Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 1391–1402 | Cite as

Decline in bryophyte diversity in predominant types of central European managed forests

  • Jeňýk HofmeisterEmail author
  • Jan Hošek
  • Eva Holá
  • Eva Novozámská
Original Paper


The extent to which the diversity of forest-inhabiting bryophytes is related to forest management practices has been the subject of a recent study. However, the question of how these practices affect the spatial distribution pattern of bryophyte diversity throughout managed European forests remains unanswered. We surveyed bryophyte diversity in six large forest complexes in the Czech Republic. Our sites encompass a range of managed forest stands (including various temporal phases such as clearings and young forests) across a gradient of environmental conditions. In general, the bryophyte species richness in managed forests was less than in unmanaged forests. Only unmanaged forest stands that provided suitable substrates such as large dead woody debris and large diameter beeches (Fagus sylvatica) were able to support rare bryophyte species. Mature managed forests with simplified tree structure, dominated by either deciduous or coniferous species shared similar bryophyte species richness (α-diversity) and pool (γ-diversity). It appears that forest management, which leads to the loss of old-growth forest attributes, may result in low-diversity bryophyte communities regardless of tree species composition. Nevertheless, bryophyte species turnover (β-diversity) was spatially uniform in mature managed forests dominated by conifers, but quite variable in those dominated by deciduous tree species. Managed forests with diverse tree structure and composition approximated the species pool size of unmanaged forests, in spite of their small contribution to the total area of managed forests. Hence, forest management as commonly applied in the managed forests of the Czech Republic does not appear to be conducive to the persistence of diverse bryophyte assemblages. We suggest that some essential changes in forest management practices are necessary to maintain the conditions favorable to the preservation of bryophyte diversity in central European forests.


Beech Spruce Forest management Species richness Species turnover Species pool 



We thank K. Baltaziuk, L. Čížek, V. Iarema, A. Petrbok, and A. Tenčík for field assistance. GIS analyses were provided by T. Svoboda and P. Kukla, and some problematic records helped to determine J. Kučera. We thank J. Titus and Editage for revising the English. The Editor and anonymous referee kindly provided valuable comments and suggestions on the manuscript. We are grateful to the respective forest administrations for cooperation in our research. This study was supported by Grant SP/2d1/146/08 from the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic.

Supplementary material

10531_2015_863_MOESM1_ESM.doc (443 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 443 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeňýk Hofmeister
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jan Hošek
    • 1
  • Eva Holá
    • 2
  • Eva Novozámská
    • 3
  1. 1.Ecological ServicesHořoviceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Botany, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic
  3. 3.Prague Botanic GardenPrague 7Czech Republic

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