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Journal Article

Water isotopes in desiccating lichens

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62359

Cuntz,  M.
Department Biogeochemical Systems, Prof. M. Heimann, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Hartard, B., Cuntz, M., Maguas, C., & Lakatos, M. (2009). Water isotopes in desiccating lichens. Planta, 231(1), 179-193. doi:10.1007/s00425-009-1038-8.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-D817-C
Abstract
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.