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New species found on FGCU campus

 New species found on FGCU campus
Posted at 10:13 PM, Nov 21, 2023

FORT MYERS, Fla. — This photo shows a new species of lichen found on the Florida Gulf Coast University campus. Fungus and algae come together to make the structure. Many are found in nature, but this one is new.

Lichen at FGCU

Will Sanders teaches biology at FGCU.

“We weren’t looking for new species," he said.

Sanders, among 4 other lichenologists, Roberto De Carolis, Damien Ertz, Asunción de los Ríos, and Lucia Muggia, have compared this new lichen to others and they do not believe it's been found before.

They worked on a scholarly article to document the findings.

“It has a little tiny coral shrubby kind of appearance. It’s a very tiny lichen and there wasn’t anything I knew of that looked like that," Sanders said.

Now he's interested in learning about it's role in the ecosystem.

“Everything in nature is interconnected to everything else and if we don’t know what’s out there we can’t understand those interconnections," he said.