3 years ago

Carbon-based secondary compounds in the lichen Hypogymnia physodes deter detrivorous woodlice

Woodlice are not widely recognized as lichen-feeding invertebrates. We sought to discover whether the woodlouse, Porcellio scaber, could feed on the lichen Hypogymnia physodes and if the lichen carbon-based secondary compounds CBSCs would reduce grazing. We cut lichen thalli in two pieces, one was non-destructively rinsed in acetone to remove CBSCs; the other served as a control. Both pieces were fed to woodlice in a choice experiment. The CBSC concentration of individual thalli ranged from 3 to 19%. The woodlice grazed all pieces, but preferred the acetone-rinsed pieces, depending on the amount of CBSCs present in the non-extracted counterpart. The woodlice were not deterred from feeding on samples with CBSC concentrations ≤5%, which corresponded to natural contents in shade-adapted thalli. This suggested that P. scaber tolerates this amount of compounds at least in the short-term. In conclusion, P. scaber can feed on H. physodes, but CBSCs deter them from feeding.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1754504817301459

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