Our earth may be changing too swiftly for some of nature’s most diverse creatures to adapt as global temperatures continue to climb. According to a recent study, lots of species of microscopic plantlike creatures may grow too slow to catch pace with Earth’s transformations as the climate crisis unfolds.
These microscopic creatures are algae, which you’ve probably seen floating as a green film on the surface of a pond or lake. Algae and fungus, on the other hand, generate lichen colonies, which are the light-colored, curled spots that develop on trees and rocks in your garden. Algae have the adaptability to live in a wide variety of environments across the world, from the Arctic tundra to the driest dry deserts, thanks to lichen as their transport. Lichen is the most common kind of vegetation, accounting for 7% of the planetary surface area.
Lichen may grow at a rate of a few millimeters per year and live for thousands of years. Even if the lichen starts to fall apart and decay in the center, the outside border will continue to extend out like a ring. However, when it comes to evolution, these sluggish lichens operate at a snail’s pace: They don’t adapt rapidly enough to keep up with the changes our world is undergoing, particularly as it warms.
Trebouxia, a single-celled algae that lives within lichen, was researched by the researchers. These lichens with algal companions are found all over the world, with over 7,000 different species. The results were reported in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology on Tuesday. The researchers compared the genetic links of various algae species as well as their various habitats in order to better grasp how lichen may respond.
Researchers might follow the development of algae by developing family trees. The researchers discovered how long algae takes to adapt to a new habitat, including temperature, rainfall, and seasonal variations. According to the latest research, it may take thousands and thousands, if not millions of years for lichen algae to adjust to their favored conditions.
Tiesha loves to share her passion for everything that’s beautiful in this world. Apart from writing on her beauty blog and running her own beauty channel on Youtube, she also enjoys traveling and photography. Tiesha covers various stories on the website.