Richness of Lichen Species, Especially of Threatened Ones, Is Promoted by Management Methods Furthering Stand Continuity

Boch, Steffen; Prati, Daniel; Hessenmöller, Dominik; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Fischer, Markus (2013). Richness of Lichen Species, Especially of Threatened Ones, Is Promoted by Management Methods Furthering Stand Continuity. PLoS ONE, 8(1), e55461. Lawrence, Kans.: Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0055461

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Lichens are a key component of forest biodiversity. However, a comprehensive study analyzing lichen species richness in relation to several management types, extending over different regions and forest stages and including information on site conditions is missing for temperate European forests. In three German regions (Schwäbische Alb, Hainich-Dün, Schorfheide-Chorin), the so-called Biodiversity Exploratories, we studied lichen species richness in 631 forest plots of 400 m2 comprising different management types (unmanaged, selection cutting, deciduous and coniferous age-class forests resulting from clear cutting or shelterwood logging), various stand ages, and site conditions, typical for large parts of temperate Europe. We analyzed how lichen species richness responds to management and habitat variables (standing biomass, cover of deadwood, cover of rocks). We found strong regional differences with highest lichen species richness in the Schwäbische Alb, probably driven by regional differences in former air pollution, and in precipitation and habitat variables. Overall, unmanaged forests harbored 22% more threatened lichen species than managed age-class forests. In general, total, corticolous, and threatened lichen species richness did not differ among management types of deciduous forests. However, in the Schwäbische-Alb region, deciduous forests had 61% more lichen species than coniferous forests and they had 279% more threatened and 76% more corticolous lichen species. Old deciduous age classes were richer in corticolous lichen species than young ones, while old coniferous age-classes were poorer than young ones. Overall, our findings highlight the importance of stand continuity for conservation. To increase total and threatened lichen species richness we suggest (1) conserving unmanaged forests, (2) promoting silvicultural methods assuring stand continuity, (3) conserving old trees in managed forests, (4) promoting stands of native deciduous tree species instead of coniferous plantations, and (5) increasing the amount of deadwood in forests.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Boch, Steffen; Prati, Daniel and Fischer, Markus

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1932-6203

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

30 Oct 2013 16:33

Last Modified:

11 Dec 2014 08:40

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.pone.0055461

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.38696

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/38696

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