Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Exposición a la luz afecta la diversidad de químicos secundarios en las comunidades de líquenes en Monteverde, Costa Rica


Bonnie Waring



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Publication Date

May 2007


Most lichen produce secondary compounds that have a variety of functions, including pathogen resistance, deterrence of herbivory, and protection from irradiance. In lichen, production of a given secondary compound is a species-specific trait. Thus, community composition may be strongly affected by ultraviolet light exposure, since certain species are able to produce UV-screening compounds while others cannot. To determine the effect of UV exposure on lichen communities, lichen morphospecies were sampled in pasture, forest edge, and forest interior environments and assayed for the presence of UV-absorbing secondary compounds. The Shannon-Weiner diversity index of UV-screening compounds was significantly higher in the pasture (H’ = 1.98) than in the forest edge (H’ = 1.60) (t = 2.79, p < 0.05) and than in the forest interior (H’ = 1.60) ( t = 3.66 , p < 0.05). However, the forest edge and interior communities did not differ significantly from one another with respect to diversity of UV-protective compounds (t = 0.01, p > 0.05). This is persuasive evidence that UV exposure is a significant factor in determining the species composition of lichen communities. La mayoria de los líquenes produce químicos secundarios que tienen una variedad de funciones, incluyendo la resistencia a los microorganismos, resistencia a los herbívoros, y protección de los rayos del sol. Las especies de líquenes pueden ser identificados por los químicos que contienen, porque cada especie produce una substancia o un grupo de substancias específicos. Por consiguiente, es posible que la composición de las comunidades de líquenes sea afectado por la luz ultravioleta (UV), porque algunas especies pueden producir los químicos que absorben los rayos UV y otras no. Para determinar el efecto de los rayos UV en las comunidades de líquenes, las “morfoespecies” de líquenes fueron analizadas en los pastizales, en el borde del bosque y en el interior del bosque para encontrar químicos que absorben el UV.


Lichen communities, Comunidades de liquenes, Ultraviolet radiation, Radiacion Ultravioleta, Monteverde Biological Station (Costa Rica), Estacion Biologica de Monteverde (Costa Rica), Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone--Cerro Plano, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde--Cerro Plano, CIEE Spring 2007, CIEE Primavera 2007


Student affiliation : Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania Born Digital

Subject: topical

Lichen communities; Comunidades de liquenes; Ultraviolet radiation; Radiacion Ultravioleta; CIEE Spring 2007; CIEE Primavera 2007

Subject: geographic

Monteverde Biological Station (Costa Rica); Estacion Biologica de Monteverde (Costa Rica); Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone--Cerro Plano; Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde--Cerro Plano



Holding Location

Monteverde Institute MVI



Light exposure affects secondary compound diversity in Lichen communities in Monteverde, Costa Rica



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