Adaptation of lichens to extreme conditions

Richard A. Armstrong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Lichens exhibit the classic features of stress-tolerant organisms, viz. slow growth rates, considerable longevity, low demand for nutrients, and the presence of specific adaptations to survive in the most inhospitable environments on Earth. The ability of lichens to tolerate the extremes posed by deserts, polar regions, and chemically rich environments involves both morphological and physiological adaptation and changes in ecological behaviour so that species adapt to relatively protected niches within an extreme environment. This chapter discusses those aspects of the lichen symbiosis relevant to survival in extreme conditions and then describes the adaptation of lichens to (1) wet forests, (2) deserts, (3) the Arctic, (4) alpine regions, (5) Antarctica, (6) chemically rich environments, and (7) extraterrestrial environments such as outer space and Mars. It is evident that the lichen symbiosis is more tolerant to hostile conditions than its symbionts, morphological and physiological adaptations are intimately associated, and convergent evolution has resulted in similar changes in different environments.

LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlant Adaptation Strategies in Changing Environment
Pages1-27
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9789811067440
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Dec 2017

Fingerprint

Lichens
lichen
lichens
Physiological Adaptation
Symbiosis
Extraterrestrial Environment
symbiosis
deserts
Cold Climate
Mars
desert
Polar Regions
convergent evolution
Nutrients
polar region
symbiont
symbionts
Antarctica
Earth (planet)
Arctic region

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Antarctica
  • Arctic/alpine regions
  • Chemically rich environments
  • Deserts
  • Extraterrestrial environment
  • Extreme environments
  • Lichen

Cite this

Armstrong, R. A. (2017). Adaptation of lichens to extreme conditions. In Plant Adaptation Strategies in Changing Environment (pp. 1-27) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-6744-0_1
Armstrong, Richard A. / Adaptation of lichens to extreme conditions. Plant Adaptation Strategies in Changing Environment. 2017. pp. 1-27
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Armstrong, RA 2017, Adaptation of lichens to extreme conditions. in Plant Adaptation Strategies in Changing Environment. pp. 1-27. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-6744-0_1

Adaptation of lichens to extreme conditions. / Armstrong, Richard A.

Plant Adaptation Strategies in Changing Environment. 2017. p. 1-27.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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