The effect of upper cortex absence on spectral reflectance indices in Antarctic lichens during thallus dehydration

Authors Name:   

Alla Orekhova, Michaela Marečková, Jana Hazdrová, Miloš Barták

Journal: Czech Polar Reports
Issue: 8
Volume: 1
Page Range: 107-118
No. of Pages: 12
Year: 2018


Publishers: muniPress Masaryk University Brno
ISSN:    1805-0689 (Print), 1805-0697 (On-line)
Language: English

In maritime Antarctica, lichens and mosses represent dominant autotrophs forming community structure of vegetation oases. In our study, we selected 4 most common lichen species (Xanthoria elegans, Rhizoplaca melanophthalma, Leptogium puberulum, Physconia muscigena) and monospecific colony of Nostoc commune typical for James Ross Island (Antarctica) for detailed physiological experiments. We investigated their spectral characteristics in response to hydration status of their thalli. In samples desiccating from fully wet (RWC, relative water content of 100%) to dry state (RWC = 0), photochemical reflectance index (PRI), and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were evaluated for control thalli and those with removed upper cortex. In this way, the effect of presence/absence of the upper cortex on PRI, NDVI was studied. PRI showed either no change or species-specific an increase/decrease with dehydration. Removal of the upper cortex caused both PRI decrease (N. commune, P. muscigena) and increase (R. melanophthalma, L. puberulum). Removal of the upper cortex led to increase in NDVI in all species, typically within the RWC range of 20-100%. Species-specific differences of hydration-response curves of PRI and NDVI are discussed as well as the role of the absence of the upper cortex in the evaluation of spectral characteristics in desiccating lichens.


Keywords: PRI, NDVI, cyanolichens, chlorolichens, Nostoc commune


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