Lichens on Rocks

April 04, 2023



Photographer: Menashe Davidson   

Summary Author: Menashe Davidson   

Lichens are a complex life form that are different from any other plant or animal. This is because they’re not an individual organism, but instead the result of two distinct organisms (a fungus and an algae) living together in a symbiotic relationship. Fungi provide a moist, sheltered habitat for the algae (or cyanobacteria), which in turn provide food for the fungi. Because lichen rely on the atmosphere for all of their nutrients, they can grow almost anywhere. In general, an abundance of lichens is indicative of a healthy environment.

Rocks are a natural substrate for lichens, and they’re often the very first life forms to colonize freshly exposed rock surfaces. The photo at top was taken on January 10, 2023, in Ayalon Park, Israel; the bottom photo, showing lichens partially covering basaltic rocks, was taken on September 11, 2019, in Tenerife, Canary Islands.


Ayalon Park, Israel Coordinates: 31.8416, 34.9937

Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain) Coordinates: 28.2916, -16.6291

Related Links:

Firedot Lichen