All photographs copyright (2003-2013) by Kris H. Light

Many of the rocks in the Organ Mountains were covered with colorful lichens. They were often growing on the northern side of the rocks where they receive a little less sun and retain a little more moisture. These organisms are <u>not</u> plants, they a...
Many of the rocks in the Organ Mountains were covered with colorful lichens. They were often growing on the northern side of the rocks where they receive a little less sun and retain a little more moisture. These organisms are not plants, they are a symbiotic combination of fungi and algae (the fungi give the organism its shape and store water, the algal cells photosynthesize and produce food for the organism. Lichens produce mild acids that help break down rock and eventually make new soil.

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