LICHENS - Welcome to Explore the Unexplored...!!!

Lichen (pronounced lie’ken, from the Greek Λειχήν = tree moss) is not a single entity. Lichens are fungi that live in a symbiotic association with - a green alga or a cyanobacterium or both to fulfill its nutritional requirements. In the lichen association the fungal partner is known as the mycobiont and the green alga or a cyanobacterium is known as the photosynthetic partner or the photobiont.

The mycobiont provide the necessary substratum and also helps in the assimilation of moisture, micro and macronutrients for the photosynthetic partner to grow and in turn receive carbohydrates for their metabolic activity. This constant supply of carbohydrates enables the fungal partner to continuously grow and reproduce, unlike the free living fungi that appear only upon the moisture and nutrients availability. However lichens are extremely slow growing and long lived. 

This webpage will provide general information on lichens and a checklist, image gallery, identification key to common lichens of Tamil Nadu.