LTsER Montado Protocols - epiphytic lichens

LTsER Montado Protocols - epiphytic lichens
Lichens are organisms that result of a symbiosis between a photosynthetic partner (green algae and/or cyanobacteria) and a fungus. Lichen physiological features (absence of cuticle and root), and other characteristics (stable physiognomy, widespread occurrence) make them extremely sensitive to changes on the atmospheric environment. Under a given disturbance, the most sensitive species disappear, while the most tolerant remain. For that reason, lichen diversity is frequently used as an ecological indicator of the effects of natural and human-driven environmental changes: atmospheric pollution, climate, land-use intensity, and forest fragmentation (Matos et al., in press; Munzi et al., 2014; Pinho et al., 2008; Ribeiro et al., 2013). This protocol aims at monitoring epiphytic lichen diversity within LTsER-montado sampling sites. It is based on the European Protocol to map lichen diversity as an indicator of environmental quality (Asta et al., 2002). Adaptations regarding tree selection were done to include Quercus suber specificities (its bark is harvested every 9 years, thus sampling can only be done in the unharvested area of the trunk (Pinho et al., 2012).
biodiversity; epiphytic lichen; richness; frequency; air quality; climate; atmosphere;
Pedro Pinho, Paula Matos, João Pedro Santos, Joana Vieira, Cristina Máguas, Silvana Munzi, Sofia Augusto, Laura Concostrina, Cristina Branquinho