The Lichenologist


New morphological aspects of cephalodium formation in the lichen Lobaria pulmonaria (Lecanorales, Ascomycota)

Carolina CORNEJOa1 and Christoph SCHEIDEGGERa1

a1 Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland. Email:


Cephalodia were investigated on young and mature thalli of Lobaria pulmonaria. Cephalodia originate from contact between hyphae and cyanobacteria on the upper or lower cortex or, less frequently, in the apical zone. Young thalli were found to associate with cyanobacteria even in the anchoring zone. Cephalodia formed on the young thalli or the anchoring hyphae share the same phenotypic characteristics. In spite of being composed of paraplectenchymatous hyphae, the cortex of mature thalli preserves a considerable plasticity, enabling the formation of cephalodia. The cyanobacterial incorporation process begins with cortical hyphae growing out towards adjacent cyanobacterial colonies, enveloping them and incorporating them into the thallus. The incorporation process is the same on the upper and the lower cortex. Early stages of cephalodia are usually found in young lobes, whereas in the older parts of the thallus only mature cephalodia are found.

(Accepted June 26 2012)

Key words

  • cephalodia;
  • cephalodiate lichen;
  • Nostoc ;
  • tripartite lichen