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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

The distribution of epiphytic lichens on Quercus pubescens in Tuscany, central Italy, was studied by means of multivariate techniques along an altitudinal gradient from 0 to 900 m. Great differences in community structure were found and the altitude of 500 m was identified as an ecotone. Epiphytic lichen vegetation on trees below the ecotone varied significantly in relation to bark pH. Climatic parameters (temperature and rainfall) were probably related to altitude. Dust was probably responsible for the rise in bark pH. The distribution of lichen species in the sampling belts fitted the core-satellite hypothesis. The use of core and satellite species as biomonitors of air pollution and bioindicators of environmental conditions is discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Environmental Biology, University of Siena ; 2: Department of Ecology, School of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Aristotle University


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