The growth of six saxicolous lichens transplanted to lime-rich and lime-poor substrates in south Gwynedd, Wales

Richard A. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objectives of this study were to investigate: (1) whether foliose lichen thalli could be transplanted from one substrate to another and (2) whether such transplants could be used to study the influence of the substrate on growth. Hence, six saxicolous lichens, with contrasting distributions on lime-rich and lime-poor substrates in South Gwynedd, Wales, were transplanted onto slate, granite, asbestos and cement. Fragments of the perimeters of thalli were glued to the different substrates using Bostic adhesive. Parmelia conspersa (Ehrh. Ex Ach.)Ach. and Parmelia saxatilis (L.)Ach., fragments increased in area over 15 months on slate and granite but decreased in area or did not survive on asbestos and cement. Fragments of Xanthoria parietina (L.)Th.Fr. and Physcia tenella (Scop.)DC. em Bitt. did not survive on slate and granite while some fragments survived but grew poorly on asbestos and cement. Parmelia glabratula ssp. fuliginosa (Fr. ex Duby)Laund. fragments decreased in area on all substrates and especially on cement and asbestos while Physcia orbicularis (Neck.)Poetsch fragments increased in area on granite and cement, decreased on asbestos and did not change significantly on slate. The results suggested that the distribution of P. conspersa and P. saxatilis was determined primarily by physico-chemical properties of the substrate. By contrast, P. glabratula ssp. fuliginosa may have responded to the transplant procedure while X. parietina, Ph. tenella and Ph. orbicularis may require nutrient enrichment to grow successfully on a substrate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-267
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • lichen
  • substrate
  • transplantation
  • growth
  • nutrient enrichment


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