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Ecophysiology and phylogeny of new terricolous and epiphytic chlorolichens in a fog oasis of the Atacama Desert

  • The Atacama Desert is one of the driest and probably oldest deserts on Earth where only a few extremophile organisms are able to survive. This study investigated two terricolous and two epiphytic lichens from the fog oasis “Las Lomitas” within the National Park Pan de Azúcar which represents a refugium for a few vascular desert plants and many lichens that can thrive on fog and dew alone. Ecophysiological measurements and climate records were combined with molecular data of the mycobiont, their green algal photobionts and lichenicolous fungi to gain information about the ecology of lichens within the fog oasis. Phylogenetic and morphological investigations led to the identification and description of the new lichen species Acarospora conafii sp. nov. as well as the lichenicolous fungi that accompanied them and revealed the trebouxioid character of all lichen photobionts. Their photosynthetic responses were compared during natural scenarios such as reactivation by high air humidity and in situ fog events to elucidate the activation strategies of this lichen community. Epiphytic lichens showed photosynthetic activity that was rapidly induced by fog and high relative air humidity whereas terricolous lichens were only activated by fog.
Author:Patrick JungORCiD, Dina Emrich, Laura Briegel-WilliamsORCiD, Michael Schermer, Lena Weber, Karen Baumann, Claudia Colesie, Philippe Clerc, Lukas W. Lehnert, Sebastian Achilles, Jörg Bendix, Burkhard Büdel
URN (permanent link):urn:nbn:de:hbz:386-kluedo-58744
Parent Title (English):MicrobiologyOpen
Document Type:Article
Language of publication:English
Publication Date:2019/07/05
Year of Publication:2019
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Date of the Publication (Server):2020/01/28
Issue:2019, 8 (10)
Number of page:21
Faculties / Organisational entities:Fachbereich Biologie
DDC-Cassification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
Licence (German):Zweitveröffentlichung