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Open AccessArticle

Direct and Indirect Effects of Management Intensity and Environmental Factors on the Functional Diversity of Lichens in Central European Forests

1
WSL Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
2
Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Bern, Altenbergrain 21, CH-3013 Bern, Switzerland
3
Department of Silviculture and Forest Ecology of the Temperate Zones, University of Göttingen, Büsgenweg 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
4
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Hans-Knöll-Straße 10, 07745 Jena, Germany
5
Forstamt Schmalkalden, Thueringen Forst, Schlossberg 11, 98574 Schmalkalden, Germany
6
BLWG, Hollandse Toren 40, 3511 BN Utrecht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paolo Giordani
Microorganisms 2021, 9(2), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020463
Received: 27 January 2021 / Revised: 16 February 2021 / Accepted: 19 February 2021 / Published: 23 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lichen Functional Traits and Ecosystem Functions)
Using 642 forest plots from three regions in Germany, we analyzed the direct and indirect effects of forest management intensity and of environmental variables on lichen functional diversity (FDis). Environmental stand variables were affected by management intensity and acted as an environmental filter: summing direct and indirect effects resulted in a negative total effect of conifer cover on FDis, and a positive total effect of deadwood cover and standing tree biomass. Management intensity had a direct positive effect on FDis, which was compensated by an indirect negative effect via reduced standing tree biomass and lichen species richness, resulting in a negative total effect on FDis and the FDis of adaptation-related traits (FDisAd). This indicates environmental filtering of management and stronger niche partitioning at a lower intensity. In contrast, management intensity had a positive total effect on the FDis of reproduction-, dispersal- and establishment-related traits (FDisRe), mainly because of the direct negative effect of species richness, indicating functional over-redundancy, i.e., most species cluster into a few over-represented functional entities. Our findings have important implications for forest management: high lichen functional diversity can be conserved by promoting old, site-typical deciduous forests with a high richness of woody species and large deadwood quantity. View Full-Text
Keywords: beech forest; conifer forest; environmental filtering; forest management intensity; functional trait; habitat heterogeneity; lichen functional diversity; over-redundancy; structural equation modeling; temperate forest beech forest; conifer forest; environmental filtering; forest management intensity; functional trait; habitat heterogeneity; lichen functional diversity; over-redundancy; structural equation modeling; temperate forest
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MDPI and ACS Style

Boch, S.; Saiz, H.; Allan, E.; Schall, P.; Prati, D.; Schulze, E.-D.; Hessenmöller, D.; Sparrius, L.B.; Fischer, M. Direct and Indirect Effects of Management Intensity and Environmental Factors on the Functional Diversity of Lichens in Central European Forests. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 463. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020463

AMA Style

Boch S, Saiz H, Allan E, Schall P, Prati D, Schulze E-D, Hessenmöller D, Sparrius LB, Fischer M. Direct and Indirect Effects of Management Intensity and Environmental Factors on the Functional Diversity of Lichens in Central European Forests. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(2):463. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020463

Chicago/Turabian Style

Boch, Steffen; Saiz, Hugo; Allan, Eric; Schall, Peter; Prati, Daniel; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Hessenmöller, Dominik; Sparrius, Laurens B.; Fischer, Markus. 2021. "Direct and Indirect Effects of Management Intensity and Environmental Factors on the Functional Diversity of Lichens in Central European Forests" Microorganisms 9, no. 2: 463. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020463

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