Rhizocarpon geographicum

February 8, 2010

[Image: Yellow map lichen, by Freeman Patterson].

Yellow map or world map lichen is frequently used in lichenometry, a geobotanical technique employed to estimate the age of exposure of a rock surface. Since Rhizocarpon geographicum quickly colonizes newly-exposed rock surfaces and has a known rate of growth, geologists can, for example, examine glacially-deposited rocks and determine the rate of glacial retreat.

via ubcbotanicalgarden.org

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