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Journal Articles Planta Year : 2009

Water isotopes in desiccating lichens


The stable isotopic composition of water is routinely used as a tracer to study water exchange processes in vascular plants and ecosystems. To date, no study has focussed on isotope processes in non-vascular, poikilohydric organisms such as lichens and bryophytes. To understand basic isotope exchange processes of non-vascular plants, thallus water isotopic composition was studied in various green-algal lichens exposed to desiccation. The study indicates that lichens equilibrate with the isotopic composition of surrounding water vapour. A model was developed as a proof of concept that accounts for the specific water relations of these poikilohydric organisms. The approach incorporates first their variable thallus water potential and second a compartmentation of the thallus water into two isotopically distinct but connected water pools. Moreover, the results represent first steps towards the development of poikilohydric organisms as a recorder of ambient vapour isotopic composition.

Dates and versions

hal-02658024 , version 1 (30-05-2020)





Britta Hartard, Matthias Cuntz, Cristina Maguas, Michael Lakatos. Water isotopes in desiccating lichens. Planta, 2009, 231 (1), pp.179-193. ⟨10.1007/s00425-009-1038-8⟩. ⟨hal-02658024⟩


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