Lichen thermal sensitivities, moisture interception and elemental accumulation in an arid South African ecosystem
Maphangwa, Khumbudzo Walter
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Elevated temperatures accompanying climate warming are expected to have adverse effects on sensitive lichen species. This premise was examined by measuring the sensitivity of different lichen species to elevated temperatures in the laboratory and in the field. Laboratory studies involved the exposure of nine hydrated lichen species (Xanthoparmelia austro-africana, X. hyporhytida, Xanthoparmelia sp., Xanthomaculina hottentotta, Teloschistes capensis, Ramalina sp., Flavopuntelia caperata, Lasallia papulosa, Parmotrema austrosinensis) collected from sites of different aridity and mean annual temperature for 2 hourly intervals to temperatures ranging from 24ºC to 48ºC in a forced daft oven and measuring their respiration rates and maximum quantum yield of PSII. Field studies involved simultaneous hourly measurements of ground surface air temperatures and Lichen effective quantum yield of PSII of hydrated lichen species populations under ambient and artificially modified environmental conditions.