Lobe formation and division in the foliose lichen Xanthoparmelia conspersa

Richard A. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


New lobe development and lobe division was studied in the foliose lichen Xanthoparmelia conspersa (Ehrh. ex. Ach.) Hale. In thalli with either the centre or margin removed, the inside edge of the perimeter, the outer edge of the reproductive centre, and fragments derived from the thallus perimeter all regenerated growing points (‘lobe primordia’) within a year. Thalli possessing isidia had the greatest ability to regenerate growing points. In reproductive thalli, there was a positive correlation between the density of new growing points and thallus size. When fragments were cut from the perimeters of mature X. conspersa thalli and glued to pieces of slate, the ratio of growing points to mature lobes increased over 54 months. Lobes within a thallus exhibited different degrees of bifurcation. In some bifurcating lobes, the point of origin of the bifurcation advanced at the same rate as the lobe tips over 4 months but in most lobes, the bifurcation point either advanced less rapidly than the lobe tips or retreated from its original location. Removing adjacent lobes had no significant effect on the radial growth of a lobe over 4 months or on the location of the bifurcation point but it increased the number of growing points. These results suggest that for X. conspersa: 1) all portions of of thalli can regenerate growing points, 2) few growing points actually develop into mature lobes, 3) individual lobes within a thallus grow and divide differently, and 4) adjacent lobes inhibit the development of growing points on their neighbours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • lobe development
  • lobe division
  • foliose lichen
  • Xanthoparmelia conspersa (Ehrh. ex. Ach.) Hale
  • thalli thallus perimeter
  • regeneration
  • growing points


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