No allelopathic effect of the dominant forest-floor lichen Cladonia stellaris on pine seedlings
Article first published online: 20 NOV 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 British Ecological Society
Volume 23, Issue 2, pages 435–441, April 2009
How to Cite
Kytöviita, M.-M. and Stark, S. (2009), No allelopathic effect of the dominant forest-floor lichen Cladonia stellaris on pine seedlings. Functional Ecology, 23: 435–441. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2008.01508.x
- Issue published online: 13 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 20 NOV 2008
- Received 16 October 2007; accepted 14 October 2008; Handling Editor: Ken Thompson
- usnic acid;
- Pinus sylvestris;
- 1The lichen Cladonia stellaris forms dense mats and dominates the forest-floor vegetation in late-successional oligotrophic boreal forests. This lichen is rich in polyphenolic secondary compounds, and through allelochemical effects of these compounds the dense mat formed by C. stellaris is assumed to have negative effect on forest regeneration and soil microbial functioning.
- 2We examined the effect of C. stellaris and its secondary metabolite usnic acid on nutrient uptake and growth of pine (Pinus sylvestris) seedlings in symbiosis with the ectomycorrhizal fungus Suillus variegatus and in non-symbiotic condition.
- 3Contrary to our expectations, usnic acid had no effect on nitrogen uptake and growth in pine seedlings. The addition of lichen fragments into the growth substrate significantly increased biomass accumulation in mycorrhizal pine seedlings and needle nitrogen acquisition in non-mycorrhizal seedlings.
- 4These results suggest that lichen mats do not have direct allelopathic effects on pine seedling nitrogen acquisition or growth.