Lichens fix carbon dioxide from the air to build biomass. Crustose and foliose lichens grow as nearly flat, circular disks. Smaller individuals grow slowly, but with small, steady increases in radial growth rate over time. Larger individuals grow more quickly and with a roughly constant radial velocity maintained over the lifetime of the lichen. We translate the coffee drop effect to model lichen growth and demonstrate that growth patterns follow directly from the diffusion of carbon dioxide in the air around a lichen. When a lichen is small, carbon dioxide is fixed across its surface, and the entire thallus contributes to radial growth, but when a lichen is larger carbon dioxide is disproportionately fixed at the edges of an individual, which are the primary drivers of growth. Tests of the model against data suggest it provides an accurate, robust, and universal framework for understanding the growth dynamics of both large and small lichens in nature.

A universal growth limit for circular lichens

Seminara A.;
2018

Abstract

Lichens fix carbon dioxide from the air to build biomass. Crustose and foliose lichens grow as nearly flat, circular disks. Smaller individuals grow slowly, but with small, steady increases in radial growth rate over time. Larger individuals grow more quickly and with a roughly constant radial velocity maintained over the lifetime of the lichen. We translate the coffee drop effect to model lichen growth and demonstrate that growth patterns follow directly from the diffusion of carbon dioxide in the air around a lichen. When a lichen is small, carbon dioxide is fixed across its surface, and the entire thallus contributes to radial growth, but when a lichen is larger carbon dioxide is disproportionately fixed at the edges of an individual, which are the primary drivers of growth. Tests of the model against data suggest it provides an accurate, robust, and universal framework for understanding the growth dynamics of both large and small lichens in nature.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1080673
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 1
  • Scopus 10
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 8
social impact