Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) indicators consider the main ecological and socioeconomic functions of forests but do not currently include some key groups widely adopted to assess the effects of forest management, such as herbaceous vascular plants, epiphytic lichens, and wood-decay fungi. Moreover, they are shaped into high forests while in the Mediterranean area the oldest type of forest management is coppice. We investigated the diversity and the relationships of the above-mentioned groups of taxa in three European Forest Types (EFTs) to contribute to the selection of indicator species suitable for monitoring Mediterranean coppice forests. We find only a weak cross-taxon congruence between vascular plants and lichens on considering the whole dataset, while no significant correlations are evident within the three EFTs. Species richness was significantly different among EFTs, being Thermophilous deciduous forests the richest, both considering the groups of taxa separately and the total species richness. As for species composition, significant differences were found both for the whole dataset and also for pairwise comparisons among EFTs. We provided a dwelling-species list of the three key groups of taxa, which could be suitable for monitoring the sustainability characteristics of fragmented and low continuity forests such as coppice stands.
• Vascular plants, epiphytic lichens and wood-decay fungi relationship in coppice stands
• Weak cross-taxon congruence between vascular plants and lichens
• Significant differences in species richness and composition among forest types
• We provide a list of dwelling-species suitable for monitoring coppices