iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Impact of forest management on threatened epiphytic macrolichens: evidence from a Mediterranean mixed oak forest (Italy)

Luca Paoli (1)   , Renato Benesperi (2), Zuzana Fačkovcová (3), Juri Nascimbene (4), Sonia Ravera (5), Marco Marchetti (5), Barbara Anselmi (6), Marco Landi (7), Sara Landi (8), Elisabetta Bianchi (2), Luca Di Nuzzo (2), Anna Lackovičová (3), Andrea Vannini (9), Stefano Loppi (9), Anna Guttová (3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 12, Issue 4, Pages 383-388 (2019)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2951-012
Published: Jul 12, 2019 - Copyright © 2019 SISEF

Research Articles

Forest management practices may heavily affect epiphytic cryptogams. This study was conceived in March 2016, as soon as we were informed about an authorized logging for timber within a Mediterranean mixed oak forest in Tuscany (central Italy), which threatened a large population of the forest macrolichen Lobaria pulmonaria (L.) Hoffm., composed of hundreds of fertile thalli. Lobaria pulmonaria is often used as an ecological indicator of high quality habitats hosting rare lichens, and in general, cryptogams worthy of conservation. The species has suffered a general decline throughout Europe as a consequence of air pollution and intensive forest management, and currently it is red-listed in several countries, where it is considered also as a “flag species”. We estimated that 40% of the lichen biomass (8.5-12.3 kg ha-1) has been lost due to logging operations (in the core area, up to 1.8 kg every 100 m2), in particular large and fertile thalli. One year after the conclusion of logging operations, the analysis of chlorophyll fluorescence emission (indicator of the photosynthetic performance of the lichen photobionts), revealed a significant reduction of the vitality of the thalli on retained-isolated trees. The article provides issues for conservation in Mediterranean oak forests and outlines the outmost importance of ensuring the safeguard of forest ecosystems hosting fertile populations of this model species, especially in the case of unprotected forests.


Biomass Loss, Chlorophyll Fluorescence, Flag Species, Legal Protection, Lobaria pulmonaria, Red Lists

Authors’ address

Luca Paoli 0000-0001-5479-6428
Department of Biology, University of Pisa, v. Ghini 13, 56126, Pisa (Italy)
Renato Benesperi 0000-0003-4296-3393
Elisabetta Bianchi
Luca Di Nuzzo
Department of Biology, University of Florence, v. La Pira 4, I-50121, Florence (Italy)
Zuzana Fačkovcová 0000-0002-5760-5364
Anna Lackovičová
Anna Guttová
Plant Science and Biodiversity Centre, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, SK-84523 Bratislava (Slovakia)
Juri Nascimbene 0000-0002-9174-654X
Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna, v. Irnerio 42, I-40126 Bologna (Italy)
Barbara Anselmi
Associazione Culturale di Murlo, p.zza Cattedrale, I-53016 Murlo, Siena (Italy)
Marco Landi
Reparto Carabinieri per la Biodiversità di Siena, Loc. Il Braccio 4, I-53100 (Italy)
Sara Landi
Department of Natural and Land Sciences, University of Sassari, Loc. Piandanna, I-07100 Sassari (Italy)
Andrea Vannini 0000-0003-3789-6691
Stefano Loppi 0000-0002-3404-1017
Department of Life Science, University of Siena, v. Mattioli 4, I-53100 Siena (Italy)

Corresponding author

Luca Paoli


Paoli L, Benesperi R, Fačkovcová Z, Nascimbene J, Ravera S, Marchetti M, Anselmi B, Landi M, Landi S, Bianchi E, Di Nuzzo L, Lackovičová A, Vannini A, Loppi S, Guttová A (2019). Impact of forest management on threatened epiphytic macrolichens: evidence from a Mediterranean mixed oak forest (Italy). iForest 12: 383-388. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2951-012

Academic Editor

Rodolfo Picchio

Paper history

Received: Aug 20, 2018
Accepted: Apr 28, 2019

First online: Jul 12, 2019
Publication Date: Aug 31, 2019
Publication Time: 2.50 months

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