- 1To assess how internal and external factors contribute to lichen growth, light, water and nutrient supplies were manipulated during 3 months in the field for the lichens Nephroma arcticum (L.) Torss. and Peltigera aphthosa (L.) Willd. Concomitant measures of weight and area gain, microclimatic conditions and investments in photobiont vs mycobiont tissue were also conducted.
- 2In both lichens ≈80% of the variation in weight gain was explained by a linear regression model including light received during wet active periods, chlorophyll a concentration and area gain. All three parameters had a positive effect on weight gain.
- 3About 80% of the variation in area gain was explained by a model including variation in weight gain, initial thallus specific weight, ergosterol and chitin concentration. The model was identical for the two lichens, with a positive effect of weight gain and thallus specific weight and a negative effect of ergosterol and chitin.
- 4Peltigera aphthosa grew faster than N. arcticum when exposed to the same environmental conditions. This could be explained by its higher chlorophyll a to ergosterol ratio, and a greater water-holding capacity prolonging the active time in light.