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

Cross-section of a Lichen <em>thallus</em>

The <em>thallus</em> is the "body" of the lichen. It is made up of fungal hyphae and algal cells. The <u>cortex</u> is a layer of highly compacted fungal cells on the upper surface(and sometimes, lower surf...
Cross-section of a Lichen thallus

The thallus is the "body" of the lichen. It is made up of fungal hyphae and algal cells. The cortex is a layer of highly compacted fungal cells on the upper surface(and sometimes, lower surface) that protects the algal layer.
The algal cells (photobiont) photosynthesize sugars for the lichen.
The medulla is a spongy section of the lichen made up of loose fungal hyphae.
Not all lichens have a lower cortex (including crustose lichens).

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