Variation in hypothallus width and the growth of the lichen Rhizocarpon geographicum (L.) DC.

Richard A. Armstrong, T. Bradwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Variations in hypothallus width were studied in relation to radial growth in the lichen Rhizocarpon geographicum (L.) DC. in South Gwynedd, Wales, UK. Variations were present both within and between thalli and in successive three-month growth periods, but there was no significant variation associated with thallus size. In individual thalli, there were increases and reductions in hypothallus width in successive three-month growth periods attributable to hypothallus growth and changes at the margin of the areolae. Total radial growth over 18 months was positively correlated with initial hypothallus width. These results suggest: 1) individual thalli of similar size vary considerably in hypothallus width, 2) fluctuations in the location of the margin of the areolae in successive three month periods is an important factor determining this variability, 3) hypothallus width predicts subsequent radial growth over 18 months, and 4) variation in hypothallus; width is a factor determining between thallus variability in radial growth rates in yellow-green species of Rhizocarpon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-328
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • lichen
  • Rhizocarpon geographicum (L.) DC.
  • hypothallus width
  • radial growth
  • areolae
  • lichenometry


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