Distribution patterns and interthalline interactions of epiphytic foliose lichens

TitleDistribution patterns and interthalline interactions of epiphytic foliose lichens
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsJohn E
JournalCanadian Journal of Botany

The foliose lichens of a corticolous epiphyte community were sampled using a grid of points and nearest neighbour sampling. Most species were found to have nonrandom distributions with respect to height and aspect on the tree trunk. The tendency of species to form exclusive patches and to contact other species showed large interspecific differences. Some formed monocultures and had fewer interspecific contacts than expected, while others did not form large patches and had more interspecific contacts than expected. Investigation of interspecific thallus overlaps revealed a hierarchy in which heavier species such as Flavoparmelia caperata (2.3 mg/mm2) overtop lighter ones such as Melanelia subaurifera (1.1 mg/mm2) more often than the converse is true. It is likely that being overtopped by another lichen puts a thallus at a disadvantage in competition for resources. The success of a species at overtopping another does not change according to location on the tree trunk. There was evidence that F. caperata excluded other species during succession.