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The lichens are useful to the nature as well as to the human life.

Some of the economic importances of lichens are:

  1. They are regarded as the pioneers who have inhabited the rocky habitat. The organic acids produced by them disintegrate rocks. The first lichen species is the Lichen condelarins.
  2. They are regarded as the soil formers since it breaks down the hard rocks into soil. Mosses are the successors of the crustaceous rocks.
  3. It is used as food by the higher animals. The Cladonia rangiferina is used as the rein deer moss. It contains Lichenin which is a carbohydrate which is similar to the starch.
  4. It is also used by the small insects like mites, caterpillar, snails etc as source of food. Some of the species of lichens are Aspicilia calcarea and Lecanora saxicola.
  5. Some of the lichens are also used as the food by the human beings. Example is the Cetraria islandica also known as the Iceland moss.
  6. It is also used in the treatment of many diseases like diarrhea, jaundice, fevers, epilepsy, hydrophobia etc. it is also used in the preparation of culture media. Parmelia saxatilis is used to cure epilepsy. The Usnea and Evernia furfuracea is used as astringents. Cladonia pyxidata is used to cure whooping cough.
  7. It is used for colouring the fabrics and paints. Lichens are source of litmus which are used in the laboratory it is produced from the lichen Roccella tentoria.
  8. It is used for the production of perfumes since it can retain the power of retaining the odor it is used.
  9. It is also useful in the tanning, brewing and distilling.
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