This chapter shows how we can get some clues as to the nature of the first colonizers from what happens when bare rock is colonised today. The first organisms to get a foothold are usually not bryophytes, but lichens. Lichens are remarkable not only for their ability to colonise bare rock, but because they are a partnership between quite different types of life. The Swiss botanist Simon Schwendener was the first to realise that lichens are not single organisms, but a symbiosis between fungi and algae, across two of the fundamental divisions of life. By dint of his talent for botany, and a mastery of techniques of light microscopy, he rose steadily to become Professor at the University of Basel. Schwendener put forward his ‘dual lichen’ hypothesis, which, until the end of the nineteenth century, continued to be vigorously rejected by the lichenoligists of the day.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.