Only a very limited number of lichenised fungi have successfully adopted amphibious lifestyles. The most prominent taxa in temperate fresh and saltwater habitats are some species groups of the order Verrucariales (Ascomycota). They contain aquatic to semi-aquatic species, as well as many terrestrial ones.
In fact amphibious lichens have evolved independently several times in the species-rich genus Verrucaria s.I.
For this reason selected species groups of the order Verrucariales and their associated photobionts – the photosynthetic algal partner - were chosen as model groups to:
By investigating the evolution, ecophysiology and ecology of these groups, we hope to make it possible to: