Carbohydrates in the hypothallus and areolae of the crustose lichen Rhizocarpon geographicum (L.) DC

Richard A. Armstrong, Stephen N. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Carbohydrate concentrations in the marginal hypothallus and areolae of the crustose lichen Rhizocarpon geographicum (L.) DC. were measured in north Wales, U.K. using gas chromatography. Ribitol, arabitol, and mannitol were the most abundant carbohydrates while a- glucose ß-glucose, fructose, sucrose, and trehalose were present in smaller amounts. The concentrations of arabitol, ribitol, mannitol, fructose, and a-glucose were greater in the areolae while the concentration of trehalose was greater in the hypothallus. Concentrations of carbohydrates varied little between sample days. Concentrations of polyols in the hypothallus were not correlated with those in the areolae. These results suggest: 1) the hypothallus has a lower demand for carbohydrates than the areolae or there is limited transport from areolae to hypothallus, 2) increased trehalose in the non-lichenised hypothallus may be an adaptation to withstand stress and desiccation, and 3) polyols are partitioned differently in the hypothallus and areolae.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009



  • Rhizocarpon geographicum
  • carbohydrate
  • gas chromatography
  • hypothallus
  • areolae

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