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The spores come only from the fungal partner and do not contain any algal cells.

They may germinate after being shed from the fruiting body, but they will only be able to form a new lichen if they happen to make contact with a suitable algal partner.

The method works by using a series of photographs over a period of time, to work out the growth rate of the particular lichen.The individual bits are called soredia and they contain both the fungus and the algal partner together.In most cases, fungal spores are either produced in apothecia or perithecia on the surface of the lichen.There is uncertainty over the exact nature of the relationship between the fungus and the alga.Some people think the fungus may be a type of weak parasite, which doesn't kill all of the algal cells or, that it keeps the alga imprisoned as a kind of slave.

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