lichenaday: Ramalina lacera One of the many things that make…


Ramalina lacera

One of the many things that make lichen so incredible is their ability to adapt to to whatever life throws at them. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again–lichens are the ultimate survivors! And in this time of turmoil, we can look to their ability to get through difficult times as inspiration. The hardy pal I bring to you today is R. lacera! This fruticose lichen forms a multitude of palmate and irregular branches from a single holdfast, and can reach up to 10 cm long. The upper surface is pale yellowish-green, and lower surface is pale yellow to brown. Greenish or whitish soredia are common, and orbicular pseudocyphellae are uncommon. R. lacera can be found on the nutrient rich bark of coastal trees or shrubs, and occasionally on rocks. It is common in Europe (particularly in the Mediterranean), South Africa, South America and North America, preferring temperate and warm areas. Mediterranean and chaparral habitats like these often go through long periods with little to no rainfall, and R. lacera is adapted to dry out for long periods or time, and absorb whatever moisture it can from fog or dew. To survive these long dry spells, R. lacera alters its internal chemistry to reduce photosynthesis and respiration. And when moisture is available, it very quickly adjusts and becomes productive again with little to no damage to its cells! It has also been shown to alter its internal chemistry to adjust to living on different substrates, and to adjust to different pollution levels. Not that any of these things are a choice of consciousness, but it is an important lesson in how internal chemistry can change and adapt to stress. And hey! Human bodies do this too! So if you are feeling a little, lets say,chemically imbalanced lately, just recognize that your body is doing its best to try to help you survive, and you can get through this. Look to the lichens, folks. 

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