Lobe growth in foliose lichen thalli

Richard A. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The margins of foliose lichen thalli comprise individual lobes which grow radially and divide. This results in a complex marginal structure in which lobes differing in morphology, state of division, and growth pattern are crowded together. Various aspects of the biology of these lobes are reviewed including their carbohydrate supply, morphology, pattern of division and branching, the effect of lobe overcrowding and interactions between neighbouring lobes. As the thalus grows, lobes become increasingly crowded together and this restricts further lateral growth. Restriction of lobe width may be reponsible for the changes in radial growth rate (RGR) with size observed in foliose species. Various aspects of lobe biology may be responsible for lobe growth variation including the physical independence of lobes from their neighbours, the genetic origin of the lobes, and the pattern of lobe branching. Overall symmetry of a thallus is maintained by a fluctuating pattern of growth of individual lobes in successive months together with competition for space at the margin
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Topics in Plant Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • radial growth
  • foliose lichen
  • lobe division
  • carbohydrate supply


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