Significance of old aspen (Populus tremula) trees for the occurrence of lichen photobionts
2007 (English)In: Biological Conservation, Vol. 135, no 3, 380-387 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In the boreal forest landscape, aspen has been effectively selected against in favour of conifers. The decrease in aspen is of particular concern, since it has more host-specific species associated with it than any other boreal tree species. Recently, forest management systems have begun to include green-tree retention in order to maintain structural diversity. Earlier studies have focused on the importance of remnant aspen trees for lichen species prevalence. We have focused on the occurrence of free-living photobionts, i.e. cyanobacteria and green-algae, since a successful establishment of sexually dispersed lichens will depend upon the presence of the photobiont. Our study shows that the abundances of Gloeocystis, Nostoc, Scytonema and Trentepohlia increased with stand age, while the abundance of Trebouxia decreased. The response to clear-felling differed between genera. The two cyanobacterial genera were able to persist in clear-cuts, although they were more abundant on the northern side of the remnant trees. The green-algae showed no consistent pattern, Trentepohlia was affected while Trebouxia was unaffected. Our study indicates that the prerequisites for new-establishment for spore dispersed lichen species, on remnant aspen, may be fulfilled in terms of availability of free-living photobionts on the northern side of the trunks. In support of this interpretation we found that the occurrence of cyanolichens was positively correlated with the occurrence of free-living cyanobacteria in the clear-cuts. We conclude that tree retention is likely to provide a useful tool for increasing biodiversity in managed forest landscapes provided that source populations still exist in the surrounding landscape.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 135, no 3, 380-387 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-11914DOI: doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2006.10.008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-11914DiVA: diva2:151585