Sophie Engert


My first short project is about the symbiosis of fungi and alga called “lichen”.

I discovered “lichen” on our first research outside in the Olympia Park Munich and documented it in a little info booklet. The illustrations show how “lichen” emerge and how they are structured. Besides that I added some photos of different “lichen” types which I took on my second research walk in the park. On my study about “lichen” I found an interesting and useful info about a test called “lichen exposition”. This natural procedure can show if the air pollution in our cities are too high or stable.

How do lichen emerge?

If the ground offers enough nutrients for the both of them, everything is fine, but if there aren‘t enough nutrients left in the ground to nourish from, the both build a „lichen“ survival team.

They profit from one another.

The fungi protects the alga from to much light irradiation. Besides that they nourish each other. The fungi provides salty minerals to the alga and the alga gives vitamines and carbon dioxide
to the fungi.

1) upper cortex – 2) algal layer – 3) medulla – 4) lower cortex – 5) rhizinae

The „lichen exposition“ is a natural procedure to test the current air condition in a city. If the air pollution is to high then the „lichen“ dies. This happens because the „lichen“ nourishes itself from air and humidity and has no surface protection as usual and can‘t regenerate that fast.




  1. I love the topic and those photographs! Unfortunately I can’t read the text next to the graphics here. Could you arrange the pictures with the according text here as well?

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