old tree trunk. Large groups grow from bark. Yellow orange colours colors formed in tiers of various sizes.
  • Yellow bracket fungus or shelf fungus growing on a cedar tree, Wales, UK. The fruiting bodies are known as conks
  • Brightly coloured Yellow Stag-horn Fungus, a Coral fungus, growing in moss on a tree trunk in a dark forest
  • Wildlife tree. Saved for food, shelter and nesting
  • wild mushroom on a tree. yellow color
  • Yellow polyporus on the tree
  • Yellow brain fungus, Tremella mesenterica, growing on a dead, fallen branch and photographed in a studio on a white background. North Dorset England U
  • This fallen tree is quickly succumbing to the moss and fungus .
  • Wild Mushrooms in the forest in autumn
  • yellow toadstools growing in a tree
  • Close-up Of Yellow Fungus Growth On Bark Of Tree
  • big fungus on a tree close up
  • Chanterelle yellow and other mushrooms in a forest
  • Huge yellow bracket fungus Laetiporus sulphureus on a tree near a river
  • With green mosses and Yellow-brown crust fungus, Stereum hirsutum, is a saprofyt and grows on dead wood
  • Yellow parasite mushrooms growing on a fallen tree in the forest Yellow parasite mushrooms growing on a fallen tree in the forest
  • Bunch of yellow mushrooms growing on tree trunk. Close-up of funguses with wavy caps on beech bark in autumn woods. Blurred forest path in background.
  • Close-up photograph of Yellow spot fungus (Nectria peziza) crowded together on side of dead tree trunk.

Recent searches:

Search Results for Yellow Tree Fungus Stock Photos and Images

(6,289) Page 1 of 6312345678910

lichen

English

Lichen growing on a rock.

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin līchēn (“ringworm”), from Ancient Greek λειχήν (leikhḗn).

Pronunciation

Noun

lichen (countable and uncountable, plural lichens or lichen)

  1. Any of many symbiotic organisms, being associations of algae and fungi, often found as white or yellow patches on old walls, etc.
    • 1894 May, Rudyard Kipling, “Lukannon”, in The Jungle Book, London; New York, N.Y.: Macmillan and Co., published June 1894, OCLC 752934375, page 122:The Beaches of Lukannon–the winter wheat so tall, / The dripping, crinkled lichens, and the sea-fog drenching all!
    • 1895, H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, ch XI It was the same rich green that one sees on forest moss or on the lichen in caves: plants which like these grow in a perpetual twilight.
    • 1915, John Muir, Travels in Alaska, ch V The nibble marks of the stone adze were still visible, though crusted over with scale lichens in most places.
  2. (figuratively) Something which gradually spreads across something else, causing damage. Synonym: cancer
    • 1912 January, Zane Grey, “Shadows on the Sage-slope”, in Riders of the Purple Sage: A Novel, New York, N.Y.; London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, OCLC 6868219, page 202:Meanwhile, abiding a day of judgment, she fought ceaselessly to deny the bitter drops in her cup, to tear back the slow, the intangibly slow growth of a hot, corrosive lichen eating into her heart.

Hyponyms

  • (symbiotic organism): macrolichen, microlichen

Derived terms

Translations

symbiotic association of algae and fungi something which spreads across something else, causing damage — see cancer

See also

  • lichen on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
  • algae
  • fungus
  • Iceland moss
  • moss
  • reindeer moss

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 “lichen” in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary.
  2. 2.0 2.1 “lichen” in the Cambridge English Dictionary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  3. 3.0 3.1 “lichen” in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press.

French

Borrowed from Latin lichen, from Ancient Greek λειχήν (leikhḗn).

  • IPA(key): /li.kɛn/
  • Audio (file)

lichen m (plural lichens)

  1. lichen
  • lichénique

Further reading

  • “lichen” in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).

Anagrams

  • chelin

Latin

Borrowed from Ancient Greek λειχήν (leikhḗn).

  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈliː.kʰeːn/,

līchēn m (genitive līchēnos or līchēnis); third declension

  1. (literally) a cryptogamic species of vegetation growing on trees, lichen
  2. (transferred sense, medicine) an eruption on the skin of men and beasts, a tetter, ringworm
    1. (and especially) a callous excrescence upon the leg of a horse, used as a medicine

Declension

Third-declension noun (Greek-type, normal variant or non-Greek-type).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative līchēn līchēnes
līchēnēs
Genitive līchēnos
līchēnis
līchēnum
Dative līchēnī līchēnibus
Accusative līchēna
līchēnem
līchēnas
līchēnēs
Ablative līchēne līchēnibus
Vocative līchēn līchēnes
līchēnēs

  • līchēnifōrmis

Related terms

  • līchēna
  • līchēnicos

Descendants

  • English: lichen
  • French: lichen
  • Galician: lique
  • Portuguese: líquen
  • Spanish: liquen
  • līchēn in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • līchēn in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette, page 909/3
  • “līchēn” on page 1,029/1 of the Oxford Latin Dictionary (1st ed., 1968–82)

Today, such a relationship is called a “symbiosis,” and it’s considered the norm rather than the exception. Corals rely on the beneficial algae in their tissues. Humans are influenced by the trillions of microbes in our guts. Plants grow thanks to the fungi on their roots. We all live in symbiosis, but few organisms do so to the same extreme degree as lichens. If humans were to spend their lives in the total absence of microbes, they’d have many health problems but would unquestionably still be people. But without its alga, a lichen-forming fungus bears no likeness to a lichen. It’s an entirely different entity. The lichen is an organism created by symbiosis. It forms only when its two partners meet.

Or does it?

Lichen-forming fungi mostly belong to a group called the ascomycetes. But in 2016, Spribille and his colleague Veera Tuovinen, of Uppsala University, found that the largest and most species-rich group of lichens harbored a second fungus, from a very different group called Cyphobasidium. (For simplicity, I’ll call the two fungi ascos and cyphos). The whole organism resembles a burrito, with asco fillings wrapped by a shell that’s rich in algae and cyphos.

For many, it was a game-changing discovery. “The findings overthrow the two-organism paradigm,” Sarah Watkinson of the University of Oxford told me at the time. “Textbook definitions of lichens may have to be revised.” But some lichenologists objected to that framing, arguing that they’d known since the late 1800s that other fungi were present within lichens. That’s true, Spribille countered, but those fungi had been described in terms that portrayed them as secondary to the main asco-alga symbiosis. To him, it seemed more that the lichens he studied have three core partners.

But that might not be the whole story, either.

Look on the bark of conifers in the Pacific Northwest, and you will quickly spot wolf lichens—tennis-ball green and highly branched, like some discarded alien nervous system. When Tuovinen looked at these under a microscope, she found a group of fungal cells that were neither ascos nor cyphos. The lichens’ DNA told a similar story: There were fungal genes that didn’t belong to either of the two expected groups. Wolf lichens, it turns out, contain yet another fungus, known as Tremella.

Read: Is this fungus using a virus to control an animal’s mind?

This isn’t entirely new. Over the years, other lichenologists have detected Tremella in wolf lichens, but only ever in three specimens, and only in the context of abnormal swollen structures called galls. “It was thought to be a parasite,” Tuovinen says. “But we found it in completely normal wolf lichens that don’t have any kinds of bumps.” Tremella is right there in the shell of the lichen burrito, next to the cyphos. It seems to make extremely close contact with the algae, hinting at some kind of intimate relationship. And it’s everywhere. Tuovinen analyzed more than 300 specimens of wolf lichens from the U.S. and Europe, and found Tremella in almost all of them.

What is “lichen”

A lichen is a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria (or both) living among filaments of a fungus in a symbiotic relationship. The combined life form has properties that are very different from the properties of its component organisms. Lichens come in many colors, sizes, and forms. The properties are sometimes plant-like, but lichens are not plants. Lichens may have tiny, leafless branches ( fruticose), flat leaf-like structures ( foliose), flakes that lie on the surface like peeling paint ( crustose), or other growth forms. A macrolichen is a lichen that is either bush-like or leafy; all other lichens are termed microlichens. Here, “macro” and “micro” do not refer to size, but to the growth form. Common names for lichens may contain the word ” moss” (e.g., ” Reindeer moss”, ” Iceland moss”), and lichens may superficially look like and grow with mosses, but lichens are not related to mosses or any plant. Lichens do not have roots that absorb water and nutrients as plants do but like plants they produce their own food by photosynthesis using sunlight energy, from carbon dioxide, water and minerals in their environment. When they grow on plants, they do not live as parasites and only use the plants as a substrate.

Lichens occur from sea level to high alpine elevations, in a very wide range of environmental conditions, and can grow on almost any surface. Lichens are abundant growing on bark, leaves, mosses, on other lichens, and hanging from branches “living on thin air” ( epiphytes) in rain forests and in temperate woodland. They grow on bare rock, walls, gravestones, roofs, exposed soil surfaces, and in the soil as part of a biological soil crust. Different kinds of lichens have adapted to survive in some of the most extreme environments on Earth: arctic tundra, hot dry deserts, rocky coasts, and toxic slag heaps. They can even live inside solid rock, growing between the grains. Some lichens do not grow on anything, living out their lives blowing about the environment. It is estimated that 6% of Earth’s land surface is covered by lichen. Colonies of lichens may be spectacular in appearance, dominating much of the surface of the visual landscape in forests and natural places, such as the vertical “paint” covering the vast rock faces of Yosemite National Park.

The fungus benefits from the symbiotic relation because algae or cyanobacteria produce food by photosynthesis. The algae or cyanobacteria benefit by being protected from the environment by the filaments of the fungus, which also gather moisture and nutrients from the environment, and (usually) provide an anchor to it. Lichenized fungus may refer to the entire lichen, or to the fungus growing in it. The lichen combination of fungus with algae and/or cyanobacteria has a very different form ( morphology), physiology, and biochemistry to the component parts growing by themselves. Lichens are said to be “species”, but what is meant by “species” is different from what is meant for plants, animals, and fungi, for which “species” implies a common ancestral lineage. Lichens are really combinations of species from two or three different biological kingdoms, so there is no common lineage. By convention, lichens have the same scientific name as the fungus in them, and are not classified according to the species of the algae and/or cyanobacteria growing in them. The alga or cyanobacterium has its own, unique, scientific name ( binomial name). There are about 20,000 known species of lichens. Some lichens have lost the ability to reproduce sexually, yet continue to speciate. Recent perspectives on lichens include that they are relatively self-contained miniature ecosystems in and of themselves, possibly with more microorganisms living with the fungi, algae, and/or cyanobacteria, performing other functions as partners in a system that evolves as an even more complex composite organism ( holobiont). In Auugst 2016, it was reported that macrolichens have more than one species of fungus in their tissues.

Lichens may be long-lived, with some considered to be among the oldest living things. They are among the first living things to grow on fresh rock exposed after an event such as a landslide. The long life-span and slow and regular growth rate of some lichens can be used to date events ( lichenometry). Many lichens are very sensitive to environmental disturbances and can be used in cheaply assessing air pollution, ozone depletion, and metal contamination. Lichens have been used in making dyes, perfumes, and in traditional medicines. Few lichen species are eaten by insects or larger animals, such as reindeer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *