Tree and stand level variables influencing diversity of lichens on temperate broad-leaved trees in boreo-nemoral floodplain forests
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Tree and stand level variables affecting the species richness, cover and composition of epiphytic lichens on temperate broad-leaved trees (Fraxinus excelsior, Quercus robur, Tilia cordata, Ulmus glabra, and U. laevis) were analysed in floodplain forest stands in Estonia. The effect of tree species, substrate characteristics, and stand and regional variables were tested by partial canonical correspondence analysis (pCCA) and by general linear mixed models (GLMM). The most pronounced factors affecting the species richness, cover and composition of epiphytic lichens are acidity of tree bark, bryophyte cover and circumference of tree stems. Stand level characteristics have less effects on the species richness of epiphytic lichens, however, lichen cover and composition was influenced by stand age and light availability. The boreo-nemoral floodplain forests represent valuable habitats for epiphytic lichens. As substrate-related factors influence the species diversity of lichens on temperate broad-leaved trees differently, it is important to consider the effect of each tree species in biodiversity and conservation studies of lichens.