Stand characteristics in colour-infrared aerial photographs as indicators of epiphytic lichens

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Abstract

Information about forest biodiversity has so far been collected mostly by using field inventories, but it is desirable to find other methods that can cover large areas at a lower cost. In a forest landscape covering 2000 ha in southern Sweden we tested if colour-infrared (CIR) aerial photographs on the scale of 1:30000 can be used to interpret forest stand characteristics correlated to the occurrence of epiphytic lichens that are Red-listed or otherwise indicate high nature conservation value ('signal species'). Using logistic regression we found that the interpreted stand variables tree height and crown structure class were significantly correlated to the occurrence of Red-listed species. For signal species, the variables tree height, percentage of southern deciduous trees and crown structure class were significantly correlated to the occurrence. The logistic regression models successfully predicted a significantly higher probability to find Red-listed species in the stands that actually contained such species compared to stands without Red-listed species. The same was true for stands with signal species. We conclude that interpretation of CIR aerial photographs could be a useful method to find certain groups of epiphytic lichens in surveys covering large areas.

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  • Ecology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-542
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Volume13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes