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The Seashore

Sea Ivory (Ramalina siliquosa)

Sea Ivory

Sea Ivory is a distinct, brittle grey-green coloured lichen. It produces strap-like projections attached to the rock. This species is fruticose or hair-like and has a central area of loose fungal hyphae, an outer cortex of compressed fungal hyphae and an entrapped band of algae in between.

Lichens are a unique group being a symbiotic relationship between a fungus (called the mycobiont) and an alga (called the phycobiont). The former is the dominant component and the classification is based around it. The body, or thallus, has a characteristic growth form in this case fruticose. The Sea Ivory produces apothecia at the ends of the flattened thallus, forming small round discs. These release the spores.

The Sea Ivory is a lichen of the upper splash zone on rocky seashores. It is not on all seashores and is found mainly in the west. Where it does occur it can be very abundant. It prefers silica-based rocks.

See also White/grey Lichen and the Yellow/Orange Lichens

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