The Value of Different Tree Species for Invertebrates and Lichens
|The table below shows
the number of insects and epiphytic (growing on plants) lichens
which have been recorded in association with common trees and shrubs in Britain. The figures in brackets include mite species as well as insects.
|Tree or Shrub||Associated Insect Species||Associated Lichen Species|
|Oak (pedunculate & sessile)||284 (423)||324|
|Willow species||266 (450)||160|
|Birch (silver & downy)||229 (334)||126|
|Poplar species (including aspen)||97||no data|
|Crab Apple||93||no data|
|Field Maple||26 (51)||93|
|Sweet Chestnut*||5||no data|
|Horse Chestnut*||4||no data|
|Holm Oak*||2||no data|
* Introduced Species
The table above is a useful tool, although it does not begin to provide the whole picture of the value of different tree species for wildlife. It should by no means be assumed that because the table shows relatively few animal/lichen species associated with a particular tree species, that this species is therefore of little value for wildlife.
The table should be read with the following cautionary points in mind:
|The table above listing the value of trees for
insects and lichens is derived from a variety of sources including the Forestry Commission
The original source references for the number of species are:
Southwood, T.R.E. (1961) The numbers of species of insect associated with various trees. J. Animal Ecology 30: 1-8
Rose F. and Harding, P.T. (1978) Pasture and woodlands in Lowland Britain and their importance for the conservation of the epiphytes and invertebrates associated with old trees. Nature Conservancy Council & The Institute of Terrestrial Ecology.
Southwood's original paper was updated by:
Kennedy, C.E.J. and Southwood, T.R.E. (1984) The number of species of insects associated with British trees: a re-analysis. J. Animal Ecology 53: 455 -478
The subject has also recently been revisited by:
This is an extremely useful paper which gives a broad view of the value of trees for wildlife. It takes into account a wide range of other species associated with trees including mycorrhizal communities; soil organisms; dead wood decay communities; epiphytes; as well as flower and fruit feeders. It should be a 'must read' for anyone interested in or working with the topic.
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