Growth phases in the life of a lichen thallus

Richard A. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The growth rates of thalli of foliose saxicolous lichens before and after the linear phase of growth were measured in 1973. Changes in the radial growth rate (measured as mm/year) with thallus size in the prelinear phase (thalli less than approximately 1.5 cm in diameter) were consistent with the hypothesis that early growth of these lichens is loagarithmic. When growth in the prelinear phase was measured as a relative growth rate (measured as sq cm/sq cm/year) there was a rapid rise in growth rate until about 3 mm thallus diameter and then a decline in growth rate. The radial growth rate of non-fragmenting thalli when compared with fragmenting thalli at different stages of fragmentation suggested that radial growth rate does not significantly decline after fragmentation of the thallus. This result is not consistent with a postlinear phase in the radial growth of a lichen thallus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-918
Number of pages6
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1974


  • growth rates
  • thalli
  • foliose saxicolous lichens
  • linear phase
  • radial growth rate
  • lichen
  • thallus


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