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Morphology influences water storage in hair lichens from boreal forest canopies
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2015 (English)In: Fungal ecology, ISSN 1754-5048, E-ISSN 1878-0083, Vol. 18, 26-35 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Hair lichens (Alectoria, Bryoria, Usnea) with high surface-area-to-mass ratios rapidly trap moisture. By photography and scanning we examined how internal water storage depended on morphological traits in five species. Specific thallus mass (STM, mg DM cm(-2)) and water holding capacity (WHC, mg H2O cm(-2)) after shaking and blotting a fully hydrated thallus increased with thallus area. STM was approximate to 50% higher in Alectoria and Usnea thalli than in Bryoria. WHC was highest in Alectoria while percent water content of freshly blotted thalli was lowest in Usnea. Thallus area overlap ratio (TAO), assessing branch density of the thallus, was highest in the two thinnest Bryoria; lower in the thicker Usnea. Within species, hair lichens increased their water storage by increasing branch density rather than branch diameter. The taxonomically related genera Alectoria and Bryoria shared water storage characteristics, and differed from Usnea. Hair lichens in lower canopies have among the lowest water storage capacity reported in lichens. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 18, 26-35 p.
Keyword [en]
Alectorioid lichens, Lichen function, Lichen traits, Specific thallus mass, Thallus area overlap, Thallus morphology, Water holding capacity
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-113851DOI: 10.1016/j.funeco.2015.07.008ISI: 000366064500004OAI: diva2:915068
Available from: 2016-03-29 Created: 2016-01-04 Last updated: 2016-03-29Bibliographically approved

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Esseen, Per-AndersOlsson, Therese
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Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
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