It is the end of the fourth week of my graduate studies. I am enthusiastically submerging myself in lichen – though my classes aren’t explicitly about lichen, I am doing projects on lichen in all of them.
Two of my classes are about speciation, how to define and classify and delimit species, so I have been thinking too much about what this means for lichen. Currently, lichen species are differentiated by the fungal partner, the mycobiont, even though different lichen species can have the same mycobiont but different photobionts (and/or a slew of other different symbionts). But why call lichen a species when it’s clearly more of an ecosystem? And how can you really truly understand its evolutionary history when you’re only considering the fungal component?
I miss making videos though I do not have much time for it this semester. For one of my classes I’ve decided to do a write-up, for my own psychological benefit, on the history of how we’ve defined lichen species boundaries and why we do it the ways we do now even though it, in my opinion, oversimplifies a complex interaction of species. Is there any interest in a video about this once I’ve accumulated information?
(P.S. Please reply with any simple educational or vloggy videos you might be interested in seeing. I want to share with you and make things accessible. If it gets me out of the house into the mountains of Utah, even better.)
Those who’ve replied so far, enthusiastically telling me to make more lichen videos: ARE YOU SURE BECAUSE YOU KNOW KNOW HOW MUCH I CAN TALK ABOUT LICHENS