Tree decay modulates the functional response of lichen communities in Patagonian temperate forests

Ansaldo, Diego; Vergara, Pablo M.; Carvajal, Mario A.; Alaniz, Alberto J.; Fierro, Andres; ReinaldoVargas-Castillo; Quiroz, Madelaine; Moreira-Arce, Dario; Pizarro, Jaime


Epiphytic and epixylic lichens respond negatively to forest degradation, climate change and pollution, but those effects may depend on functional traits or interact with the stage of tree decay. Disentangling the main drivers of lichen communities remains a challenge in regions where lichens are diverse and poorly known, as the case of Patagonian temperate forests. We used a multi-scale approach to evaluate the relationship between environmental variables, tree decay stage and lichens. We sampled lichens across three increasing scales (tree site ( landscape) by selecting 19 landscape units, where trees in four decay stages (snags, logs, cavity trees and healthy trees) were selected within sampling plots. A total of 35 predictors were measured over different scales, including 25 remote sensing indices of forest conditions, climate and air pollutants. Structural Equation Models were used to test the causal linkages of predictors with lichens, distinguishing functional categories (size, growth and reproductive strategy). A total of 69 lichen species were recorded. Cavity trees and logs supported the largest diversity, while snags and healthy trees had the lowest diversity. Functional lichen groups responded differently to fine-scale variables, including the diameter, height, density and pH of trees. Air pollutants affected species with sexual and mixed strategies. Lichens were sensitive to precipitation, temperature and wind speed, with foliose and sexual species responding positively to the latter. The abundance of all species and macrolichens increased with tree senescence and decreased with canopy continuity. Lichens occupying snags and logs responded negatively to primary productivity and tree senescence, but positively to soil organic matter. Our findings suggest: i) the functional structure of lichen communities varies non-linearly with the wood decay process; ii) the reproductive strategy influences the sensitivity to air pollutants, iii) climate variables influence dispersal and colonization of woody substrates; and iv) forest structure/succession interacts with tree decay. (C) 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Título según WOS: Tree decay modulates the functional response of lichen communities in Patagonian temperate forests
Volumen: 771
Editorial: Elsevier
Fecha de publicación: 2021


Notas: ISI