The levels of ribitol, arabitol and mannitol in individual lobes of the lichen Parmelia conspersa (Ehrh. ex Ach.) ACH.

Richard A. Armstrong*, S.N. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The levels of the soluble carbohydrates ribitol, arabitol and mannitol were measured in individual lobes of the lichen Parmelia conspersa (Ehrh. ex Ach.) Ach. Lobes were collected from a north and a south facing slate rock surface in South Gwynedd, Wales, U.K. on 4 days during 1990-1991. On each day sampled, the most significant variation in soluble carbohydrate levels was between the individual lobes of a thallus. In addition, carbohydrate levels were significantly greater on the south facing rock surface on 2 of the 4 days sampled. Factorial analyses of variance suggested that the levels of individual carbohydrates varied significantly between days but not between north and south facing rock surfaces. Mannitol levels varied less between days than arabitol levels. Levels of ribitol, arabitol and mannitol were positively correlated in individual lobes. A stepwise multiple regression suggested that on the north facing rock surface, arabitol and mannitol levels could be explained by variations in the level of ribitol. By contrast, on the south facing rock surface, the levels of fungal carbohydrates were less dependent on the level of ribitol and there was evidence of a relationship between arabitol and mannitol. Variations in carbohydrate production, allocation and metabolism could help to explain lobe growth variation in foliose lichens and the radial growth of lobes over a longer period of time. Greater carbohydrate production rather than differences in allocation and metabolism may explain the increased growth and frequency of P. conspersa on south facing rock surfaces in South Gwynedd. © 1994.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-260
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental and Experimental Botany
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1994

Keywords

  • Lichen
  • lobe growth variation
  • Parmelia conspersa
  • rock surface aspect
  • seasonal growth
  • soluble carbohydrates

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