Ellis, Christopher J., Coppins, Brian J. and Dawson, Terence P.
Predicted response of the lichen epiphyte lecanora populicola to climate change scenarios in a clean-air region of northern Britain
Biological Conservation, 135, (3), . (doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2006.10.036).
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Studies in the response of vegetation to predicted future climate change have focussed on vascular plants and are therefore largely unrepresentative of wider botanical diversity (i.e. comprising cryptogams; algae, mosses, liverworts and fungi including lichens). This paper presents a study to predict the response of a cryptogam species, the epiphytic lichen Lecanora populicola, to climate change scenarios. L. populicola is an easily dispersed species that occurs predictably in a widespread habitat, i.e. aspen stands. The study area was geographically constrained to a clean-air region of northern Britain. Thus, using the popular bioclimatic envelope approach, the projected climatic response of L. populicola is not expected to be confounded by air-borne pollution effects, or dispersal and habitat limitation. Non-parametric multiplicative regression was used to describe the response of L. populicola to seven climate variables, and an optimum model projected using UKCIP02 scenarios, comprising two time-frames (2020 s and 2050 s) and two greenhouse gas emission levels (low and high). Model predictions suggest an overall increase in the potential range of L. populicola, and, by association, several other ‘Boreal’ lichen epiphytes. Projected increases in the occurrence of L. populicola are associated with predicted summer drying, and indicate a putative threat to negatively associated ‘oceanic’ lichens.
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