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Using Growth Forms to Predict Epiphytic Lichen Abundance in a Wide Variety of Forest Types

1
Área de Biodiversidad y Conservación, Departamento de Biología y Geología, Física y Química Inorgánica, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Móstoles, 28933 Madrid, Spain
2
Sección de Ecología y Sistemática, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, San Cayetano s/n, Loja 1101608, Ecuador
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2019, 11(4), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11040051
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 1 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lichen Diversity and Biomonitoring)
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Abstract

Epiphytic richness is continuously declining due to forest fragmentation, logging, burning, agriculture, and livestock. The rate of species loss caused by habitat degradation and loss is more pronounced in Central and South America. Considering the extreme difficulty and time required to identify the more inconspicuous species, rapid diversity assessment methods need to be extrapolated throughout the world. This study correlated lichen growth forms and total epiphytic abundance across 119 forests located in Europe and Central-South America. A total of 54 papers were selected from specific databases focused on lichens. Additionally, data from several unpublished ecological studies were included. Linear regression models showed that epiphytic lichen abundance was highly and positively correlated with the number of growth forms at all geographical levels considered (i.e., Central-South American and European forests, and the combination of both). Thus, the use of growth forms may provide an alternative and complementary way to evaluate epiphytic diversity because most growth forms have cosmopolitan distribution and are easily recognizable. View Full-Text
Keywords: richness; epiphyte; indicator species; forests; Europe; Central-South America richness; epiphyte; indicator species; forests; Europe; Central-South America
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Aragón, G.; Martínez, I.; Hurtado, P.; Benítez, Á.; Rodríguez, C.; Prieto, M. Using Growth Forms to Predict Epiphytic Lichen Abundance in a Wide Variety of Forest Types. Diversity 2019, 11, 51.

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