Updated: Jun 19
Did you know that lichens are not single organisms but a pairing of algal cells and fungi? This represents a “symbiotic relationship”, meaning that the two benefit from one another, and in this particular case they depend on each other for survival. The cups you see here are the mushroom part of the lichen. Like fungi, lichens use spores to replicate, and these little spore-producing fungal cups aid in the lichen’s reproduction.