Species occurrences at stand level cannot be understood without considering the landscape context: Cyanolichens on aspen in boreal Sweden
2008 (English)In: Biological Conservation, Vol. 141, 710-718 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A major challenge in conservation biology is to understand species’ responses to habitat loss. In Fennoscandia, the ongoing decline in aspen in forests is of particular concern, since aspen is the boreal forest tree species that supports the most host-specific species of cryptogams and invertebrates. In order to predict the potential effects of aspen decline we compared the occurrence of three epiphytic cyanolichens in old-growth stands of the same habitat quality, in four aspen-rich and four aspen-poor landscapes. Collema curtisporum and Collema furfuraceum were, on average, five and six times more frequent, respectively, in the aspen-rich than in the aspen-poor landscapes. Leptogium saturninum was not affected by the abundance of aspen stands at the landscape level. Our data suggests that lichen species with poor dispersal abilities may be more sensitive to habitat loss than more easily dispersed species and that species with broader habitat amplitude may be less sensitive to habitat loss than more specialized species, even if they have inferior dispersal ability. We conclude that (i) predictions of species occurrences at the stand level have to take account of the amount of suitable habitat at the landscape level, and (ii) predicting the responses of individual species based on life-history traits can be crucial, but cannot be based on single traits. Thus our study shows that biological value cannot be assessed on the basis of habitat quality alone and that a landscape perspective is needed for the sustainable management of specialist species.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 141, 710-718 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-11471DOI: doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2007.12.019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-11471DiVA: diva2:151142