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Variability of lichen diversity in a climatically heterogeneous area (Liguria, NW Italy)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 March 2007

Giorgio Brunialti
Affiliation:
DIPTERIS, sez. Botanica, University of Genova, Corso Dogali 1M, 1-16136 Genova, Italy.
Paolo Giordani
Affiliation:
DIPTERIS, sez. Botanica, University of Genova, Corso Dogali 1M, 1-16136 Genova, Italy.

Abstract

The influence of environmental variables on epiphytic lichens in Liguria (NW Italy) was examined using two complementary approaches. Firstly, the variability of lichen vegetation in relation to environmental variables was investigated. Secondly, the variability of Lichen Biodiversity (LB) counts, used in biomonitoring studies, was analysed in relation to bioclimatic areas. Geomorphology strongly affects lichen vegetation. The coastal mountain ridge and the Tyrrhenian-Po valley watershed limit the distribution range of three different communities: a Parmelion community with a high frequency of coastal suboceanic species, a Parmelion community rich in oak wood species and the Pannelietum acetabuli association, situated beyond the Po Valley watershed. Substantial differences in the distribution of lichen communities related to a climatic gradient (from humid Mediterranean to dry sub-Mediterranean regions) are not matched by corresponding statistically significant differences in LB counts. More accurate studies are necessary to define homogeneous bioclimatic areas, in which LB values can be compared for biomonitoring purposes.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Lichen Society 2003

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