This lichen, growing on the bark of a Douglas Fir tree, is not a single organism but a living multi-organism formed by the symbiosis of specialized fungi and green algae. These cooperative species take on a great deal of vital Earth-work including nitrogen fixation, providing food and nesting materials for myriad species, serving as essential environmental and air-quality indicators, and a lot more hard-sciencey stuff that I don’t understand and am not qualified to elaborate on…

This particular specimen is a member of the Parmeliaceae fungi family, a family with more than 2,700 separately identified species-a guess I have…

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