Multiple-scale environmental modulation of lichen reproduction

TitleMultiple-scale environmental modulation of lichen reproduction
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMartinez, M, Flores, T, Otalora, MAG, Belinchon, R, Prieto, M, Aragon, G, Escudero, A
Journal NameFungal Biology
Keywordsdevelopment, environment, lobaria pulmonaria, reproduction


It is necessary to understand how environmental changes affect plant fitness to predict survival of a species, but this knowledge is scarce for lichens and complicated by their formation of sexual and asexual reproductive structures. Are the presence and number of reproductive structures in Lobaria pulmonaria, a threatened lichen, dependent on thallus size, and is their formation sequential? Does any size-dependence and sequential formation vary along a climate gradient? Generalized linear mixed models were used to explore the effect of environmental predictors on the size and presence/abundance of each reproductive structure and to determine the probability of a given-sized thallus to develop any reproductive structure. The largest individuals are more likely to develop reproductive structures, and the lichen uses a mixed strategy of early asexual reproduction and late sexual. Macro and microclimatic variables also influenced  eproductive capacity. Relationships among climate conditions and lichen size and reproductive capacity can compromise the future viability of the species in the most southern populations of Europe.