Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flexible partnership allows lichens to occur in different habitats

Date:
April 23, 2013
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
A group of researchers has discovered the survival secrets of a lichen that occurs in polar regions of the northern and southern Hemisphere, but curiously also dwells in the warm climate of the Mediterranean. The lichen is able to form symbiotic associations with different algae which helps to colonize successfully areas with vastly different climates.

The spiny heath lichen Cetraria aculeata occupies an extremely wide ecological niche. Potter Peninsula, King George Island.
Credit: Christian Printzen

Lichens are symbiotic organisms consisting of a fungal partner and one or several algal partners. The association is so close that scientists until 1867 were not aware that lichens actually consist of two different partners. After the Swiss botanist Simon Schwendener discovered the dual nature of lichens, lichenologists were focusing on the fungal partner when studying lichens, since it was often believed that only few algae are involved in the symbiosis.

Related Articles


Molecular studies have shown that it was a mistake to neglect the algal partner for a long time. The diversity of algal partners have been shown to be much higher than expected. In addition the study by Dr. Christian Printzen, Senckenberg Research Institute (Frankfurt), and his colleagues in Frankfurt and Madrid has shown that, by choosing different algal partners, lichen fungi are able to colonize different ecosystems.

The study focuses on the Spiny Heath Lichen (Cetraria aculeata), which has a peculiar distribution range. It belongs to the so-called bipolar species that occur in polar and alpine regions of the northern and southern Hemisphere. However, this species also occurs in the climatically different Mediterranean region with dry steppe-like vegetation. Dr. Printzen's studies now show that this distribution can be explained by the presence of different algal species in the polar vs. Mediterranean populations.

The paper, published in the open access journal Mycokeys, discusses the genetic differences of these algae and their evolutionary and ecological implications. "It is an example how molecular techniques in tandem with ecophysiological studies can enhance our knowledge of the biology of this fascinating type of symbiosis.," comments Dr. Christian Printzen the lead author of the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christian Printzen, Stephanie Domaschke, Fernando Fernαndez-Mendoza, Sergiо Pιrez-Ortega. Biogeography and ecology of Cetraria aculeata, a widely distributed lichen with a bipolar distribution. MycoKeys, 2013; 6 (0): 33 DOI: 10.3897/mycokeys.6.3185

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "Flexible partnership allows lichens to occur in different habitats." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423135111.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2013, April 23). Flexible partnership allows lichens to occur in different habitats. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423135111.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "Flexible partnership allows lichens to occur in different habitats." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423135111.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Watch Baby Goose Survive A 400-Foot Cliff Dive

Watch Baby Goose Survive A 400-Foot Cliff Dive

Buzz60 (Oct. 31, 2014) — For its nature series Life Story, the BBC profiled the barnacle goose, whose chicks must make a daredevil 400-foot cliff dive from their nests to find food. Jen Markham has the astonishing video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
World's Salamanders At Risk From Flesh-Eating Fungus

World's Salamanders At Risk From Flesh-Eating Fungus

Newsy (Oct. 31, 2014) — The import of salamanders around the globe is thought to be contributing to the spread of a deadly fungus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alcoholic Drinks In The E.U. Could Get Calorie Labels

Alcoholic Drinks In The E.U. Could Get Calorie Labels

Newsy (Oct. 31, 2014) — A health group in the United Kingdom has called for mandatory calorie labels on alcoholic beverages in the European Union. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Malaria Threat in Liberia as Fight Against Ebola Rages

Malaria Threat in Liberia as Fight Against Ebola Rages

AFP (Oct. 31, 2014) — Focus on treating the Ebola epidemic in Liberia means that treatment for malaria, itself a killer, is hard to come by. MSF are now undertaking the mass distribution of antimalarials in Monrovia. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins