The fungal partner of most lichens reproduces by shedding spores from its splash cups. These orange splash cups are on the upper surface of Sticta filix. In wet conditions, the cup releases its spores and some are carried away on drops of water that splash into it. Once a fungal spore germinates, it needs to combine with a photosynthetic partner before it can form a new lichen.
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Photograph by Bill Malcolm
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