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Forest harvesting impacts on mortality of an endangered lichen at the landscape and stand scales

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Abstract:

Industrial forestry can negatively affect biodiversity, and rare or endangered species are particularly vulnerable. Boreal felt lichen (Erioderma pedicellatum (Hue) P.M.Jørg.) is a globally critically endangered species, and its population in Nova Scotia has been reduced through harvesting of its host tree balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.). We hypothesized that forest harvesting adjacent to and within the landscape of boreal felt lichen could increase the risk of mortality by negatively affecting microclimate of its habitat. Autologistic regression models were used to measure probability of mortality (death or disappearance) with harvesting history at the stand and landscape scales. Erioderma pedicellatum mortality and 17-year tree harvesting history derived from satellite data were used in the model. Modeling at the stand scale suggested that the probability of E. pedicellatum mortality increased as the area of tree harvesting increased. At the landscape scale, the model suggested that probability of E. pedicellatum mortality increased as the area of harvest within 500 m increased. Adjacent tree harvesting may increase solar radiation, wind, and temperature, which could have a negative effect on E. pedicellatum survival. We recommend maintaining uncut buffer zones around E. pedicellatum and limiting the size of harvest blocks and amount of harvesting in the landscape over a given time period to help conserve this endangered species.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2012-0452

Affiliations: 1: N.S. Environment, P.O. Box 442, Halifax, NS B3J 2P8, Canada. 2: Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, RR 2 Middleton, NS B0S 1P0, Canada.

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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