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Epiphyte Ecology
Monitoring Change
Species Discovery

Dr Brian Coppins
Ms Sally Eaton
Dr Christopher Ellis
Ms Louise Olley
Dr Rebecca Yahr

Research Projects




Our research contributes practical outcomes in epiphyte conservation

Lichen Epiphyte Scenarios

Work in Bioclimatic Modelling has culminated in the production of climate change scenarios for 382 epiphytic lichens [1], all of which are now freely available in a Lichen Epiphyte Scenarios toolkit (Figure 1). Climate change scenarios for the 2050s and 2080s can be combined at a site specific scale with changed woodland composition (e.g. ash dieback), in order to explore management options over the long-term, and integrating issues of climate change and woodland structure [2, 3].

When using this toolkit, see our Technical Report, and watch for updates and Errata.

The Lichen Epiphyte Scenarios have been used to support a range of policy and practical actions:

(i) to identify the threat to dispersal-limited ancient woodland indicator species [4], and thus contributing a key Adaptation Indicator to Scotland's Climate Change Adaptation Programme as well as a National Indicator adopted by the UK's Climate Change Adaptation Sub-Committee,

(ii) using the tree species associations of epiphytes at a baseline climate, to support Phase 1 and Phase 2 national management advice given the threat of ash dieback,

(iii) to help identify resilient long-term management strategies for Scottish Natural Heritage's flagship Glasdrum National Nature Reserve.


[1] Ellis, C.J., Eaton, S., Theodoropoulos, M., Coppins, B.J., Seaward, M.R.D. & Simkin, J. (2015) Lichen Epiphyte Scenarios. A Toolkit of Climate and Woodland Change for the 21st Century. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. ISBN: 978-1-91087-00-5. See Errata for updates.

[2] Ellis, C.J., Eaton, S., Theodoropoulos, M., Coppins, B.J., Seaward, M.R.D. & Simkin, S. (2014) Response of epiphytic lichens to 21st Century climate change and tree disease scenarios. Biological Conservation, 180: 153-164.

[3] Ellis, C.J., Eaton, S. & Theodoropoulos, M. (2014) Managing epiphytic diversity in British woodlands. A scenarios toolkit. The Quarterly Journal of Forestry, 108: 262-266.

[4] Ellis, C.J. (2015) Ancient woodland indicators signal the climate change risk for dispersal-limited species. Ecological Indicators, 53: 106-114.