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Re-establishment rate of reindeer lichen species following conventional disc trenching and HuMinMix soil preparation in Pinus-lichen clear-cut stands: a survey study in northern Sweden

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The re-establishment rates of reindeer lichen following conventional soil preparation by disc trenching and gentle soil preparation using HuMinMix apparatus were calculated from data acquired in surveys of 17 Pinus-lichen clear-cut stands in northern Sweden conducted 1-15 years after the treatments. The maximum lichen cover and biomass recorded in areas scarified by disc trenching were 29% and 24% of the lichen cover and biomass measured in adjacent intact lichen mats in the surveyed stands after 15 years. By contrast, 9 years after scarification, the corresponding percentages measured in areas disturbed by the HuMinMix treatment were 91% and 100%, respectively. According to calculated linear regressions, the reindeer lichen cover could be completely re-established just one decade after HuMinMix treatment. Ground lichen diversity in the scarified areas was also inventoried. The significant increase in lichen diversity for HuMinMix, especially of early-successional species, could explain the more rapid re-establishment of late-successional lichens (e.g. Cladonia stellaris spp.), compared with disc trenching. Thus, the study demonstrates that both the degree of initial disturbance and the re-establishment rate of reindeer lichen must be considered when estimating the effects of scarification on lichen loss for reindeer grazing over time.

Keywords: Cladonia; lichen diversity; reindeer pastures; scarification

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Unit for Forest Field-based Research, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Vindeln, Sweden 2: Swedish Forest Agency, Luleå, Sweden 3: Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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