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Multiple drivers of large-scale lichen decline in boreal forest canopies

Esseen, Per-Anders and Ekström, Magnus and Grafström, Anton and Jonsson, Bengt-Gunnar and Palmqvist, Kristin and Westerlund, Bertil and Ståhl, Göran (2022). Multiple drivers of large-scale lichen decline in boreal forest canopies. Global Change Biology. 28 :10 , 3293-3309
[Research article]

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Abstract

Thin, hair-like lichens (Alectoria, Bryoria, Usnea) form conspicuous epiphyte communities across the boreal biome. These poikilohydric organisms provide important ecosystem functions and are useful indicators of global change. We analyse how environmental drivers influence changes in occurrence and length of these lichens on Norway spruce (Picea abies) over 10 years in managed forests in Sweden using data from >6000 trees. Alectoria and Usnea showed strong declines in southern-central regions, whereas Bryoria declined in northern regions. Overall, relative loss rates across the country ranged from 1.7% per year in Alectoria to 0.5% in Bryoria. These losses contrasted with increased length of Bryoria and Usnea in some regions. Occurrence trajectories (extinction, colonization, presence, absence) on remeasured trees correlated best with temperature, rain, nitrogen deposition, and stand age in multinomial logistic regression models. Our analysis strongly suggests that industrial forestry, in combination with nitrogen, is the main driver of lichen declines. Logging of forests with long continuity of tree cover, short rotation cycles, substrate limitation and low light in dense forests are harmful for lichens. Nitrogen deposition has decreased but is apparently still sufficiently high to prevent recovery. Warming correlated with occurrence trajectories of Alectoria and Bryoria, likely by altering hydration regimes and increasing respiration during autumn/winter. The large-scale lichen decline on an important host has cascading effects on biodiversity and function of boreal forest canopies. Forest management must apply a broad spectrum of methods, including uneven-aged continuous cover forestry and retention of large patches, to secure the ecosystem functions of these important canopy components under future climates. Our findings highlight interactions among drivers of lichen decline (forestry, nitrogen, climate), functional traits (dispersal, lichen colour, sensitivity to nitrogen, water storage), and population processes (extinction/colonization).

Authors/Creators:Esseen, Per-Anders and Ekström, Magnus and Grafström, Anton and Jonsson, Bengt-Gunnar and Palmqvist, Kristin and Westerlund, Bertil and Ståhl, Göran
Title:Multiple drivers of large-scale lichen decline in boreal forest canopies
Series Name/Journal:Global Change Biology
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:28
Number:10
Page range:3293-3309
Number of Pages:17
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:1354-1013
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:climate change, colonization, epiphytic lichens, extinction, forestry, long-term monitoring, microclimate, nitrogen deposition
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-116413
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-116413
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/gcb.16128
Web of Science (WoS)000766073800001
Scopus2-s2.0-85126049590
ID Code:27821
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management

(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:14 May 2022 01:25
Metadata Last Modified:14 May 2022 05:01

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