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Research article2010Peer reviewed

Co-variation of lichens, bryophytes, saproxylic beetles and dead wood in Swedish boreal forests

Djupstrom, Line B.; Perhans, Karin; Weslien, Jan; Schroeder, L. Martin; Gustafsson, Lena; Wikberg, Sofie


In order to effectively identify and protect the most valuable forest areas for conservation, it is essential to understand species diversity patterns and the co-variation of different taxonomic groups. In this study we analysed the extent to which lichens, bryophytes and saproxylic beetles co-vary, their ability to represent each other in a reserve network (surrogate capacity), and their patterns of beta-diversity. We also tested the surrogate capacity of dead wood. A species and dead wood inventory was conducted in forest sites in a boreal forest region in central Sweden. Overall, the correlations in species richness between taxa were weak, but some were statistically significant, i.e. those between red-listed lichens and red-listed bryophytes. Beetles were weakly positively correlated with bryophytes, but never with lichens. None of the tested taxa provided a reliable surrogate for representing the other taxa. However, dead wood diversity did represent saproxylic beetles and bryophytes better than random selection and might therefore function as a conservation surrogate for those taxa. Beta-diversity differed significantly between the taxa; lichens had the lowest, while beetles had the highest. Altogether beetles showed low association with the other taxa but high beta-diversity, which implies that they may require specific conservation planning.


beta-diversity; bryophytes; dead wood; lichens; red-listed species; reserve selection; saproxylic beetles; species richness; surrogate capacity

Published in

Systematics and Biodiversity
2010, Volume: 8, number: 2, article number: PII 923321993

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      • Sustainable Development Goals

        SDG15 Life on land

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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