5 years ago

Functional traits prolonging photosynthetically active periods in epiphytic cephalolichens during desiccation

By fluorescence imaging, we quantified how hydration traits and thallus size determine the duration of photosynthetic activity during drying in light and darkness for sympatric populations of three epiphytic old forest cephalolichens differing in specific thallus mass (STM) and growth form. Maximal PS II efficiency (FV/FM ) during drying in darkness and effective PSII yield (ФPSII ) during drying in light (200μmolm−2 s−1) was repeatedly monitored in lichens under controlled conditions, using chlorophyll fluorescence imaging with simultaneous recordings of wet mass. STM shaping the water holding capacity (WHC), water content in percent at start (WC), and water loss rate per thallus area (WLR) in combination determined the duration of active periods during desiccation between (r2 ad j =0.86) and within species (r2 adj =0.60–0.92). Lobaria pulmonaria with the lowest STM and the most upright growth form experienced the shortest active periods, Lobaria amplissima with the highest STM and the most prostrate growth form had the longest periods. Across the more compact species (L. amplissima, L. virens), WLR strongly declined with increasing thallus size, but weakly in the loosely attached L. pulmonaria. ФPSII , a proxy of photosynthesis, exhibited suprasaturation depression at maximal hydration. Fluorescence imaging allowed a rapid, non-invasive evaluation of the contribution of various functional traits to active periods in entire thalli during desiccation. A thick, prostrate growth form prolongs active periods by maximizing water storage, whereas a thin, loosely attached growth form uses a more flexible hydration strategy with shorter active periods.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0098847217301594

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