Irradiance prior to and during desiccation improves the tolerance to excess irradiance in the desiccated state of the old forest lichen Lobaria pulmonaria

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Hydrated thalli of the lichen Lobaria pulmonaria were either preconditioned to dim irradiance (DI, 5 μmol m−2 s−1) or medium irradiance (MI, 200 μmol m−2 s−1) for 6 h. After this 6 h period, the thalli were allowed to desiccate under the two respective irradiances. Thereafter, these dry lichens were exposed to high irradiance (HI, 1 000 μmol m−2 s−1) for 60 h. After this HI treatment, the maximal photochemical quantum yield (FV/FM) and the de-epoxidation state of xanthophyll cycle pigments (DEPS) were highest in thalli preconditioned to MI. Hence irradiance in the last hydrated period before sampling is significant for the physiological state of lichens. A standardized irradiance pre-treatment before start of experiments is recommended.

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