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Lichen (mutualistic, not pathogenic) resembles simple plants, but are symbiotic organisms that consist of either algae or cyanobacteria combined with a fungus. They are primarily decomposers that grow on dead wood tissue and other organic debris. Severe lichen growth may indicate plant stress and decline.

Lichen (Kaiser, UKY)
Lichen.

(Photo: Cheryl Kaiser, University of Kentucky)

Management:

  • Eliminate plant stress (fertilize according to soil tests, mulch to conserve moisture, irrigation during dry conditions)

    

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