A lichen protected by a super-hydrophobic and breathable structure

Shirtcliffe, N.J., Pyatt, F.B., Newton, M.I. ORCID: 0000-0003-4231-1002 and McHale, G., 2006. A lichen protected by a super-hydrophobic and breathable structure. Journal of Plant Physiology, 163 (11), pp. 1193-1197. ISSN 0176-1617


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A species of lichen, Lecanora conizaeoides, is shown to be super-hydrophobic. It uses a combination of hydrophobic compounds and multi-layered roughness to shed water effectively. This is combined with gas channels to produce a biological analogue of a waterproof, breathable garment. The particular lichen grows mostly during wet seasons and is unusually resistant to acid rain [Hauck, M., 2003. The Bryologist 106 (2), 257–269; Honegger, R., 1998. Lichenologist 30 (3), 193–212]. The waterproof, breathable surface allows this lichen to photosynthesise when other species are covered with a layer of water. In addition, rainwater runs off the surface of the organism, reducing its intake of water from above and probably contributing to its resistance to acid rain.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Plant Physiology
Creators: Shirtcliffe, N.J., Pyatt, F.B., Newton, M.I. and McHale, G.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: 2006
Volume: 163
Number: 11
ISSN: 0176-1617
Rights: Copyright ©2005 Elsevier GmbH
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:15
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:23
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10109

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