Fungal and lichen communities in semi-natural and managed forests under the umbrella of the white-backed woodpecker

Is the White-backed Woodpecker an umbrella species - i.e. a species whose protection ensures the survival of the entire species community?

This question is the focus of this project initiated by the Sempach Ornithological Station. In addition to the deadwood insects and breeding birds, the fungal and lichen diversity will also be surveyed in the known territories of the White-backed Woodpecker in eastern Switzerland, the Principality of Liechtenstein and Vorarlberg (A).

For this purpose, we will set up spore traps in the White-backed Woodpecker's territories and in control plots and analyse the collected samples with the so-called environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding method. With this modern technique, all captured spores can be assigned to the corresponding species. The data from the different species groups should make it possible to answer the question posed at the beginning.