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Capturing Our Coast Wine & Science - Marine Lichen May- MBA

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The Marine Biological Association UK

The Laboratory

Citadel Hill

Plymouth

PL1 2PB

United Kingdom

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This Wine and Science is Marine Lichen May at the MBA, and we have the pleasure of listening to Dr Michael Cunliffe talk about his work on a marine group you wouldn't think about - lichens!


Symbiosis on the Seashore – past and present research at the Marine Biological Association on coastal lichens and their microbiomes.

Michael Cunliffe

Marine Biological Association of the UK & Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological and Marine Sciences, University of Plymouth.

Lichens are the fungal hosts for their symbiont photosynthetic algae and communities of non-photosynthetic bacteria. Lichina pygmaea is a saxicolous fruticose lichen that inhabits the marine intertidal zone throughout the North Atlantic coastline. In the intertidal zone, L. pygmaea are exposed to a dynamic range of extreme environmental conditions, including daily tidal cycles of seawater hydration/dehydration, large temperature fluxes and interspecies competition, and as a result, occupy a distinctive ecological niche compared to non-marine lichens. The Marine Biological Association (MBA) has a long history of studying L. pygmaea. Early work established the distribution of the lichen in the local area and later used this information to help understand how intertidal communities are structured on the shore, including the impacts of wave exposure. More recently, through the application of cutting-edge DNA sequencing tools, we are focusing the microbial components of the symbiosis, including the biogeography of bacteria that inhabit the lichen thallus and novel associated protist communities.



Date and Time

Location

The Marine Biological Association UK

The Laboratory

Citadel Hill

Plymouth

PL1 2PB

United Kingdom

View Map

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