Article

Field measurements of the growth rates of forage lichens, and the implications of grazing by Svalbard reindeer

Details

Citation

Cooper EJ & Wookey P (2001) Field measurements of the growth rates of forage lichens, and the implications of grazing by Svalbard reindeer. Symbiosis, 31 (1-3), pp. 173-186. https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-0034917917&partnerID=40&md5=bd08866d7730cbafd2df6522030ca3a7

Abstract
Mean relative growth rates of lichens on Brøggerhalvøya, Svalbard, (78°60′ N, 12°0′ E, Norwegian High Arctic) ranged from 2.4 (Alectoria nigricans) to 10.6 (Cladonia rangiferina) mg.g-1 per week. This related to a seasonal increase of between 2.5% and 11.2% of original dry mass. The number of species and percentage cover of lichens were greater inside than outside three long-term reindeer exclosures, suggesting that through their indiscriminate trampling and selective grazing Svalbard reindeer have the ability to completely alter lichen community structure, in both the short and long term. The lichen communities are only likely to be able to reestablish if there is a significant reduction in the reindeer population for at least 20 years, such as could occur by a complete emigration of deer from the area. Reduced lichen forage availability has potentially serious implications for the reindeer population.

Keywords
grazing; lichens; reindeer; relative growth rates; Svalbard;

Journal
Symbiosis: Volume 31, Issue 1-3

StatusPublished
Publication date31/12/2001
PublisherBalaban Publishers
Publisher URLhttps://www.scopus.com/…d2df6522030ca3a7
ISSN0334-5114

People (1)

People

Professor Philip Wookey
Professor Philip Wookey

Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences