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An Investigation of the Role of Water (Rain and Dew) in Controlling the Growth Form of Lichens on Cobbles in the Negev Desert

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Dew and rain were measured along the north facing slope (NFS, with epilithic lichens predominating) and the south-facing slope (SFS, with endolithic lichens predominating) in the Negev (P = 95 mm) in order to evaluate the relationships between the abiotic conditions and the lichen growth form. Although insignificant differences characterize the rain and dew amounts with the epilithic growth form, high correlation was obtained between dew duration (r2 = 0.73) and the combined duration of dew and rain (r2 = 0.79). The data imply that daylight wetness duration rather than the amount of precipitation may explain the predominance of epilithic lichens at the shaded NFS.
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Keywords: Negev Desert; cobbles; dew; endolithic and epilithic lichens

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Earth Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel 2: Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

Publication date: 01 May 2011

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