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individual (1) (noun, pl. individuals) – a unique, single organism. The concept of a biological individual is problematic for several reasons: (1) many organisms reproduce as clones, i. e., they have offspring that are genetically uniform and thus not unique, but nevertheless can act as single, separate units, which are not connected with one another; e. g., fungal mycelia easily break apart, forming new mycelia, that may be genetically uniform (clonal) but continue to grow separately; (2) symbiotic organisms often form "individual" units that are actually composed of a diverse assemblage of quite different organisms, thus, a lichen thallus may be composed of a mycobiont, a primary and secondary photobiont, a parasymbiont and several endophytic fungi and/or bacteria; on a macroscopic scale that particular lichen thallus therefore acts as an individual unit, but it can also be described as a entire ecosystem on a microscopic scale. (2) (adjective) –

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Other Resources: Flora Australia Fungi, Lichens  •  Glossary at Mushroom  •  Cornell Pl. Path.  •  APS Pl. Path.: A-D E-H I-M N-R S-V W-Z.
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