Salt lichen

Belt of salt lichen

Distribution in scandinavian waters

Size: This species builds large patches and belts where it is difficult to discern between seperate individuals. Their thickness on the rock surface is less than 1mm.
Appearance: Salt lichens build a very thin layer and when it dries out tends to crack up into an irregular chequered pattern. The fruiting structures (perithecium), are partly depressed into the body. With its upper parts, the perithecies build small scattered wart like structures. The lichen is black and can shine a little. Bears a close resemblance to oil spills.
    Compare with Calothrix.
Depth: From the upper most reaches of high tide and upwards as far as the waves splash.
Environment: Found mainly on the northern and eastern sides of cliffs and rocks. The most evident and prominent belts form only where small waves reach the shoreline.
Misc.: Like the other lichens, the salt lichen is composed of both fungal and algal tissue. Both parts cooperate in a symbiotic relationship. The algal tissue can produce, amongst other things, sugars through photosynthesis, and the fungal tissue can, for example, absorb and store water. Salt lichen is perennial, and the areas it covers grow slowly. There are no large animals that eat salt lichen.
Classification: Salt lichen is part of the sac fungi group under the lichens.

Salt lichen     Other names

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Bo Johannesson | Martin Larsvik | Lars-Ove Loo | Helena Samuelsson