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Vulnerability analysis of the rare woodland fern Polystichum braunii (Dryopteridaceae) in Germany

dc.contributor.advisorLeuschner, Christoph Prof. Dr.
dc.contributor.authorSchwerbrock, Robin
dc.titleVulnerability analysis of the rare woodland fern Polystichum braunii (Dryopteridaceae) in Germanyde
dc.contributor.refereeLeuschner, Christoph Prof. Dr.
dc.description.abstractengBackground: Various rare and endangered temperate ferns are being threatened by their recent population decline, but there is limited understanding of the causes behind it. Aims: This study attempted to identify the possible drivers of regional population decline and extinction in the globally distributed woodland fern Polystichum braunii. Methods: A comparison was undertaken of the climatic, edaphic and phytosociological characteristics of sites with increasing, decreasing or recently extinct populations in Germany. Results: A significantly higher frequency of episodes of low relative air humidity (<60 %) was found at sites with decreasing or extinct populations compared to habitats with population increases. Sites with decreasing or extinct populations were also characterised as having less summer precipitation (<500 mm year-1) and a shorter duration of snow cover (<110 days year-1) than sites with increasing populations. The latter had significantly higher moss cover (56 % of the forest floor), but less cover by a tree litter layer (23 %) compared to decreasing (36 % and 38 %) or recently extinct populations (22 % and 52 %). All increasing populations were located in intact Tilia - Acer ravine forests, while those suffering population decline were mostly located in Fagus-dominated forests. Conclusions: It was concluded that the probable causes of the recent decline in German P. braunii populations are reduced air humidity levels, decreasing snow duration or a shift from moss-covered to tree litter-covered forest floors due to climate warming or altered forest
dc.contributor.coRefereeHauck, Markus Prof. Dr.
dc.subject.engPolystichum braunii, air humidity, climate chamber experiment, climate change, foliar water uptakede
dc.affiliation.instituteBiologische Fakultät für Biologie und Psychologiede
dc.subject.gokfullBiologie (PPN619462639)de

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