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Effects of Management on Lichen Species Richness, Ecological Traits and Community Structure in the Rodnei Mountains National Park (Romania).

Ardelean IV, Keller C, Scheidegger C - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: The data were sampled following a replicated design.The variation in species composition was related to the environmental variables.It is thus imperative for protected areas, in particular old-growth forests and alpine meadows, to receive more protection than they have received in the past to ensure populations of the characteristic species remain viable in the future.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
Lichens are valuable bio-indicators for evaluating the consequences of human activities that are increasingly changing the earth's ecosystems. Since a major objective of national parks is the preservation of biodiversity, our aim is to analyse how natural resource management, the availability of lichen substrates and environmental parameters influence lichen diversity in Rodnei Mountains National Park situated in the Eastern Carpathians. Three main types of managed vegetation were investigated: the transhumance systems in alpine meadows, timber exploitation in mixed and pure spruce forests, and the corresponding conserved sites. The data were sampled following a replicated design. For the analysis, we considered not only all lichen species, but also species groups from different substrates such as soil, trees and deadwood. The lichen diversity was described according to species richness, red-list status and substrate-specialist species richness. The variation in species composition was related to the environmental variables. Habitat management was found to negatively influence species richness and alter the lichen community composition, particularly for threatened and substrate-specialist species. It reduced the mean level of threatened species richness by 59%, when all lichen species were considered, and by 81%, when only epiphytic lichens were considered. Management-induced disturbance significantly decreased lichen species richness in forest landscapes with long stand continuity. The diversity patterns of the lichens indicate a loss of species richness and change in species composition in areas where natural resources are still exploited inside the borders of the national park. It is thus imperative for protected areas, in particular old-growth forests and alpine meadows, to receive more protection than they have received in the past to ensure populations of the characteristic species remain viable in the future.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Location of the Rodnei Mountains National Park Romania, with the national park boundary, together with the sampling plots, represented by different symbols, according to the different categories of vegetation type and management.
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pone.0145808.g001: Location of the Rodnei Mountains National Park Romania, with the national park boundary, together with the sampling plots, represented by different symbols, according to the different categories of vegetation type and management.

Mentions: The study area, which is part of Rodnei Mountain National Park, shelters a high biodiversity, harbouring the highest number of endemic vascular plant species in the South-Eastern Carpathians [15] and numerous glacial relicts and rare species of flora and fauna. It is situated in the northern part of the Eastern Carpathians (Fig 1) and is one of the three UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Romania, included in the Natura 2000 networks of the European Union [16]. A detailed description of the lichen flora of Rodnei Mountains shows that 442 lichen taxa have been reported in the Rodnei Mountains region [17, 18], including a high number of threatened lichens.


Effects of Management on Lichen Species Richness, Ecological Traits and Community Structure in the Rodnei Mountains National Park (Romania).

Ardelean IV, Keller C, Scheidegger C - PLoS ONE (2015)

Location of the Rodnei Mountains National Park Romania, with the national park boundary, together with the sampling plots, represented by different symbols, according to the different categories of vegetation type and management.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4696781&req=5

pone.0145808.g001: Location of the Rodnei Mountains National Park Romania, with the national park boundary, together with the sampling plots, represented by different symbols, according to the different categories of vegetation type and management.
Mentions: The study area, which is part of Rodnei Mountain National Park, shelters a high biodiversity, harbouring the highest number of endemic vascular plant species in the South-Eastern Carpathians [15] and numerous glacial relicts and rare species of flora and fauna. It is situated in the northern part of the Eastern Carpathians (Fig 1) and is one of the three UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Romania, included in the Natura 2000 networks of the European Union [16]. A detailed description of the lichen flora of Rodnei Mountains shows that 442 lichen taxa have been reported in the Rodnei Mountains region [17, 18], including a high number of threatened lichens.

Bottom Line: The data were sampled following a replicated design.The variation in species composition was related to the environmental variables.It is thus imperative for protected areas, in particular old-growth forests and alpine meadows, to receive more protection than they have received in the past to ensure populations of the characteristic species remain viable in the future.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
Lichens are valuable bio-indicators for evaluating the consequences of human activities that are increasingly changing the earth's ecosystems. Since a major objective of national parks is the preservation of biodiversity, our aim is to analyse how natural resource management, the availability of lichen substrates and environmental parameters influence lichen diversity in Rodnei Mountains National Park situated in the Eastern Carpathians. Three main types of managed vegetation were investigated: the transhumance systems in alpine meadows, timber exploitation in mixed and pure spruce forests, and the corresponding conserved sites. The data were sampled following a replicated design. For the analysis, we considered not only all lichen species, but also species groups from different substrates such as soil, trees and deadwood. The lichen diversity was described according to species richness, red-list status and substrate-specialist species richness. The variation in species composition was related to the environmental variables. Habitat management was found to negatively influence species richness and alter the lichen community composition, particularly for threatened and substrate-specialist species. It reduced the mean level of threatened species richness by 59%, when all lichen species were considered, and by 81%, when only epiphytic lichens were considered. Management-induced disturbance significantly decreased lichen species richness in forest landscapes with long stand continuity. The diversity patterns of the lichens indicate a loss of species richness and change in species composition in areas where natural resources are still exploited inside the borders of the national park. It is thus imperative for protected areas, in particular old-growth forests and alpine meadows, to receive more protection than they have received in the past to ensure populations of the characteristic species remain viable in the future.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus