In the nature, which of the following is/are most likely to be found surviving on a surface without soil?
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2021 Prelims]
(a) 1 and 4 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 3 and 4 only
- Ecologically, ferns are most commonly found in shaded damp forests of both temperate and tropical zones. Some ferns can grow on soil and rocks, while others are confined to rocky habitats.
- Moss is a small flowerless green plant that can grow on any substrate and reproduce through spores. Soil increases humidity but has no nutrient value for moss. Moss can attach its rhizoids to any suitable base, making it capable of growing without soil.
- Lichens are a complex life form that is a symbiotic partnership between a fungus and an alga. The fungus is the dominant partner, giving the lichen its characteristics, while the alga can be either green or blue-green. Lichens typically grow slowly and can form a crusty, leaflike, or branching growth on rocks, walls, and trees.
- Mushrooms are the fruiting body of certain fungi and can form a symbiotic relationship with trees. They can also be grown hydroponically. While they mostly grow in healthy soil, they can also grow due to spores in the soil, environmental factors, or overwatering of plants.