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Song L.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden | Song L.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Liu W.-Y.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden | Liu W.-Y.,Curtin University Australia | And 2 more authors.
Oecologia | Year: 2012

A field manipulation experiment was conducted in a subtropical montane cloud forest in southwestern China to determine the possible responses of epiphytic bryophytes to increasing nitrogen (N) deposition from community to physiology level, and to find sensitive epiphytic bryophytes that may be used as indicators for assessing the degree of N pollution. N addition had significantly negative effects on species richness and cover of the epiphytic bryophyte community. Harmful effects of high N loads were recorded for chlorophyll, growth, and vitality of the species tested. The decline of some epiphytic bryophytes may result from detrimental effects on degradation to photosynthetic pigments. Bazzania himalayana (Mitt.) Schiffn., Bazzania ovistipula (Steph.) Mizut., and Homaliodendron flabellatum (Sm.) Fleisch. are candidates in atmospheric nitrogen monitoring. Epiphytic bryophytes in the montane cloud forest are very sensitive to increasing N deposition and often difficult to recover once they have been destroyed, providing early detection of enhanced N pollution for trees or even the whole forest ecosystem. The inference that increasing N pollution may lead to loss of biodiversity is a concern to the developing economy in western China, and should alert the government to the adverse impacts caused by increased industrial pollution during the process of China's West Development. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Li S.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden | Li S.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Liu W.-Y.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden | Li D.-W.,National Forest Ecosystem Research Station at Ailao Mountains
Biological Conservation | Year: 2013

Anthropogenic disturbances can severely impact the abundant lichen epiphyte communities of subtropical forests due to habitat loss, fragmentation and alteration. To assess the potential of anthropogenic secondary forests as conservation sites for epiphytic lichens, we investigated epiphytic lichens in 120 plots of eight forest types that are representative for the subtropical Ailao Mountains, southwest China. A total of 217 epiphytic lichen species were recorded, with 83% occurring in primary forests and 97% in secondary forests. Total species richness was significantly higher in the primary Lithocarpus forest (PLF), the middle-aged oak secondary forest (MOSF), the Populus bonatii secondary forest (PBSF) and the Ternstroemia gymnanthera secondary forest (TGSF) compared to four other forest types. The PLF harbored the highest number of rare species, while the MOSF, the PBSF and the TGSF, which had more pioneer tree species, hosted all cyanolichens found in this area. The Sørensen index of similarity between forest types ranged from 0.39 to 0.90. Ordination analysis showed a distinct lichen species composition in each forest type. Correlation analysis indicated that forest characteristics, such as canopy openness and host diversity, significantly influence lichen richness. These findings demonstrate the importance of primary forests for lichen epiphyte conservation, and suggest that the MOSF, the PBSF and the TGSF help preserve crucial components of the subtropical forest landscape and can play important roles in promoting lichen conservation. At a broad landscape scale, a mosaic of extensive primary forests and small secondary forest fragments is important for biodiversity conservation in subtropical regions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Li S.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden | Li S.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Liu W.-Y.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden | Liu W.-Y.,Curtin University Australia | Li D.-W.,National Forest Ecosystem Research Station at Ailao Mountains
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2013

Lichen epiphytes are applied as excellent environmental indicators worldwide. However, very little is known about epiphytic lichen communities and their response to forest dynamics in subtropical China. This paper proposes the applications of the cover, diversity, and functional traits of epiphytic lichens to assess environmental changes associated with succession in subtropical forests of southwest China. Bole lichens were sampled from 120 plots of eight representative forest types in the Ailao Mountains. Total cover, species richness, diversity and community structure of bole lichens differed significantly among forest types, and the highest cover and diversity occurred in the Populus bonatii secondary forest (PBSF). Sixty-one indicator species were associated with particular forest types and more than 50% occurred in the PBSF. Both cover and diversity of most lichen functional groups varied regularly during forest succession. Lichen pioneer species were not displaced by competitively superior species as succession proceeds and cyanolichens were more prevalent in secondary forests. The results also highlight the importance of habitat variables such as canopy openness, host diversity, forest age, tree size, the size of the largest tree, tree density, and basal area on the lichen community. Consequently, our findings support the notion that epiphytic lichens, in terms of cover, diversity, species composition and functional traits can be used as effective indicators for large-scale and long-term forest monitoring. More importantly, the narrowly lobed foliose group was the best candidate indicator of environmental conditions in this region. The combined application of lichen indicator species and functional groups seemed to be a more reliable and more powerful method for monitoring forest dynamics in subtropical montane ecosystems. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Li S.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden | Liu W.-Y.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden | Li D.-W.,National Forest Ecosystem Research Station at Ailao Mountains | Song L.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden | And 4 more authors.
Fungal Ecology | Year: 2015

An entire-tree investigation was conducted in two primary and three secondary forest types in the subtropical Ailao Mountains of southwest China to determine whether species richness and vertical stratification of epiphytic lichens responded to forest type and host attributes. Lichen species number, composition and cover differed significantly among forest types and tree species, while tree diameter and tree height had a modest influence. Epiphytic lichen species and functional groups showed clear vertical stratification. Epiphytic lichens were richer in canopies than on trunks and exhibited a great preference for the intermediate zones of trees, while five lichen groups showed distinct vertical diversification. The stratification patterns are clearly related to forest type and may reflect the microclimatic requirements of individual species, e.g. light availability and humidity. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and The British Mycological Society.

Li S.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden | Li S.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Liu W.-Y.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden | Li D.-W.,National Forest Ecosystem Research Station at Ailao Mountains | And 6 more authors.
Soil Biology and Biochemistry | Year: 2014

Epiphytes constitute a substantial proportion of the canopy biomass in subtropical montane forests, and their decomposition has not been adequately addressed, especially in the canopy relative to the forest floor compartments. The rates of litter decomposition and nutrient release of five epiphytes (macrolichens Everniastrum nepalense, Nephromopsis ornata and Usnea florida, moss Homaliodendron flabellatum, and fern Phymatopteris connexa) and two tree species (Castanopsis wattii and Lithocarpus xylocarpus) were quantified over a two-year period using litterbags in the canopy and on the forest floor in an evergreen broad-leaved forest in the subtropical Ailao Mountains in southwest China. After two years, all litter in the canopy decayed 15-30% slower than on the forest floor, with 17-69% and 2-51% of initial masses remaining respectively. Nutrient concentration varied regularly as decay proceeded in the canopy while nutrient amount underwent regular variation on the forest floor. Decay rate and nutrient release differed significantly among functional groups and the order of decay rate was lichen>tree>fern>bryophyte. Lichens had the fastest decay rates, and the fruticose U.florida decayed faster than the other two foliose species. The rate of lichen decomposition was significantly correlated with morphology and initial N and P concentrations. The bryophyte species had the lowest decay rate, but with relatively rapid release of N and P, while the fern had high net N and P immobilization. K was rapidly released from litter. Ca and Mg eventually decreased with variable concentrations during decomposition. Our results highlight the potential importance of nonvascular epiphytes in increasing nutrient availability, especially N and P, in the canopy soil environment, and the probable role of epiphytic bryophytes and ferns in accumulating organic matter. © 2014.

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