Thallus hydrophobicity: A low-cost method for understanding lichen ecophysiological responses to environmental changes

Author:
Koch N.M., Díaz Dominguez R., Fávaro A. & Stanton D.
Year:
2024
Journal:
Appl Plant Sci
Pages:
12(2): e11565
Url:
https://doi.org/10.1002/aps3.11565
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PREMISE: Methods to evaluate lichen thalli hydrophobicity have previously been described, but only recently has hydrophobicity been shown to be an important functional trait related to water regulation dynamics that could be used to predict future climate change effects. We describe a novel protocol to measure lichen thallus hydrophobicity that aims to be an easier and more affordable approach. METHODS AND RESULTS: Our protocol requires only a micropipette, distilled water, a tripod, and a smartphone or camera. Hydrophobicity is inferred from multiple metrics associated with the absorption times of standardized droplets (initial and total absorption time). We used a data set of 93 lichen taxa with different growth forms and from different biomes and demonstrated that this method is well suited for capturing different levels of hydrophobicity, including very hydrophilic species. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that this new protocol to measure lichen hydrophobicity is a rapid and low-cost method to assess an ecophysiologically based functional trait that can be used with almost no limitations, including in different climates, lichen species, and growth forms. ecophysiology, functional traits, hydration, lichens, water absorption, wettability
Id:
36461
Submitter:
jph
Post_time:
Thursday, 02 May 2024 16:19