|0.15| °C in defined time windows, and that RH affected the shape of these thermal fingerprints. We demonstrated that IRT can also be used to assess the viability of the lichens Lobaria pulmonaria, Pseudevernia furfuracea and Peltigera leucophlebia. No clear relationship between aerobic metabolism and the shape of thermal fingerprints was found. Conclusions Infrared thermography appears to be a promising method for the diagnosis of viability of desiccation-tolerant tissues at early stages of water uptake. For seeds, it is possible to diagnose viability within the first hours of rehydration, after which time they can still be re-dried and stored until further use. We envisage our work as a baseline study for the use of IR imaging techniques to investigate physiological heterogeneity of desiccation tolerant life forms such as lichens, which can be used for biomonitoring, and for sorting live and dead seeds, which is potentially useful for the seed trade."/>
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Fig. 1 | Plant Methods

Fig. 1

From: Non-invasive diagnosis of viability in seeds and lichens by infrared thermography under controlled environmental conditions

Fig. 1

Design of a purpose-built chamber for IR analysis at controlled conditions of RH and gaseous atmosphere. a Schematic representation and b RGB image of the chamber. Thermal images were recorded with an IR-camera (FLIR A320) through an IR-transparent ZnS window, which was inclined at an angle of 15° to avoid reflexions. The environmental conditions of the atmosphere inside the chamber were monitored with a temperature and RH probe connected to a data logger, and O2 concentration was also measured (see "Methods" for specific conditions in each Experiment). Two thermocouples were used to monitor the surface temperature of the rack, and of the liquid water below. An ultrasonic water vaporizer was used to rapidly generate a RH > 98% upon rehydration in the chamber. The water table could be elevated until the filter papers were imbibed from below, directly providing the samples with liquid water. For experiments under anoxia, N2 gas was flushed through the chamber to replace the air, after humidifying the N2 by bubbling it through a bottle with deionised water. The dimensions of the chamber were 36 cm length, 30 cm width, 44 cm depth, and 36 × 30 × 30 cm for the bottom part containing the samples. See "Methods" and Additional file 1 for further details

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