In Sweden ca. 20 000 ha forestland is fertilised each year. By using red-listed and ‘signal’ bryophytes and lichens as indicators, we investigated whether forest stands planned for fertilisation have a biodiversity value, and thus if restrictions due to conservation aspects are motivated. Species occurrences were registered in detailed line-transect analysis, with a record size of 10 x 10 m, in 74 coniferous forest stands with a mean age of 57 years in East-Central Sweden. On the 230 ha totally surveyed, 10 red-listed and 37 signal species were found. The mean number of records ha–1 of red-listed bryophytes and lichens was 0.26 ha–1, which is considerably less than previously found in mature production stands and woodland key habitats. Red-listed species were found in 31% of the stands and signal species in 95%. More than 70% of all records of red-listed species and 30% of the records of the signal species were found in moist micro-sites. If rare bryophytes and lichens are to be preserved in fertilisation stands, improved instructions regarding avoidance of important micro-sites are needed.