Growth of foliose lichens: a review


This review considers various aspects of the growth of foliose lichens including early growth and development, variation in radial growth rate (RaGR) of different species, growth to maturity, lobe growth variation, senescence and fragmentation, growth models, the influence of environmental variables, and the maintenance of thallus symmetry. The data suggest that a foliose lichen thallus is essentially a ‘colony’ in which the individual lobes exhibit a considerable degree of autonomy in their growth processes. During development, recognisable juvenile thalli are usually formed by 15 months to 4 years while most mature thalli exhibit RaGR between 1 and 5 mm yr-1. RaGR within a species is highly variable. The growth rate-size curve of a foliose lichen thallus may result from growth processes that take place at the tips of individual lobes together with size-related changes in the intensity of competition for space between the marginal lobes. Radial growth and growth in mass is influenced by climatic and microclimatic factors and also by substratum factors such as rock and bark texture, chemistry, and nutrient enrichment. Possible future research topics include: (1) measuring fast growing foliose species through life, (2) the three dimensional changes that occur during lobe growth, (3) the cellular changes that occur during regeneration, growth, and division of lobes, and (4) the distribution and allocation of the major lichen carbohydrates within lobes.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Optometry
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Optometry & Vision Science Research Group (OVSRG)
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Vision, Hearing and Language
College of Health & Life Sciences > Clinical and Systems Neuroscience
Additional Information: The original publication is available at
Uncontrolled Keywords: growth,foliose lichens,early growth,development,variation in radial growth rate,lobe growth variation,senescence,fragmentation,growth models,environmental variables,thallus symmetry,thallus,autonomy,General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Publication ISSN: 1878-7665
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2024 07:06
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2011 11:56
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2011-01
Authors: Armstrong, Richard A. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-5046-3199)
Bradwell, Tom


Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record