Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 August 2006
Lichen growth and regeneration depend on the net photosynthetic production, the lateral allocation of products, on abiotic factors, competition and herbivory, and may therefore vary both in space and time (Hill 1981). Herbivores cause different damage to lichens in response to different thallus structure (surface toughness) and growth form, presence/absence of secondary compounds, and due to herbivore-specific differences in feeding (Lawrey 1984; Fröberg et al. 1993; Baur et al. 1994; Hesbacher et al. 1995). Regeneration of artificially damaged lichen tissue has been investigated in detail, for example in Xanthoria parietina (L.) Th. Fr. (Honegger 1996; Honegger et al. 1996). However, quantitative assessments of the regenerative capacity of thalli damaged by herbivores are so far lacking. Damage to lichens by grazing gastropods is made by highly specialized radulae and can therefore not be imitated by any mechanical treatment (Baur et al. 2000). Herbivory by snails also involves the production of saliva and mucus, which both could affect lichen regeneration.