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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Can Larix sp. Mill. Provide Suitable Habitats for Insects and Lichens Associated with Stems of Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. in Northern Europe?

Lynikiene, Jurate; Gedminas, Arturas; Marciulynas, Adas; Marciulyniene, Diana; Menkis, Audrius


Recent observations suggest that climate change affects the growth conditions and range of tree species distribution in Europe. This may also have a major effect on communities of different organisms associated with these tree species. We aimed to determine whether Larix sp. could provide suitable habitats to insects and lichens associated with P. abies to conserve their biodiversity under climate change. The study sites were 10 Larix sp. and 10 P. abies forest stands in Lithuania. Both living and dead trees were included. Sticky traps, bark sheets, and exit hole methods were used for the assessment of insects. Independent plots on tree stems were established for the assessment of lichens. There were 76 and 67 different insect species on dead and living P. abies, respectively, using sticky traps. Similarly, there were 64 and 68 on dead and living Larix sp., respectively. The overall community of xylophagous insects consisted of nine and eight species, which were detected using the bark sheet and exit hole methods, respectively. The bark area colonized by lichens was 34.3% on dead P. abies and 63.2% on dead Larix sp., and 40.4% on living P. abies and 78.0% on living Larix sp. Taken together, the results demonstrate that native P. abies and introduced Larix sp. support similar diversity of stem-associated insect and lichen species.


biodiversity; climate change; Norway spruce; larch; insects; lichens; forest management

Published in

2022, volume: 14, number: 9, article number: 729
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Lynikiene, Jurate
Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry
Gedminas, Arturas
Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry
Marciulynas, Adas
Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry
Marciulyniene, Diana
Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

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