Biodiversity in the wake of urban sprawl: loss among epiphytic lichens on large oaks
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Biodiversity often suffers from urbanisation. In the present study, we focused on how the age of urbanisation affects the richness of 17 epiphytic lichens species and their cover on large oaks, with a minimum spacing of 250 m, in urban environments in the city of Linköping (100,000 inhabitants), SE Sweden. We also surveyed trees in adjacent rural areas, selected to have similar distributions of tree trunk circumference and oak density within 300 m. Lichen richness and cover were significantly lower on urban trees compared to rural trees. Furthermore, richness and cover decreased with the length of time that urban trees had been surrounded by houses. Roughly one species is lost every 30 years. Most of the species that were analysed demonstrated a drop in occurrence with respect to the duration of housing development. The reduction in the probability of occurrence varied from 60% (Calicium viride, Evernia prunastri), 80% (Chrysotrix candelaris) to 90% (Ramalina spp.) during the 160-year period of urbanisation considered. Therefore, even if valuable trees survive over the course of development, their lichen flora are likely to become depleted over time.
Housing; landscape; Linköping; Quercus; spatial; urbanization
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-81432OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-81432DiVA: diva2:552431