A lichen protected by a super-hydrophobic and breathable structure

Shirtcliffe, Neil, Pyatt, F. Brian, Newton, Michael and McHale, Glen (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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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jplph.2005.11.007


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 Bryotogist 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: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: acid rain, breathable, fungus
Subjects: C100 Biology
F300 Physics
F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Glen McHale
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2012 13:16
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 12:48
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/8323

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