Lichen Responses to Disturbance: Clues for Biomonitoring Land-use Effects on Riparian Andean Ecosystems
AbstractThe transformation of natural ecosystems due to anthropogenic land use is considered one of the main causes of biodiversity loss. Lichens, due to their poikilohydric nature, are very sensitive to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Therefore, lichen communities have been widely used as bioindicators of climatic and environmental changes. In this study, we evaluated how the species richness and community composition of epiphytic lichens respond to land-use intensity in riparian ecosystems of the Andes in southern Ecuador. Additionally, we evaluate how the richness of six functional traits (photobiont type, growth form, and reproductive strategy) changed across the different land-use intensity. We selected 10 trees in twelve sites for a total de 120 trees, equally divided into four riparian land-use intensities (forest, forest-pasture, pasture and urban). We recorded a total of 140 lichen species. Species richness was highest in the forest sites and decreased towards more anthropogenic land uses. Lichen community composition responded to land-use intensity, and was explained by microclimate variables (e.g., precipitation, percentage forested area) and distance to the forest. Richness of functional traits of lichens also differed significantly among the four land-use intensity and decreased from forests to urban land-use. Taxonomic diversity and functional traits can be effectively applied as bioindicators to assess and monitor the effects of land-use changes in the riparian ecosystems of tropical montane regions. View Full-Text
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Chuquimarca, L.; Gaona, F.P.; Iñiguez-Armijos, C.; Benítez, Á. Lichen Responses to Disturbance: Clues for Biomonitoring Land-use Effects on Riparian Andean Ecosystems. Diversity 2019, 11, 73.
Chuquimarca L, Gaona FP, Iñiguez-Armijos C, Benítez Á. Lichen Responses to Disturbance: Clues for Biomonitoring Land-use Effects on Riparian Andean Ecosystems. Diversity. 2019; 11(5):73.Chicago/Turabian Style
Chuquimarca, Leiddy; Gaona, Fernando P.; Iñiguez-Armijos, Carlos; Benítez, Ángel. 2019. "Lichen Responses to Disturbance: Clues for Biomonitoring Land-use Effects on Riparian Andean Ecosystems." Diversity 11, no. 5: 73.
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