Biodiversity

biodiversity

Throughout its range, Aspen is valued for the contribution it makes to woodland biodiversity.  In scotland, Aspen has been found to play host to a remarkably diverse flora and fauna.  This includes fungi, lichens, mosses, flies, beetles and moths, many of which have Red Data Book status.  Five UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Priority Species depend on Aspen.  Aspen also provides an important source of food for beavers, especially in winter.

Pictured left, from top: Eurasian beaver, Aspen hoverfly, Aspen bracket fungus, Dark-bordered Beauty moth, Aspen Bristle-moss.

Many Aspen-dependent species have very particular requirements.  The larvae of the Dark-bordered beauty moth, for instance, only feed on the leaves of young Aspen suckers.  Aspen hoverfly requires fallen Aspen deadwood.

Such requirements have implications for the management of Aspen stands.  The fragmented nature of our Aspen woodlands also impacts on biodiversity.  Networks of Aspen habitat are likely to support greater biodiversity than scattered fragments.  Read more about habitat networks here.