NatureScot Commissioned Report 426: Lichen epiphyte dynamics in Scottish Atlantic oakwoods - the effect of tree age and historical continuity
Scottish Atlantic oakwoods are a conservation priority, not least because of their characteristic epiphyte communities, which are representative of cool-temperate rainforest. Forests with a strong representation of temperate rainforest epiphytes are globally disjunct; Scotland provides probably the best examples of these epiphyte communities in Europe, owing to the long ecological continuity of forest remnants, and low levels of air pollution. However, Scotland’s extant oakwood habitat is fragmentary, in a human-modified cultural landscape. There is a move towards the regeneration of Scottish native woodlands – including Atlantic oakwooods. This report summarises research to quantify the temporal processes which control the development of oakwood epiphyte communities – enabling ecological information on epiphytes to inform strategies in forest regeneration.
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