Current issue: 56(4)
Under compilation: 57(1)
The use of forest mosses as bioindicators was tested with transplanted experiments. One transplantation experiment was made to study effects of air pollutants on two forest moss species, Hylocomnium splendens (Hedw.) Schimp. and Pleurozium schreberi (Willd. ex Brid.) Mitt. Another transplantation was used to study the nitrogen fixation capacity of blue-green algae in the Hylocomnium and Pleurozium moss layers. The surface structure of the moss species was studied by scanning electron microscopy. The air pollution induced changes in the surface structure of moss cells were observable soon after the transplantation. In polluted industrial areas the fertilizing effect of air-borne nitrogen compounds increased the photosynthetic activity of mosses before their destruction. Stress respiration was also observable in polluted areas. The nitrogen fixing capacity decreased or was almost inhibited in all the air-polluted environments.
Air-borne Cu and Zn from a brass foundry at Gusum, SE Sweden, have considerably disturbed the lichen and bryophyte vegetation in the coniferous forest environment. The occurrence of lichens on Norway spruce twigs decreased rapidly with increasing Cu concentrations in Hypogymnia physodes above 90 ppm (background value 10–15). The epiphytic vegetation is reduced within 2–3 km from the foundry. Only stunted individuals occur in the close vicinity of the pollution source.
The cover of one of the quantitatively most important mosses, Hylocomnium splendens, is greatly reduced by the heavy-metal deposition. Cover values of 20–50% are not uncommon in distant sites (Cu concentration 15–35 ppm). There is a significant negative correlation between Cu concentration in the moss and its cover. The moss cannot survive much more than ca. 130 ppm Cu (and 360 ppm Zn). Live individuals are no more found within 1.5 km from the foundry.
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The data has been collected during summer 1867. It examines the moos and lichen species in for regions of Lapland: spruce region, pine region, birch region and fjeld region. The division of the regions is related to the climatic and biological conditions of areas, the first mentioned being the most southern and still suitable e.g. for many grasses. Respective regions have been presented with their general characters and list of species. Finally the findings of different regions are compared.
Since fire frequency is expected to increase globally due to climate change, it is important to understand its effects on forest ecosystems. We studied the long-term patterns in species diversity, cover and composition of vascular plants and bryophytes after forest fire and the site-related factors behind them. Research was carried out in northwestern Estonia, using a chronosequence of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands, located on nutrient poor sandy soils, where fires had occurred 12, 23, 38, 69, 80 and 183 years ago. In every stand three 100 m2 vegetation plots were established to collect floristic and environmental information. The effects on floristic characteristics of time since fire, light, and soil variables were evaluated with linear mixed models, followed by backward variable selection. Compositional variation was analysed with non-metric multidimensional scaling, Multi-response Permutation Procedures, and Indicator Species Analysis. Altogether, 31 vascular plant and 39 bryophyte species were found in vegetation plots. The cover of the vascular plant and bryophyte layers increased with a longer time since fire. Soil and light variables impacted the richness of several vascular plant and bryophyte groups, whereas only the richness of liverworts and dwarf-shrubs correlated with time since fire. Considerable compositional differences were observed in vascular plant and bryophyte assemblages between recently vs. long-time ago burned stands. To conclude, time since fire significantly impacted compositional patterns of vascular plants and bryophytes in pine forests on nutrient poor soils, although time-related trends in species richness were less evident.