Saturday, 30 July 2016

Lichens in mallee

Lunch time
We stopped for lunch in a conservation reserve beside the Morgan-Burra Road, the Goyder Highway. It was quite windy so we were glad of the shelter.

At first glance the grey vegetation doesn't look very exciting but I found lots of interest. A few of the shrubs were flowering (see next post), there were a few birds calling ... and there was the lichen.

Lichen is slow-growing so it was interesting to see a number of species on the trees, small shrubs and the ground.

The ground lichens are of particular importance because they help to hold the otherwise bare soil in place and provide habitat for small insects. Lichens on the ground are easily disturbed by animals like sheep, kangaroos and people and they take a very long time to recover.

Lichen growing on the soil
 Lichen on the ground
Lichen growing on the ground under trees and shrubs. This one was interesting because it wasn't attached to the soil.
The following lichens were growing on small branches of shrubs and trees. Often there were two or three species together and they were much more colourful than those on the ground.

1 comment:

macmsue said...

Great photos of really interesting plants.