Research and Conservation of Epiphytic Lichens in the Several Important Plant Areas of Armenia

19 Mar 2018 Noyemberyan, Armenia, Europe Biodiversity | Fungi | Plants

Arsen Gasparyan

Other projects

3 Sep 2012

Assessment of the Epiphytic Lichen Biota and its Conservation Needs in the “Dilijan” National Park

23 Oct 2015

The Lichen Conservation and Education Initiative in Armenia

The main goal of the project is to initiate lichenological research and to propose conservation measures for epiphytic lichens of the several IPAs of Armenia.

The project objectives are:

• Collect data about epiphytic lichens distributed in the 7 Important Plant Areas of Armenia

• Establish sites for monitoring of ecological continuity and qualitative changes in the ecosystems through epiphytic lichens in the target IPAs

• Prepare distribution maps of threatened lichen species for the Red Book of Armenia

• Identify main threats and propose conservation measures for epiphytic lichens recorded within IPAs

• Implement conservation education and awareness raising campaign in adjacent communities of the IPAs

Caloplaca polycarpoides on tree bark.

Caloplaca polycarpoides on tree bark.

In 2014, the 32 Important Plant Areas have been identified in Armenia. Designation of these areas based on several criteria considering threatened, endemic species and important habitats for vascular plants, whereas the IPAs can provide much higher conservation value and cover also species and habitats of fungi, lichens, mosses inhabiting with such a plant communities. In the frame of this project, we aim to initiate research and to propose conservation measures for epiphytic lichens of the several IPAs in Armenia. As a result, epiphytic lichen diversity of the 7 IPA's will be studied and conservation measures will be proposed. It is also well known, that epiphytic lichens are good indicators of ecological continuity and health of ecosystems. Therefore, the sites for monitoring of the IPAs will also be established. They can provide information about changes of biological processes in ecosystems. Finally, the project will be a step forward for official recognition of the Important Plant Areas in Armenia by the state bodies.

The main conservation outputs of the project will be:

• Collected data including results of literature review on epiphytic lichens, including threatened, rare and indicator species reported from the 7 Important Plant Areas of Armenia

• Monitoring sites in each target IPA with basic information on indicator epiphytic lichen species

• Distribution maps of the threatened species proposed for the Red Data Book of Armenia in the target IPAs

• Report on threats assessment for target IPAs

• Recommendations on lichen-oriented conservation measures provided to the Ministry of Nature Protection for consideration during development of conservation policies, PA management plans and other related documents

• Conservation education seminars in local communities, disseminated 500 copies informational brochures, 7 informational headboards in all IPAs.

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