Cruistose Lichen
A lichen is a plant formed from the symbiotic relationship between a fungi and either an algae or cyanobacteria. The fungus provides shelter and protection from the environment and the algae or cyanobacteria photosynthesizes, providing the organic molecules. Three main types of lichens exist in the Antarctic - crustose lichens, the lichen in this photograph, form a thin crust on the surface they grow on, foliose lichens have lobes resembling leaves, and fruticose lichens are shrub-like. All the Antarctic lichens have a high tolerance to drought and cold, but have very slow growth rates. Lichens in a marine environment grow fastest, about 1 cm every 10 years.

Torgersen Island, Antarctic Peninsula