Lichens - Lichens are organisms made up of fungi and algae connected in highly ordered ways that ensure benefits to both organisms. Is it fungi or is it algae? Yes! As they grow and respire they give off carbon dioxide and water. As some of the carbon dioxide dissolves in water, carbonic acid forms. The acid decomposes rocks very slowly and essential elements are released for growth of trees and many other organisms. They do not injure trees.
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See A NEW TREE BIOLOGY DICTIONARY, SHIGO, 1986, pg 64
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