© Copyright Elaine Teague all rights reserved.
Canon 7D, Canon EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens
Karri tree taken in the Porongurup National Park, Western Australia
Dedicated to the wonders of nature
Rocks provide the ‘parent’ materials for soil-building, but lichens initiate the process.
Lichens, a mutually beneficial partnership between a fungus and an alga, anchor themselves to the surface of bare rock with tiny thread like growths called rhizoids.
Lichens excrete acids and other compounds that dissolve the rock surface allowing the fungal partner to absorb water and nutrients. The algal partner produces food through photosynthesis.
Over many centuries, hollows form in the rock, trapping water, dead lichens, rock particles and other organic matter that eventually become soil. Mosses being to grow, retaining moisture and trapping more organic matter.
Ferns, flowers, grasses and other plants are able to germinate in the gathering soil and sponge-like moss mats. Perhaps a karri seedling will find a place to grow where once there was only a bare rock.
Source: Dept Environment and Conservation
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