Thursday, November 1, 2007
November has arrived..
Just finished the new arrangement for our front door... welcoming everyone.
I love to make this kind of arrangements, it is easy and a lot of fun to do.
In the end, color combinations come down to my personal preferences,
which I discovered through observation and experiment.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Lichens are all around you and are one of the most interesting plants in Open Space.
They grow on rocks, tree trunks and branches.
They don’t live on leaves because more time than one growing season is needed to establish themselves.
The growth rate of lichens has been estimated at one inch per century.
The most interesting thing about lichens is that they actually consist of two different kinds of living things-an alga and a fungus.
Lichen, therefore, is really a compound creature.
This association is called “symbiosis”.
The fungus is a network of small fungal root-hairs (called “hyphae”) that mechanically protects the algae which, in turn,
produces carbohydrates, organic nitrogen and vitamins, thus providing the fungus with growth materials.
In this manner, both organisms benefit.
In fact, scientists have attempted to separate the lichen fungi and algae and then tried to grow them on their own.
It didn’t work. Neither could grow without the other.
A community of lichens
Look at the picture with the Maple leaf, there is almost no bare rock.
Lichens of different colors cover virtually all of this rock.
Each color indicates a slightly different species of lichens.
Lichens eventually die and, when they do, their decomposition
creates a weak solution of carbonic acid that eats into the rock.
This “rock dust”, mixed with other organic materials makes a thin soil where mosses can grow.
Mosses, in turn, provide a base for grasses and other small plants.
Eventually there is enough soil for bushes and trees to get a toe hold.
In this manner, with time, rocky outcrops turn into soil and become forests.
Lichen, therefore, are “pioneer” plants that start the process of breaking down rocks to produce soil.
Hier ist eine grosse Liste von Weblinks in anderen Sprachen.
Wiktionary: Flechte – Bedeutungserklärungen, Wortherkunft, Synonyme und Übersetzungen
Commons: Flechten – Bilder, Videos und Audiodateien
Rote Liste der gefährdeten Arten der Schweiz (PDF)
Umfassende Website zu Flechten (englisch)
Flechten Belgiens, Luxemburgs und Nordfrankreichs (englisch)
Checklists of Lichens (englisch)
Chilenische Flechten (spanisch)