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Can ammonia tolerance amongst lichen functional groups be explained by physiological responses?

Munzi, S.; Cruz, C.; Branquinho, C.; Pinho, P.; Leith, Ian; Sheppard, Lucy. 2014 Can ammonia tolerance amongst lichen functional groups be explained by physiological responses? Environmental Pollution, 187. 206-209. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2014.01.009

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Abstract/Summary

Ammonia (NH3) empirical critical levels for Europe were re-evaluated in 2009, based mainly on the ecological responses of lichen communities without acknowledging the physiological differences between oligotrophic and nitrophytic species. Here, we compare a nitrogen sensitive lichen (Evernia prunastri) with a nitrogen tolerant one (Xanthoria parietina), focussing on their physiological response (Fv/Fm) to short-term NH3 exposure and their frequency of occurrence along an NH3 field gradient. Both frequency and Fv/Fm of E. prunastri decreased abruptly above 3 μg m−3 NH3 suggesting direct adverse effects of NH3 on its photosynthetic performance. By contrast, X. parietina increased its frequency with NH3, despite showing decreased capacity of photosystem II above 50 μg m−3 NH3, suggesting that the ecological success of X. parietina at ammonia-rich sites might be related to indirect effects of increased nitrogen (NH3) availability. These results highlight the need to establish NH3 critical levels based on oligotrophic lichen species.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2014.01.009
CEH Sections/Science Areas: CEH Fellows
ISSN: 0269-7491
Date made live: 08 Apr 2014 11:15 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/506987

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