Impact of Fraxinus excelsior dieback on biota of ash-associated lichen epiphytes at the landscape and community level

Łubek Anna , Martin Kukwa , Patryk Czortek , Bogdan Jaroszewicz


The landscape-scale extinction of a tree species may have a negative impact on diversity of associated epiphytic species. We used ordination and hierarchical clustering methods to assess landscape and the community level efects of reduction in the abundance of European ash Fraxinus excelsior, caused by ash dieback, on the associated epiphytic lichen biota in Białowieża Forest (Poland)—the best preserved forest complex in Central Europe. At the landscape level ash decline impact on the biota of ash-associated epiphytic lichens was weak, due to the high diversity of tree species, which may serve as potential alternative hosts. At this level, oak and hornbeam are the most important alternative hosts, assuring the maintenance of ash-associated epiphytic lichens. Lime, alder, and hazel appeared to be less important but still may serve as substitute phorophytes to approximately 2/3 of the ash-associated lichen biota. About 90% of epiphytic biota are likely to survive on the landscape scale. However, at the community level of alder-ash foodplain forest, where ash was dominant, about 50% of ash-associated epiphytic lichen species are threatened by ash dieback. Our results highlight the importance of a spatial scale in conservation biology. Protection of large forest areas with rich diversity of phorophyte trees increases chances of survival of the associated epiphytic organisms.
Author Łubek Anna
Łubek Anna,,
, Martin Kukwa (FB/DPTNC)
Martin Kukwa,,
- Department of Plant Taxonomy and Nature Conservation
, Patryk Czortek - [Uniwersytet Warszawski]
Patryk Czortek,,
, Bogdan Jaroszewicz - [Uniwersytet Warszawski]
Bogdan Jaroszewicz,,
Journal seriesBiodiversity and Conservation, ISSN 0960-3115, e-ISSN 1572-9710, (N/A 100 pkt)
Issue year2020
Publication size in sheets0.95
Keywords in EnglishEuropean ash, foundation species, hot spot tree, metapopulation, Phorophytes, primeval forest
ASJC Classification1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics; 2303 Ecology; 2309 Nature and Landscape Conservation
Languageen angielski
LicenseOther; published final; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); with publication
Score (nominal)100
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 100.0, 03-07-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators Scopus Citations = 1.000; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.340; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 3.142 (2) - 2018=3.295 (5)
Citation count*2 (2020-07-10)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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