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27th July 2018

Publication of new chapters of SSSI selection guidelines: lichens and fungi 

Chapters 13 (Lichens and associated microfungi) and 14 (Non-lichenised fungi) of the SSSI selection guidelines were published recently.

Fungi – main changes

New criteria for:

  • Globally threatened taxa (IUCN Red List)
  • GB and country-level IUCN red-list threatened species
  • Coastal sand dune fungi
  • Tooth fungi associated with oak, beech or sweet chestnut
  • Caledonian pinewood fungi
  • Beech deadwood fungi
  • Oak deadwood fungi

The grassland fungi chapter (2009) has been updated and included as Section 4, with tighter criteria and predefined species lists/concepts for scoring.

 Lichens – main changes

  •  Replacement of the site scoring system (Combination of Species) with habitat-based assemblage scoring (assessment of ecologically coherent assemblages)
  • Adoption of new lichen habitat indices for: heathland & moorland, limestone, maritime rock, watercourses, metalliferous habitats and pinhead lichens (deadwood habitats)
  • Refinement of woodland lichen indices, including adoption of new index names
  • Criteria for lichens that are Threatened on the global IUCN Red List
  • Introduction of a new criterion for taxa that are Near Threatened for which Britain has International Responsibility (including endemics and near-endemics)
  • Evaluation of species with a Threat status in country-level red data lists (where available)
  • The value of non-native trees is covered in an appendix

The presence of WCA Sch. 8 species is no longer a reason to notify in either chapter. In the absence of country-level red lists, NERC Sect. 41 species are included in the fungus chapter.

Visit JNCC website for more info.

Posted by: Jim Mullholland Jim is the Ancient Tree Forum's Training and Technical Officer. He has a background in ecology and arboriculture, and has worked as a tree officer. He has a particular interest in veteran trees and bats.

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