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This study compares the success of vegetative diaspore establishment of the old forest lichens Lobaria pulmonaria and L. scrobiculata sown on Picea abies branches in boreal rainforests. The larger diaspores of L. pulmonaria (green algal photobiont) established more successfully, and showed a greater flexibility in ecological amplitude, than the smaller diaspores of L. scrobiculata (cyanobacterial photobiont). The establishment success apparently depended on species-specific differences in morphological and physiological traits of the diaspores. Both species established as well in young plantations as in old forests. Lobaria scrobiculata was most successful on short branches and small trees. In contrast, L. pulmonaria responded positively to trunk circumference in the old stands. The establishment success of both species decreases with increasing canopy openness, indicating that the soredia/isidioid soredia failed to establish on the most exposed branches. The probability of establishment did not change with bark-pH or with distance from the nearest stream. Despite a successful establishment in regeneration forests, the long-term survival in managed forests is still uncertain.
This study aims to investigate patterns of species richness and abundance in relation to stand age in 71 Picea abies plantations, aged between 9 and 85 years, situated in the oceanic region of Central Norway. The study has shown that plantations within the oceanic spruce forests can support a relatively high number of epiphytic lichen species. Some of the oldest plantations hosted several old-forest associated species, e.g. Hypogymnia vittata, Lobaria pulmonaria, Pseudocyphellaria crocata and Ramalina thrausta. The number of species was influenced significantly by stand age and increased rapidly in stands <20 years old. Stands >30 years old showed no clear increase in species number, except for a high number of species in the two oldest stands. The colonization pattern could be characterized as an additional entrance of species, rather than by a replacement sequence. The probability of occurrence increased steeply at young stand ages (<20 years) for Bryoria spp., Cavernularia hultenii, Platismatia glauca, Parmelia sulcata and Usnea spp. A lower rate of colonization was characteristic for Alectoria sarmentosa, Parmelia saxatilis and Platismatia norvegica. The cover of foliose lichens on the branches showed an almost unimodal response to stand age. The cover of lichens was highest on branches in middle-aged plantations. The reason for the lower lichen cover in late successional stages, compared to middle-aged stands, could be due to reduced light in the lower canopy of mature plantations. Increased rotation cycle, creation of gaps and short distance to sources of propagules are factors suggested to promote species richness and abundance in forest plantations.
The effects of two logging strategies and edge effects on cover and abundance of the epiphytic chlorolichens Cavernularia hultenii, Platismatia glauca and P. norvegica were studied in an experimentally logged boreal spruce forest. Whether lichen size distribution within the three species was affected by logging regimes was also tested. One hundred and ten branches were sampled at random within: (1) fine-grained clearcuts consisting of 23 cutblocks 0·25 ha each; (2) coarse-grained clearcuts consisting of 3 clearcuts 2·25 ha each; and (3) a control area.
Of the three species studied, C. hultenii was the most vulnerable to logging, with an abundance much lower in logged areas than in the control area. By contrast, P. glauca was equally abundant in the fine-grained area and in the control area, but significantly less abundant in the coarse-grained area where it seems to have been adversely affected by a pronounced edge effect. No such edge effect, however, was noted in the fine-grained area. Juvenile thalli of C. hultenii and P. glauca were less frequent in the coarse-grained area than in the fine-grained and control areas, suggesting that the juvenile stage might be more sensitive to logging than mature thalli. These results indicate that creation of large clearcuts (2·25 ha) may not be in accordance with the goal of maintaining population size in either C. hultenii or P. glauca. However, P. glauca does not seem to be negatively influenced by a fine-grained logging pattern. No effect of logging strategy or distance from the forest edge was observed on P. norvegica. It follows from the above that any management plans aimed at maintaining population size should be based on an understanding of ecology and life history gleaned from the area in question.
The distribution of epiphytic lichens on branches of a stand of Picea abies has been mapped, and patterns of succession and community structure are described. Many crustose species are of particular interest since little is known about their ecological requirements (e.g. Fuscidea pusilla Tønsb., Japewia subaurifera Muhr & Tønsb. and Gyalideopsis alnicola Noble & Vězda). Numerical treatment (correspondence analysis and canonical correspondence analysis) of the species data was used to study the lichen distribution in relation to measured environmental variables. Tree age, tree height and branch height above ground are shown to be the most important variables to explain the species distribution. No significant relationship was found between branch compass point and the distribution of lichens. The species composition and cover changed from young to old trees. The largest variation in the lichen vegetation was found on the branches of young trees. A more homogeneous and stable lichen community appears on branches of mature trees. A clear zonation of the epiphytic vegetation develops as the branches grow, resulting in the occurrence of typical ‘branch-tip’ and ‘branch-base’ species. The highest number of species was recorded on the outermost part of branches before lichen cover reached the maximum. Hyperepiphytic thalli were mainly located in specific areas with high lichen cover on the branches. Lichens with reduced vitality were most common at the base of branches.
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