, Volume 74, Issue 4, pp 405–418 | Cite as

Epiphytic and epixylic lichens in forests of the Šumava mountains in the Czech Republic; abundance and frequency assessments

  • Jan VondrákEmail author
  • Jiří Kubásek
Original Article


Extensive sampling of lichen diversity in forest habitats in the Šumava mountains consisted of 128 plots with 824 sampled objects (single trees, snags, logs, etc.). The survey enabled assessment of regional abundance and frequency of epiphytic and epixylic lichen species. 240 species were recorded with frequencies (i.e. number of plots in which each species was recorded) ranging from 1 to 123 and with total abundance scores (i.e. sum of abundances from all objects) ranging from 1 to 1304. Using the total abundance scores, each species was classified as either: rare (129 species), common (68) or abundant (43). We recognised six types of forest, one formed by human activity and five natural ones. Species richness in the natural forests were in decreasing order: beech forests (167 species), bog and waterlogged forests (147), montane spruce forests (124), ash-alder alluvial forests (92) and ravine forests (68). The relative order of the first four kinds is probably real, but the low number of species in ravine forests is a result of insufficient sampling. All species were characterized by their fidelity and specificity to each forest type. Each natural forest category has a group of species with high fidelity. Many species were recorded in only a single category of forest, which demonstrates that a rich regional lichen biota requires variability in forest types. Forest habitats formed by human impact, mostly plantations of coniferous trees, have fewer species, and distinctly fewer species with high fidelity, than any natural forest category. Throughout the region, mature spruce trees in montane spruce forests have been dying at a rapid rate for over 20 years. This has probably resulted in a decline in those lichens that require high humidity, and an increase of some epixylic lichens, especially nitrophilous species. We did not encounter all species previously recorded in forests in the region, but most of the species missing from our list are either rare or have specialised habitat requirements. In the Red List of the Czech Republic, we suggested changes in categories for 32 species.


Fidelity Habitats Lichen diversity monitoring Montane spruce forests Regional rarity 



Linda in Arcadia kindly revised the English. Zdeněk Palice and Jiří Malíček kindly helped with identification of some lichen specimens. Zdeňka Křenová generously proposed that we participate in the project Silva Gabreta monitoring. Data on areas of forest habitats were kindly provided by Pavla Trachtová and by the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic. Field work was financed by the bilateral Czech-Bavarian project 26, EÚS 2014-2020 - Silva Gabreta monitoring. Our research received support by a long-term research development grant RVO 67985939.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11756_2019_207_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (26 kb)
Appendix 1 Recorded species with their frequencies and abundance scores. Species are alphabetically ordered within three categories of regional frequency/abundance in the Šumava mountains. (XLSX 26 kb)
11756_2019_207_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (116 kb)
Appendix 2 Primary floristic data. Abundances of species are shown for 128 investigated plots. (XLSX 115 kb)


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Copyright information

© Plant Science and Biodiversity Centre, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of SciencesPrůhoniceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic

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