Patterns of the red-listed epiphytic species distribution in coniferous-deciduous forests of the Moscow Region

Chernenkova T.V., Belyaeva N.G., Suslova E.G., Aristarkhova E.A. & Kotlov I.P.
Geography, Environment, Sustainability
16(1): 119–131
Epiphytes model the diversity of forest communities and indicate the integrity of natural ecosystems or the threat to their existence. The high sensitivity of epiphytic species to the environmental quality makes them good indicators in anthropogenic landscapes. The study deals with the distribution patterns of rare indicator epiphytic species at the border of their range in the broad- leaved–coniferous forest zone, in the central part of the East European Plain within the Moscow region. The distribution and abundance of eight lichen species Anaptychia ciliaris, Bryoria fuscescens, B. implexa, Usnea dasopoga, U. glabrescens, U. hirta, U. subfloridana and the epiphytic moss Neckera pennata were studied. The main environmental factors at the regional level were climate variables based on the Worldclim database, water indices based on Sentinel-2 multispectral remote sensing data, and the anthropogenic impact factor in terms of the Nighttime lights of the earth’s surface based on the Suomi NPP satellite system. It was revealed that the vast majority of records were in the western and northern sectors of the region, i.e. in the broad-leaved–coniferous forest zone, while the vast majority of 0-records were in the southern and eastern sectors, in the area of broad-leaved and pine forests and extensive reclaimed wetlands. The association with different types of communities and biotopes, as well as tree species, was assessed at the ecosystem level, using field data. It has been established that the distribution of the studied species is governed by natural-geographic features of the territory. The principal limiting factors are air pollution, ecological restrictions (high humidity requirement of sites), cutting of mature forests and formation of local anthropogenic infrastructure. In perspective the study of ecology and living conditions of the studied rare species will help determine the optimal conditions contributing to biodiversity conservation in forests near large metropolitan areas and optimization of habitat diversity. Keywords: the red-listed epiphytic, forests, bioindicators, climate, anthropogenic impact, community ecology, biotope, urbanized landscapes, Moscow region.
Tuesday, 23 January 2024 17:20