Hans Blom

Research Scientist

(+47) 974 77 841
hans.blom@nibio.no

Place
Bergen

Visiting address
Thormøhlensgate 55, 5006 Bergen

To document

Abstract

Schistidium relictum is described as a new northwest North American and Siberian species of moss. Important distinguishing characters include dull, nearly black plants, with stems densely and evenly foliated, weakly spreading leaves that usually lack awns, and the mostly 1-stratose distal leaf laminae with 2(–3) -stratose margins. The species has a remarkable disjunct distribution pattern with most of the sites where it has been found having been unglaciated during the Pleistocene glaciations. It is restricted to areas with occurrence of calcareous bedrock, especially limestones. It appears to be rather isolated genetically based on molecular studies of total ITS. It is sister to the large clade, ‘Apocarpum’, which consists of species which probably embody its closest known extant relatives.

To document

Abstract

Two new species of Schistidium are described from Asian Russia. Their distinctness is supported by nrDNA ITS1-2 sequence data. S. austrosibiricum was not previously differentiated from S. sinensi- apocarpum, mainly due to their similarly long and sharply serrate hair-points in stem and perichaetial leaves and papillose dorsal side of costa. However, they differ in leaf size and shape, hair-points flatness and leaf lamina areolation. S. austrosibiricum is known from southernmost mountain areas of Asian Russia, while S. sinensiapocarpum is a widespread circumholarctic montane species. The sec- ond species, S. scabripilum is morphologically similar to S. echinatum, and some specimens were previously referred to it. The main differences between them concern hair-point length and structure, including length of protruding spinulae and their angle with the hair-point axis. However, they belong to different clades in the molecular phylogenetic tree and possess different distribution patterns. S. scabripilum is a northern Asian species, found in the Putorana Plateau, southern Taimyr, Yakutia and Chukotka, while S. echinatum is known from the Alps, Caucasus and Ural mountains, and in western North America. Description, illustrations, distribution and ecological data are provided for the new species, and comparison with similar species is given.

To document

Abstract

Schistidium marginale is described as a new species from several European states including Austria, Georgia, Italy, Macedonia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. The species is fully illustrated, its affinities are discussed in detail and its current distribution is mapped. The new species is closely related to S. confertum and S. echinatum from which it differs in having a coarser and thicker costa which is 3–4-stratose in mid-leaf and 4-layered at the base; strongly thickened, 2–4-stratose and (1–)2–5-seriate leaf margins; and a thicker and stiffer leaf hair-point. It clearly belongs to Schistidium Bruch & Schimp. sect. Conferta (Vilh.) Ochyra on account of the distinct 3–6(–7)-seriate basal marginal border of quadrate to short-rectangular, often subhyaline cells with distinctly thickened transverse walls.

To document

Abstract

The cyanomorph and photosymbiodemes are here reported for the first time for Ricasolia virens (With.) H.H. Blom & Tønsberg comb. nov. (≡ Lobaria virens (With.) J.R. Laundon). The cyanomorph of R. virens is dendriscocauloid. The observed early developmental stages involve (1) a free-living cyanomorph and (2) a photosymbiodeme composed of the cyanomorph supporting small, foliose, chloromorphic lobes. Whereas the chloromorph continues to grow, the cyanomorph decays and disappears leading to the final stage (3), the free-living chloromorph. Secondary cyanomorphs emerging from the chloromorph are not known.

To document

Abstract

Retention of selected trees in clear-felling areas has become an important conservation measure in managed forests. Trees with large size or high age are usually preferred as retention trees. In this paper we investigated whether a single large or several small trees should be left in clear-felling areas to serve as life boats and future habitat for epiphytic species. The focal species were 25 Lobarion epiphytic lichens hosted by aspen (Populus tremula). We analyzed the relationships between: (1) proportion of trees colonized and tree size, (2) number of lichen thalli (lichen bodies) and aspen area, and (3) number of lichen species and aspen area, for 38 forest sites. Mixed effect models and rarefaction analyzes showed that large and small host trees had the same proportion of trees colonized, the same number of thalli, and the same species richness for the same area of aspen bark. This indicates that larger aspens do not have qualities, beyond size, that make them more suitable for Lobarion lichens than smaller sized aspen trees. None of the species, not even the red-listed, showed any tendencies of being dependent on larger aspens, and our results therefore did not support a strategy of retaining only large and old trees for conservation of epiphytic Lobarion lichens. Additionally, young aspens have a longer expected persistence than old aspens. However, old retention trees might be important for other species groups. We therefore recommend a conservational strategy of retaining a mixed selection of small/young and large/old aspens.

To document

Abstract

The liverwort Trichocolea tomentella is known from 65 localities in southern Norway. Almost half of these are in Hordaland county in Western Norway. T. tomentella has been observed at many localities (42%) in the last decade. On the other hand it has not been observed at 23% of the previously known localities after 1950, although a complete re-survey has not been performed. The species seems to be thriving in its main distribution centre in Western Norway, but in southeastern Norway urbanisation and modern forestry are major threats. In this part of Norway the species has probably gone extinct or is on its way to extinction at several of the localities. To preserve the species logging and draining close to springs, streams and gullies should be ceased. This will also preserve habitats that are species rich, in particular in bryophytes.

To document

Abstract

DNA barcoding of a group of European liverwort species from the genus Herbertus was undertaken using three plastid (matK, rbcL and trnH-psbA) and one nuclear (ITS) marker. The DNA barcode data were effective in discriminating among the sampled species of Herbertus and contributed towards the detection of a previously overlooked European Herbertus species, described here as H. norenus sp. nov. This species shows clear-cut differences in DNA sequence for multiple barcode regions and is also morphologically distinct. The DNA barcode data were also useful in clarifying taxonomic relationships of the European species with some species from Asia and North America. In terms of the discriminatory power of the different barcode markers, ITS was the most informative region, followed closely by matK. All species were distinguishable by ITS alone, rbcL + matK and various other multimarker combinations.

To document

Abstract

Two new species of Schistidium Bruch & Schimp., S. riparium H.H.Blom, Shevock, D.G.Long & Ochyra, and S. mucronatum H.H.Blom, Shevock, D.G.Long & Ochyra, are described and illustrated. They occur in rheophytic habitats in China, S. riparium in the southern Hengduan Mountains in Yunnan Province (Lancang Jiang and Nu Jiang catchments) and S. mucronatum from further north, on the Qinghai‐Tibet Plateau of Sichuan and Qinghai Provinces (Jinsha Jiang and Huang He catchments). The affinities of the new species are discussed and on the basis of their concave and broadly canaliculate leaves with plane and erect margins, S. riparium is tentatively placed in Schistidium Bruch & Schimp. subgen. Canalicularia Ochyra, whereas S. mucronatum on account of its keeled, ovate-lanceolate leaves and the strongly curved and twisted peristome teeth resembles very much species of sect. Apocarpiformia (Kindb.) Ochyra within subgen. Apocarpa Vilh.

To document

Abstract

Degelia cyanoloma (Schaer.) H. H. Blom & L. Lindblom is resurrected from synonymy and elevated from varietal rank to species. The taxon was earlier referred to D. plumbea (Lightf.) P. M. Jørg. & P. James, however, several discontinuous character states distinguish the two species. Degelia cyanoloma is characterized morphologically by having a large thallus that is pale greyish when dry, lobes that are composed of consecutive trough-shaped segments with an upper surface without squamules, no isidia or soredia, and apothecia discs that are dark reddish brown to blackish. Degelia cyanoloma has a euoceanic distribution and is known from western Europe (Norway, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Spain). Based on results from studies of morphology, we hypothesize that D. atlantica (Degel.) P. M. Jørg. & P. James is the closest relative of D. cyanoloma among the European species of the genus whereas D. plumbea is closely related to D. ligulata P. M. Jørg. & P. James.

Abstract

Forest stands are the basic planning units of managed forest landscapes, and the structural composition of these units is important for conservation of biodiversity. We present a methodological approach for identification and mapping of important structural and environmental features of forest stands. Based on an analysis of habitats of red-listed species and a synthesis of results from research on spatial distribution of forest species, we developed a habitat inventory approach (Complementary Hotspot Inventory, CHI) that is currently used in forestry planning in Norway. The CHI maps fine-scale hotspots for 12 habitat types that are further classified according to positions along main environmental gradients (productivity and humidity). Consisting of different substrates in different environments, these habitats to a large degree support different species assemblages. By incorporating both the hotspot and the complementary approach, the CHI produces data tuned for later conservation measures. The high spatial resolution of data facilitates the use of conservation measures at different spatial scales, from single-tree retention to forest reserves. Avalidation test of habitats identified by CHI showed that the density of red-listed species was four times that of randomly selected old forests.

Abstract

Results from a literature review on pinewood ecology, silviculture, genetics, aspects of history and forest resources of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in western Norway are presented. The pinewoods cover 40 per cent of the forested land, 0.31 million ha. During the last 75 years, the area has increased by 17 per cent and the growing stock has risen from 10 to 34 million m3. The impact of man in previous times was very marked, and has had a significant influence on the present forest conditions. The pronounced climatic gradients mixed with the topographic variation - from the coastal plains via the fjord systems to the high mountains - is reflected in rather steep gradients in the pine forest vegetation. Various floristic elements can be distinguished, from oceanic via the suboceanic in the outer islands to the thermophytic, boreonemoral and boreal elements in the inner fjord districts and valleys. The introduction of spruce (Picea spp.) plantations on 10-15 per cent of former native pine forests has not negatively affected the bird fauna at the landscape scale. Although not particular species rich, the pine forests harbour species usually not found in other forest types. So far, most work in the field of silviculture and forest ecology in the pinewoods of West Norway has been in the form of case studies. Implications of the results for forestry in the region are briefly discussed.

Abstract

The potential as indicators of species richness were investigated for 178 species belonging to six ecologically defined species groups (epiphytic bryophytes on nutrient-rich bark, epiphytic macrolichens on nutrient rich bark, pendant lichens on conifer trees, bryophytes on siliceous rocks, bryophytes on dead conifer wood, and polypore fungi on dead conifer wood), using species data from 0.25 ha plots from three different coniferous forest areas (ca. 200 ha each). A species was defined as a potential indicator species for a species group within a study area if its distribution was statistically significantly nested within the species-plot matrix ranked according to species richness, and if the plot frequency of the species was less than 25%. Only two species were identified as potential indicators within all three areas and on average ≈80% of the potential indicator species were lost from one area to another. The results indicate that inconsistency between areas in the species’ frequency distributions and their position in nested hierarchies may strongly reduce the general predictive power of indicator species of species richness, even if significantly nested patterns are found at the community level. We suggest that indicators related to amount and quality of habitats may be an alternative to lists of indicator species of species richness.

Abstract

We investigated the relationship between site productivity and diversity of vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, and polypore fungi in forests based on species richness data in 0.25 ha forest plots (grain size), selected from six 150-200 ha study areas (focus), and spanning over a latitudinal distance of 1350 km (extent) in Norway. We (1) searched for prevailing productivity-diversity relationships (PDRs), (2) compared PDRs among taxonomic groups and species found in different micro-habitats, and (3) investigated the effect of increasing plot (grain) size on PDRs. Using vegetation types as a surrogate for site productivity, we found a general pattern of increasing species richness with site productivity. On average total species richness doubled with a ten-fold increase in productivity. Lichens PDRs stood out as less pronounced and more variable than for other species groups investigated. PDRs of species associated with downed logs tended to level off at high-productive sites, a pattern interpreted as an effect of disturbance. Increasing the grain size >10-fold did not change the proportional difference in species richness between sites with high and low productivity.

Abstract

Vascular plants were investigated as a potential surrogate group in complementary small scale site selection, such as woodland key habitats in Scandinavia. We compared the response of vascular plants to environmental gradients to that of seven other plant, fungal and animal groups within a forest reserve in western Norway using data from 59 plots of 0.25 ha. We also examined whether the spatial changes in species (beta-2 index) of vascular plants matched that of the other groups. All seven groups responded to the same gradients in nutrient richness and humidity as the vascular plants. Furthermore, changes in species composition of vascular plants were reflected in comparable degrees of change among the “target“ groups. The lower the degree of change in species composition between plots in the “target“ groups relative to that of vascular plants, the higher the percentage “target“ species encompassed in a complementary selection of sites based on vascular plants. We conclude that in practical site selection of small scale sites of conservation value, such as woodland key habitats, vascular plants may be used in combination with an inventory of important habitats for rare and/or redlisted forest species, such as dead wood, old trees, deciduous trees, and cliffs.