Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 14, Issue 9, pp 2061–2078 | Cite as

Cryptogam communities on decaying deciduous wood – does tree species diversity matter?

  • Jacob Heilmann-Clausen
  • Erik Aude
  • Morten Christensen


Bryophyte and fungal communities were investigated on fallen trees representing seven deciduous tree species in a mixed near natural nemoral forest. Bryophytes were represented by 41 taxa, including several very frequent species. Of the 296 fungal species, most were recorded with very low frequency and the share of high frequent species was much lower than among the bryophytes. Species turnover was bigger in the fungal communities, compared to the bryophyte communities, and related to a higher extent to measured differences in environmental conditions. Tree species diversity was found to be an important factor for fungal species composition, while only small differences in bryophyte species composition were found between the different tree species. On the other hand bryophyte species richness showed distinct relations to tree species and microclimatic variables, a tendency which was not evident for fungal diversity. It is concluded that the two organism groups to some extent differ in their conservation demands. Thus, conservation of wood-inhabiting bryophytes requires prioritising of large, coherent forest stands in which a stable humid microclimate and a reasonable supply of dead wood is secured. Successful conservation of fungi requires that substantial amounts of dead wood are left for natural decay in a variety of natural forest environments representing different tree species, so that heterogeneity in dead wood types is secured.


Bryophytes Conservation Cwd Fungi Host specificity Management Microclimate Species diversity 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob Heilmann-Clausen
    • 1
  • Erik Aude
    • 2
  • Morten Christensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Forest and Landscape ResearchRoyal Veterinary and Agricultural UniversityFrederiksberg CDenmark
  2. 2.Habitat VisionRøndeDenmark

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