Mag. Dr. Ulrike Ruprecht
University of Salzburg
Department of Ecology and Evolution
Tel.:+43 662 8044-5519
Lichens as symbiotic organism with a poikilohydric lifestyle (water content varies passively with surrounding environmental conditions) are able to cover niches which are mostly not occupied by higher plants. They often occur in extreme habitats like high alpine or polar areas.
The symbiotic partners (fungus, algae/cyanobacteria) are colonized by unique bacterial communities and all components together form specific association patterns along different elevational gradients and furthermore in-between continents.
Because of these specific associations lichens are perfect model organism to investigate climate-change scenarios along an elevational gradient.
- Ongoing Alpine related project: Mycobiont – photobiont – bacteria interactions in saxicolous crustose lichens as sensitive bio indicators in context of climate change
Ulrike Ruprecht, Ann-Marie Zein, Robert R. Junker