Turkish Journal of Biology




This study investigated the relationship between nitrogen and carbon in the thalli of the lichen Evernia prunastri, with an emphasis on the role of the C/N balance in the response of this species to N excess. For this purpose, thalli collected at a remote site were sprayed for 5 weeks with NH_{4}NO_{3} (0.05 and 1 M) and (NH_{4})_{2}SO_4 (0.025 and 0.5 M) solutions, and later analyzed for their C and N content. The results showed that the total N content of thalli increased and the total C content decreased along with increasing N concentration in the treatment solutions. Consequently, the C/N ratio also significantly decreased in treated samples. The Fv/Fm ratio, taken as a vitality index, turned out to be positively correlated with C content and negatively correlated with N content. It is suggested that N stress is caused by the lack of compensation for elevated ammonium levels with higher C assimilation. It is concluded that E. prunastri is a suitable bioindicator of N pollution and that the C/N ratio deserves further investigation as a promising tool for early warning of N excess.


Ammonium, biomonitoring, fertilization, physiological parameters, symbiosis

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