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The significance of stemflow chemistry for epiphytic lichen diversity in a dieback-affected spruce forest on Mt Brocken, northern Germany

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 March 2007

Markus Hauck
Affiliation:
M. Hauck, V. Hesse and M. Runge: Albrecht von Haller Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Göttingen, Untere Karspüle 2, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany.
Volker Hesse
Affiliation:
M. Hauck, V. Hesse and M. Runge: Albrecht von Haller Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Göttingen, Untere Karspüle 2, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany.
Michael Runge
Affiliation:
M. Hauck, V. Hesse and M. Runge: Albrecht von Haller Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Göttingen, Untere Karspüle 2, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany.

Abstract

Epiphytic lichen diversity in a boggy stand of Norway spruce (Picea abies) was studied in the eastern Harz Mountains, northern Germany. Spruce trees at wet sites were affected by forest dieback, whereas trees on drier sites remained unaffected. Lichen diversity was higher on diebackaffected trees than on healthy ones. The foliose lichen Hypogymnia physodes was significantly more frequent on dead trees, whereas the crustose, extremely toxitolerant Lecanora conizaeoides occurred more frequently on healthy trees. Stemflow concentrations of NH⊂4⊃+, NO⊂3⊃-, PO⊂3⊃-, and SO⊂4⊃2- were lower on affected trees. This is attributed to reduced interception from the atmosphere due to needle loss. Cover of H. physodes decreased with increasing mean SO⊂4⊃2- concentration in stemflow. The total of lichen species per sample tree also decreased with increasing SO⊂4⊃2- concentration in stemflow, indicating that most species reacted in a similar way as H. physodes. Cover of L. conizaeoides increased with increasing SO⊂4⊂2- concentration, but decreased at higher SO⊂4⊃2- concentrations. Bark chemistry had a minor influence on lichen diversity.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Lichen Society 2002

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