AAT 2021 Lichen - A Composite Plant Mini Sheet of 4 Stamps MUH

Issue date: 5 October 2021

A lichen is a slow-growing, composite plant comprising a fungus with either a green alga or cyanobacteria. It forms through a symbiotic relationship between the two; the fungus takes advantage of the carbon made by the photosynthesising alga and the alga is protected by the fungus and benefits from its ability to extract minerals from rocks.

Lichens are some of the oldest living organisms on Earth and one of only four main types of plants that grow in harsh Antarctic conditions. They have very slow growth rates (in Antarctica, from around one centimetre or more per 100 years to as little as one centimetre per 1,000 years). Lichens also possess several adaptations that enable them to survive in extreme conditions: they can freeze dry to survive the dark winters, when temperatures are below -20 degrees Celsius; they can absorb water from snow or the tiniest of melted droplets; and they can begin to resurrect under a blanket of snow in spring.

In Antarctica, three main types of lichens exist: crustose lichens, which form a thin crust on the surface of the substrate on which they grow (such as rocks or even moss); foliose lichens, which form leaf-like lobes; and fruticose lichens, which have a shrubby, coral-like appearance.

This stamp issue features close-up photographs of four lichens from hilly areas, near Australia’s Davis research station.


SKU 62810
Shipping Weight 0.0100kg
Shipping Width 0.050m
Shipping Height 0.010m
Shipping Length 0.050m
Shipping Cubic 0.000025000m3

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