Measurements of thalli of Rhizocarpon geographicum on the recent moraines of the Glacier de Valsorey and their surroundings are considered in relation to thallus growth rates and colonization following glacial recession. Photographs taken in 1975 and 1979 show that up to c. 3.5 cm diam the relation of maximum growth-rate to thallus size is approximated by a growth curve of the kind derived by Aplin and Hill, rising asymptotically towards a constant rate of radial growth (here c. 0.5 mm year−1). Growth-rates of many individual thalli fall well below the maximum. Parameters of the fitted growth curves are used to construct curves of thallus radius against time. Taken in conjunction with the field measurements these suggest two main phases of colonization, one from about 1880 to 1910, and one from about 1930 onwards. Some general considerations relating to lichenometry and lichen growth curves are discussed.
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