Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 July 2016
In order to improve growth chamber protocols for lichens, we tested the effect of 1) wet filter paper versus self-drained nets as a substratum for lichens, and 2) gradual versus abrupt transitions between dark and light periods. For Lobaria pulmonaria (L.) Hoffm. cultivated on nets, RGR increased by 60% compared to those on wet papers, whereas abrupt on/off transitions between day/night gave as high growth rates as gradual transitions mimicking sunrise/sunset. Because thalli on nets had less surface water than those on papers, the higher RGR on nets likely resulted from less suprasaturation depression of photosynthesis. By supporting very high growth and eliminating any visible damage, the revised growth chamber protocols facilitate new functional lichen studies.
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