The impact of climate aridification on rare lichen communities

Bukabayeva Z., Abiyev S., Silybayeva B. & Ivachshenko O.
Biosystems Diversity
32(1): 142-149
The global diversity of approximately 25,000 lichen species (e.g., from the genera Usnea, Cladonia, and Peltigera), including rare and endangered ones, highlights the importance of preserving their population in the State National Nature Park “Burabay”. The objective of this study was to investigate the distribution of rare lichen species in the territory of the State National Nature Park “Burabay,” located in the Akmola region of Kazakhstan, in the period from 2018 to 2022, with a particular focus on understanding how aridification may have influenced their presence and abundance. In the course of the study, methods such as route expeditions, the comparative morphological method, as well as some other special methods were used. The collection of information to systematize the taxonomic composition of lichens (genera Lobaria, Rhizocarpon, and Xanthoria) was carried out during route expeditions. The study identified 56 lichen species, with a focus on rare and protected species. Established in 2000, the park's rich biodiversity is showcased, including the discovery of three very rare species (Dermatocarpon miniatum, Psora lurida, and Verrucaria nigrescens) and four species requiring protection (Peltigera spuria, Cladonia coccifera, Haematomma ventosum, and Caloplaca aurantiaca). These findings are significant, considering the absence of data on these species since the 1982 Red Book of Kazakhstan (including genera such as Lecanora, Lecidea, and Pertusaria). The sensitivity of lichens to environmental changes (indicated by genera like Alectoria, Bryoria, and Cetraria) makes them ideal for monitoring ecological health through a cost-effective method known as lichen indication. The increase in the species count over the past five years (highlighting genera such as Stereocaulon, Solorina, and Thamnolia) suggests effective conservation efforts and underlines the park's ecological importance. The study's findings reveal that aridification is reshaping lichen communities in the park, emphasizing their sensitivity to climate change and the need for conservation strategies to address these changes and ensure the preservation of lichen biodiversity in the face of global climate change. The research contributes valuable data for future conservation planning and environmental assessments in the region, emphasizing the need to protect diverse lichen genera (e.g., Evernia, Ramalina, and Parmotrema) for ecological monitoring and conservation. natural ecosystems, Drude scale, thallus, lichen biodiversity, symbiotic relationships, environmental indicators
Thursday, 02 May 2024 16:19