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One also has to take into consideration that the lichen did not start growing as soon as the wall was built, it takes years for this to happen.
Only a relative date can be determined, and even then there may be some errors.
They vary in color like orange, yellow, green, brown, gray, or black (see Figure 1). They grow so tightly to the rock that it is nearly impossible to pull them off.
Crustose lichens are the most commonly used in dating a stone wall because they have the slowest growth rate of all lichen species.
The fungi are responsible for protecting the photosynthetic organism by producing a vegative body called a thallus.
The photosynthetic alga produces carbohydrates and provides energy for itself and the fungal organism.
On the other hand, if there are no other colonies of lichens, or the measurements are significantly different, it might be hard to get an accurate date. If the artifact one is studying is near an industrial park or factory, the results may be incorrect.'They grow about one millimeter per year, making artifacts easier to date.' Sometimes crustose lichens can show no increase in size for ten years.