Buckley, H.L. (Hannah.Buckley@lincoln.ac.nz): Department of Ecology, PO Box 84, Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Isolation affects tree-scale epiphytic lichen community structure on New Zealand mountain beech trees
Article first published online: 4 JUL 2011
© 2011 International Association for Vegetation Science
Journal of Vegetation Science
Volume 22, Issue 6, pages 1062–1071, December 2011
How to Cite
Buckley, H. L. (2011), Isolation affects tree-scale epiphytic lichen community structure on New Zealand mountain beech trees. Journal of Vegetation Science, 22: 1062–1071. doi: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2011.01315.x
Co-ordinating Editor: Sara Cousins
- Issue published online: 5 OCT 2011
- Article first published online: 4 JUL 2011
- Received 10 February 2011, Accepted 30 May 2011
- Dispersal limitation;
- Establishment limitation;
- New Zealand;
- Nothofagus solandri;
- Species-area relationship
Question: Is epiphytic lichen community structure significantly affected by isolation from source community?
Location: Foothills of the Southern Alps, South Island, New Zealand.
Methods: Epiphytic lichen richness and environmental variables were measured on 382, young Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortioides (Hook. f.) Poole (mountain beech) trees that had recently colonized grassland adjacent to a forest remnant. Richness and the presence of individual lichen taxa were modelled as a function of isolation from the forest fragment, tree size and other habitat conditions.
Results: Richness of epiphytic lichen communities was negatively related to tree isolation, although this effect was much smaller than the effects of tree size and other local (tree-scale) habitat conditions. Different lichen taxa responded in different ways to isolation, area effects and local habitat conditions.
Conclusions: This study shows that many epiphytic lichens on mountain beech are limited in their ability to colonize new substrate, even over distances of less than 1 km, which may be due to limitation in dispersal and/or establishment. Lichens are greatly influenced by local habitat conditions, such as tree size, and in this particular environment their negative interaction with sooty moulds is an important driver of community structure.