Growth of the old forest lichen Usnea longissima in forest edges
2009 (English)In: The Lichenologist, ISSN 0024-2829, E-ISSN 1096-1135, Vol. 41, no 6, 663-672 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The lichen Usnea longissima was used to examine how distance from forest edge and edge contrast influence growth of pendulous lichens. Thalli of two sizes (12 and 27 cm) were transplanted to the lower canopy of old Picea abies forest at 5, 25 and 100 m distance from cutovers. Sites represented three levels of edge contrast: high (clear-cut), intermediate (3 m tall saplings) and low (6-7 m tall young forest). Lichen growth was assessed as annual length and weight gain. Growth rates of intact thalli were size-dependent, with both growth variables being higher in long than in short thalli. Distance and edge contrast had significant effects on weight gain in long thalli but not in short ones. Weight gain in long thalli was twice as high near the edge (23%) compared to the forest interior (12%). The highest weight gain (31%) occurred at intermediate contrast edges with lower growth at both low (18%) and high contrast edges (20%). Chlorophyll a concentration was highest near the edge and positively correlated with weight gain, so growth was apparently stimulated by both increased photosynthetic capacity and higher light availability near the edge. The lower part of the canopy in forest edges apparently have favourable growth conditions for U. longissima with growth being influenced by vegetation on adjoining cutovers. Therefore growth responses can not explain the previously observed decline of pendulous lichens following edge creation. Our results suggest that vegetation buffers can improve conditions for pendulous lichens near forest edges.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press , 2009. Vol. 41, no 6, 663-672 p.
chlorophyll concentration, edge influence, edge contrast, lichen growth, pendulous lichen, transplantation experiment
Research subject Ecological Botany
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-21663DOI: 10.1017/S0024282909008536OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-21663DiVA: diva2:211438