ISSN 10674136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2012, Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 97–100. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2012.
Original Russian Text © I.M. Rodnikova, 2012, published in Ekologiya, 2012, No. 2, pp. 92–95.
Coastal plant communities grow under specific
environmental conditions accounted for by the inter
action of land and sea, and lichens are an essential
component of such communities. Research on the
species composition of lichens on the northwestern
Sea of Japan coast was started in the past century
(Chabanenko, 1986; 2002; Skirina, 1995; 2004; Rod
nikova, 2006; Rodnikova and Skirina, 2008). How
ever, no special studies on the ecology of lichens in
coastal habitats have been performed to date.
The purpose of this study was to reveal morpholog
ical, ecological, and geographic features of coastal
lichen communities that reflect the influence of spe
cific environmental conditions on their floristic com
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The study was performed on the mainland coast and
21 islands in the northwestern Sea of Japan (the Pri
morye coast) in 2004 to 2009. The descriptions of lichen
communities were made in 250 test plots
100 cm in size, depending on habitat type. The list
of lichens compiled after processing the collections
included 148 species of 53 genera and 22 families.
The study area is in the temperate monsoon zone.
According to geobotanical zoning (Kolesnikov, 1961),
it belongs to the mixed coniferous–broadleaf forest
subzone of the Manchurian geobotanical region.
Coastal vegetation is represented mainly by herb–
shrub communities; in places, mixed deciduous for
ests extend to the coast. In most areas, the coasts are
Five basic types of lichen habitats (Table 1) were
distinguished with regard to four environmental fac
tors having the strongest effect on the species compo
sition of lichens on the sea coast: (1) substrate type and
mobility, (2) moisture supply, (3) insolation, and (4)
direct influence of sea water. Since substrate is a lead
ing environmental factor determining the distribution
pattern of lichens, habitat type “coastal forests” was
divided into two subtypes: one for lichens growing on
tree bark (“forest–bark”) and the other for lichens
growing on rocks (“forest–rocks”).
The life forms of lichens were analyzed using the
classification by Golubkova (1983). This system is
based on habit–physiognomic characters, and all life
Effect of Environmental Conditions on Morphological, Ecological
and Geographic Characteristics of Lichens in Coastal Habitats
I. M. Rodnikova
Pacific Institute of Geography, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Radio 7, Vladivostok, 690041 Russia
Received November 6, 2010
—The distribution of morphological, substrate, and latitudinal geographic groups of lichen species
has been analyzed in various habitat types on the northwestern coast of the Sea of Japan. The results show that
the influence of the sea manifests itself in the presence of halophytes, xerophytic life forms, and species of the
suboceanic latitudinal geographic group; soil–plant conditions account for the development of the substrate
group of epiphytic lichens, mesophytic life forms, and species of the nemoral latitudinal geographic group.
: lichens, life forms, substrate groups, latitudinal geographic groups, coastal habitats.
Characteristics of the main types of lichen habitats in coastal areas
of sea water
Coastal cliffs Rocks and soil, stable Xeromorphic, mesoxeromorphic Exposed to shaded +
Boulder–pebble beaches Stones, mobile Xeromorphic Exposed +
Soil, stable Mesomorphic Exposed –
Coastal forests, tree bark Bark, stable Mesomorphic Shaded to exposed –
Coastal forests, rocks Rocks, stable Xeromesomorphic Shaded –