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Princeton University Press

The Lives of Lichens : A Natural History by Robert Lucking and Toby Spribille

The Lives of Lichens : A Natural History by Robert Lucking and Toby Spribille

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A richly illustrated guide to lichens and their biology

Existing at the margins of life, lichens are the result of symbiotic relationships between fungi and photosynthesizing partners in the form of algae or cyanobacteria. Comprising more than twenty thousand species, lichens are pioneers in diverse ecosystems, colonizing virtually any surface and growing at almost any altitude. Found in rainforests, polar regions, deserts, and your backyard, lichens embody a paradox of toughness and sensitivity, surviving trips to space yet endangered by even the slightest environmental changes from industrial pollution here on Earth. Lichens grow everywhere, but only on their own terms: no one has ever fully assembled a lichen in the lab from its component parts. 
The Lives of Lichens explores all facets of these peculiar organisms, blending stunning macrophotography and graphics with in-depth coverage of profiled species to provide an unforgettable tour of the marvelous world of lichens.

  • Features a wealth of color illustrations
  • Covers symbiosis, biology, architecture, evolution, taxonomy, and much more
  • Provides an up-close look at lichens in their ecosystems
  • Discusses human relationships with lichens
  • Essential reading for nature lovers everywhere
  • 288 pages
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