The legacy of logging-estimating arboreal lichen occurrence in a boreal multiple-use landscape on a two century scale
2011 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 6, no 12, e28779- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In northern Sweden, the availability of arboreal lichens (Bryoria fuscescens, Alectoria sarmentosa) as winter grazing resources is an important element in reindeer husbandry. With the industrialization of forestry, forests rich in arboreal lichens have diminished considerably. Here, we analyze how forestry has impacted lichen availability from the 1920's to the present day and model its future development assuming different forest management scenarios. We recorded the current occurrence of B. fuscescens in 144 sampling plots, stratified by forest age class and dominant tree species in a 26,600 ha boreal forest landscape that is used for both reindeer herding and forestry. Lichen abundance was visually estimated in four classes: none, sparse, moderate and abundant. A binary logistic model using forest age as the independent variable was developed to predict the probability of lichens being present. Using this model, we found that lichens were present in stands that are at least 63 years old. Because of the relative paucity of stands rich in arboreal lichens, it was not possible to reliably determine how age affects the variation in abundance of older forest stands. The historical development of forests where arboreal lichens could potentially occur was studied using historic forestry records dating back 80 years. Between 1926 and the present day, forestry has reduced the cover of forests older than 60 years from 84% to 34%. The likely future spatial coverage of these stands over the next 120 years was estimated for two different management scenarios and an unmanaged reference scenario, using the Heureka strategic planning program. Under both the "business as usual'' scenario and that involving more intensive forestry, continued decreases in lichen availability are projected. Our results emphasize the importance of alternative forestry practices, such as prolonged rotation periods, to increase the availability of arboreal lichens as a grazing resource for reindeer.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public library of science , 2011. Vol. 6, no 12, e28779- p.
semi-domesticated reindeer; spruce-fir forest; epiphytic lichens; northern sweden; alectorioid lichens; canopy microclimate; mountain caribou; management; snow; biomass
Ecology Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-52037DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028779ISI: 000298664400018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-52037DiVA: diva2:493059