Dispersal in a population of the lichen Hypogymnia physodes

Richard A. Armstrong

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Dispersal of a Hypogymnia physodes (L.) Nyl. population was studied on an isolated Prunus blireiana L. tree at a site in North Seattle, U.S.A. Lichen propagules were trapped on adhesive strips pinned to four sites on the tree for 7 successive days. Soredia of H. physodes were frequently deposited on the strips but thallus fragments were rare. More soredia were deposited on the upper and lower branches than on the trunk, few soredia were deposited on the underside of the branches. The total daily deposition of soredia on the tree was positively correlated with average daily wind speed. Dispersal downwind from the tree was studied with squares of adhesive contact paper pinned to boards and located at intervals up to 25 m from the tree. Soredia and a few thallus fragments were recorded 25 m and 10 m, respectively, downwind on a day when average wind speed was 10.3 m/sec. The dispersal of soredia by wind from four individual thalli was studied over 10 successive days. Soredia were deposited from each thallus on each day mostly within 2 cm of the source. Higher wind speeds were necessary to dispersae soredia on days when the relative humidity was high. Soredia and thallus fragments were also dispersed by splash dispersal. More soredia were splashed furthest at a splash height of 90 cm. These results suggest that initial colonization of the tree by H. physodes may have occurred by wind-dispersed soredia. Subsequent spread probably occurred from established thalli mainly by the dispersal of soredia by wind and rain splash.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-363
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental and Experimental Botany
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1987


  • Hypogymnia physodes (L.) Nyl. population
  • Prunus blireiana L. tree
  • Lichen propagules
  • soredia
  • thallus fragments


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