Competition in lichen communities

Richard A. Armstrong*, A.R. Welch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Lichens are symbiotic organisms that often dominate stressful environments such as the surfaces of rock and tree bark. Whether or not competition occurs between lichens in these environments, however, is controversial. This review considers various aspects of the competitive interactions between lichens including the observational studies that suggest competitive effects may be important, the methods that have been used to study lichen competition in the field, the result of marginal contacts between lichen thalli, the attributes that may give a species a competitive advantage, and the role of competition in structuring lichen communities. These studies suggest that competition for space and light does occur in lichen communities and that individual lichen species can be excluded from a substratum as a result of competition. Moreover, competitive interactions in multi-species communities can also lead to stable assemblages of species. Future research should consider those aspects of the lichen symbiosis that may confer a competitive advantage and the factors that may promote stability in multi-species communities. Studies of competition in lichen communities may have implications for other stressful environments in which symbiotic organisms play a significant role. ©2007 Balaban.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalSymbiosis
Volume43
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2007

Fingerprint

Lichens
lichens
Plant Bark
Symbiosis
organisms
observational studies
thallus
symbiosis
Observational Studies
bark
rocks
Light

Bibliographical note

©2007 Balaban, Philadelphia/Rehovot

Keywords

  • lichen
  • competition
  • additive design
  • substitutive design
  • overgrowth
  • allelopathy

Cite this

Armstrong, R. A., & Welch, A. R. (2007). Competition in lichen communities. Symbiosis, 43(1), 1-12.
Armstrong, Richard A. ; Welch, A.R. / Competition in lichen communities. In: Symbiosis. 2007 ; Vol. 43, No. 1. pp. 1-12.
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Armstrong, RA & Welch, AR 2007, 'Competition in lichen communities', Symbiosis, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 1-12.

Competition in lichen communities. / Armstrong, Richard A.; Welch, A.R.

In: Symbiosis, Vol. 43, No. 1, 15.05.2007, p. 1-12.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Armstrong RA, Welch AR. Competition in lichen communities. Symbiosis. 2007 May 15;43(1):1-12.