The ecology of lichenicolous lichens: a case-study in Italy

Author:
Nimis P.L., Pittao E., Caramia M., Pitacco P., Martellos S. & Muggia L.
Year:
2024
Journal:
MycoKeys
Pages:
105: 253–266
Url:
https://doi. org/10.3897/mycokeys.105.121001
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This paper, with Italy as a case-study, provides a general overview on the ecology of lichenicolous lichens, i.e. those which start their life-cycle on the thallus of other lichens. It aims at testing whether some ecological factors do exert a positive selective pressure on the lichenicolous lifestyle. The incidence of some biological traits (photobionts, growth-forms and reproductive strategies) in lichenicolous and non-lichenicolous lichens was compared, on a set of 3005 infrageneric taxa potentially occurring in Italy, 189 of which are lichenicolous. Lichenicolous lichens have a much higher incidence of coccoid (non-trentepohlioid) green algae, crustose growth-forms and sexual reproduction. A matrix of the 2762 species with phycobionts and some main ecological descriptors was subjected to ordination. Lichenicolous lichens occupy a well-defined portion of the ecological space, tending to grow on rocks in dry, well-lit habitats where a germinating spore is likely to have a short life-span, at all altitudes. This corroborates the hypothesis that at least some of them are not true “parasites”, as they are often called, but gather the photobionts - which have already adapted to local ecological conditions - from their hosts, eventually developing an independent thallus. Key words: Algal theft, host, lichenised fungi, photobiont, sexual reproduction, symbioses.
Id:
36541
Submitter:
zpalice
Post_time:
Saturday, 08 June 2024 12:02