The influence of climate on the dispersal of lichen soredia

Richard A. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationship between the daily deposition of soredia of Hypogymnia physodes (L.) Nyl. and local climatic records was studied in the field during three periods at a site in Seattle, WA, U.S.A: (1) 11 August – 16 September 1986 (Study A); (2) 16 December – 11 January 1987 (Study B) and (3) 8 July 1988 – 30 January 1989 (Study C). The soredia were trapped on adhesive strips placed at various locations on a Prunus blireiana L. tree for 24 hr periods. A correlation matrix of the data from all three studies revealed a negative correlation between soredial deposition and relative humidity; and a positive correlation with rainfall and temperature. A multiple regression and forward stepwise regression analysis selected relative humidity as the most significant climatic variable, i.e. more soredia tended to be deposited when relative humidity was low. Analysis of individual studies by multiple regression revealed: (1) no significant relationships between soredial deposition and climate in Study A; (2) positive relationships with temperature and wind speed in Study B and (3) positive relationships with wind speed and rainfall in the summer/autumn months of Study C; in the winter months no relationships with climate were found because few soredia were deposited. The data suggest that in the field seasonal photoperiod differences combined with moderately high temperatures and high relative humidity may promote soredial formation and accumulation on thalli prior to soredia dispersal. In addition, low relative humidity may promote soredial release while wind and raindrops may be possible agents of dispersal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-245
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental and Experimental Botany
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1991


  • daily deposition
  • soredia of Hypogymnia physodes (L.) Nyl.
  • climatic records
  • Prunus blireiana L.
  • relative humidity
  • rainfall
  • temperature


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