Canadian Forest Service Publications

Calicioid diversity in humid inland British Columbia may increase into the 5th century after stand initiation. 2018. Goward, T.; Arsenault, A. The Lichenologist 50(5): 555-569.

Year: 2018

Available from: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39369

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0024282918000324

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Abstract

Maintenance of biodiversity in managed forested landscapes requires detailed knowledge of the ecological requirements of specialist organisms linked to key microhabitats. Here we examine the relationship of 37 lichenized and unlichenized epiphytic calicioid species to stand age and substratum type in seven pairs of mid-seral (70–165 y) and old (220–470 y) forest stands in humid east-central British Columbia. Based on our inventory of eight host tree species, total calicioid diversity and mean species richness are highest in old stands, with 12 species not detected and nine additional species much less frequent in mid-seral stands. Thuja plicata supports by far the highest level of total calicioid diversity, with 31 of 37 species; mostly associated with very old trees. Owing primarily to the late recruitment of lignicolous calicioids, stand-level calicioid richness continues to increase into the 5th century after stand initiation. Our study thus has two major findings pertinent to the maintenance of forest biodiversity in managed forests: first, stand-level calicioid richness increases slightly for at least three centuries past the acquisition of old-growth status; second, remnant trees and snags carried forward into mid-seral, regenerating stands enhance overall calicioid species richness. These results suggest that very old old-growth (= ‘antique’) forests might play an important role in the long-term maintenance of calicioid species richness, further suggesting that the standard practice of lumping all forests above a set age into a single old-growth category is not ecologically tenable for all taxonomic groups.

Plain Language Summary

Maintenance of biodiversity in managed forested landscapes requires detailed knowledge of the ecological requirements of specialist organisms linked to key microhabitats. Here we examine the relationship of 37 lichenized and unlichenized epiphytic calicioid species to stand age and substratum type in seven pairs of mid-seral (70–165 y) and old (220–470 y) forest stands in humid east-central British Columbia. Based on our inventory of eight host tree species, total calicioid diversity and mean species richness are highest in old stands, with 12 species not detected and nine additional species much less frequent in mid-seral stands. Thuja plicata supports by far the highest level of total calicioid diversity, with 31 of 37 species; mostly associated with very old trees. Owing primarily to the late recruitment of lignicolous calicioids, stand-level calicioid richness continues to increase into the 5th century after stand initiation. Our study thus has two major findings pertinent to the maintenance of forest biodiversity in managed forests: first, stand-level calicioid richness increases slightly for at least three centuries past the acquisition of old-growth status; second, remnant trees and snags carried forward into mid-seral, regenerating stands enhance overall calicioid species richness. These results suggest that very old oldgrowth (= ‘antique’) forests might play an important role in the long-term maintenance of calicioid species richness, further suggesting that the standard practice of lumping all forests above a set age into a single old-growth category is not ecologically tenable for all taxonomic groups.

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