Planta

, Volume 233, Issue 2, pp 333–342 | Cite as

Do lichens have “memory” of their native nitrogen environment?

  • Silvana Munzi
  • Stefano Loppi
  • Cristina Cruz
  • Cristina Branquinho
Original Article

Abstract

This study aimed to deepen the knowledge about intraspecific mechanisms regulating nitrogen tolerance in lichens to wet nitrogen deposition. Thalli of the nitrophilous lichen Xanthoria parietina were collected from environments with different nitrogen availabilities and immersed in 80 mL of ammonium sulphate (NH4)2SO4 solutions with distinct concentrations (0, 0.025, 0.05 and 0.25 M) for 5 h per day during 3 days in a week. After each soaking event, lichens were air dried. After each treatment, maximal PSII efficiency, localization of ammonium ions, concentrations of K+ and Mg2+ and thalli buffer capacity were determined. Our results show that lichens are marked by their native nitrogen environment, since there were important differences between the physiological responses of X. parietina thalli previously grown in an area with high nitrogen deposition (nitrogen emissions of ca. 13,000 t/year) and those previously grown in an unpolluted area (nitrogen emissions of ca. 500 t/year). Greater N availability seems to enable X.parietina to cope better with the effects of nitrogen pollution.

Keywords

Ammonium load Buffer capacity Chlorophyll fluorescence Electrolyte leakage Membrane damage Xanthoria 

Abbreviations

Ca2+

Calcium ion

CsCl

Cesium chloride

H2SO4

Sulphuric acid

K+

Potassium ion

KNO3

Potassium nitrate

LaCl3

Lanthanum chloride

Mg2+

Magnesium ion

N

Nitrogen

NaOH

Sodium hydroxide

NiCl2

Nickel chloride

NH3

Ammonia

NH4+

Ammonium ion

NH4Cl

Ammonium chloride

NH4NO3

Ammonium nitrate

(NH4)2SO4

Ammonium sulphate

XA

Xanthoriaparietina from Arrábida

XH

Xanthoriaparietina from hyppodrome

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvana Munzi
    • 1
  • Stefano Loppi
    • 1
  • Cristina Cruz
    • 2
  • Cristina Branquinho
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ScienceUniversity of SienaSienaItaly
  2. 2.Faculdade de Ciências, Centro de Biologia AmbientalUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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