iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Cryptogamic epiphytes and microhabitat diversity on non-native green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh., Oleaceae) in urban habitats

Sebastian Dittrich (1)   , Elke Thiem (1), Birte Marie Albrecht (1), Goddert von Oheimb (1-2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 14, Issue 5, Pages 393-399 (2021)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3739-014
Published: Sep 01, 2021 - Copyright © 2021 SISEF

Research Articles

With the increased planting of non-native trees within urban environments there is a need for investigating the impacts they may have on the indigenous biodiversity. In this study, we explored the diversity of epiphytic lichens and bryophytes as well as the tree-related microhabitats on planted, non-native green ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica and compared it to that of indigenous Fraxinus excelsior and Quercus robur. We conducted sampling on trees of similar growing conditions and size within two cities of eastern Germany (Dresden and Dessau-Roßlau). In our analysis we did not find any significant differences in epiphyte diversity and abundance. By contrast, microhabitat diversity was significantly higher on F. pennsylvanica than on the indigenous tree species, which we attribute to the pioneer character of F. pennsylvanica with faster ageing. Our results underline a low impact of F. pennsylvanica on epiphytic lichen and bryophyte diversity, while indigenous animals might even benefit from the higher diversity and frequency of microhabitats on trees of this species. Therefore, its use as an ornamental tree should not be generally rejected in urban environments.


Alien Trees, Bryophytes, Invasiveness, Lichens

Authors’ address

Sebastian Dittrich 0000-0002-4043-508X
Elke Thiem
Birte Marie Albrecht
Goddert von Oheimb 0000-0001-7408-425X
Technische Universität Dresden, Institute of General Ecology and Environmental Protection, Chair of Biodiversity and Nature Conservation, Pienner Str. 7, 01735 Tharandt (Germany)
Goddert von Oheimb 0000-0001-7408-425X
German Centre of Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5E, 04103 Leipzig (Germany)

Corresponding author



Dittrich S, Thiem E, Albrecht BM, von Oheimb G (2021). Cryptogamic epiphytes and microhabitat diversity on non-native green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh., Oleaceae) in urban habitats. iForest 14: 393-399. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3739-014

Paper history

Received: Jan 08, 2021
Accepted: Jul 06, 2021

First online: Sep 01, 2021
Publication Date: Oct 31, 2021
Publication Time: 1.90 months

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