Functional and epiphytic biodiversity differences between nine tree species in the UK.

Globally there is increasing concern about the increase in tree pests and pathogens due to an increase in global trade and climate change. If individual tree species are lost or decline due to pests and pathogens then other tree species are likely to replace them. Trees deliver many functions and services and if the species of tree changes it is important to know if and how the functions, services and biodiversity supported will change. Using six sites across the UK, with multiple tree species at each site, we record the functioning and biodiversity (bryophytes and lichens) of three tree species currently threatened by disease in the UK: the British oak species Quercus petraea sessile oak and Q. robur pedunculate oak and Fraxinus excelsior common ash and six other tree species: Acer pseudoplatanus sycamore, Castanea sativa sweet chestnut, Fagus sylvatica beech, Quercus cerris Turkey oak, Quercus rubra red oak and Tilia x europaea common lime; which have previously been suggested as ecological replacements for Q. petraea/robur and/or F. excelsior (Mitchell et al. 2014, Mitchell et al 2019). The variables studied included nitrogen mineralization and decomposition rate, total soil carbon and nitrogen, loss on ignition, soil pH, soil temperature and the water holding capacity of the bark. We also recorded the presence of all lichen and bryophyte species and the bark characteristics of the tree: bark pH, ridge and furrow width, furrow depth, hardness and the bark patterning.

Note

Output dataset from this study is embargoed and will be made available by 1 November 2021 at the latest.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Author Ruth J. Mitchell
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