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Abstract Detail

Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Will-Wolf, Susan [1], Morin, Randall S [2], Ambrose, Mark J [3], Riitters, Kurt  [4], Jovan, Sarah [5].

Lichen species richness as a large-scale indicator for condition of forested ecosystems across the USA.

Species richness of macrolichens from timed samples of fixed-area forested plots is a relatively imprecise indicator of the condition of forested ecosystems. Such data are available to represent almost 2/3 of forested areas (>5500 single lichen data points, some with repeat surveys) across the coterminous United States from the USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis Program, probably the most extensive quantitative lichen data set in the world. Despite its imprecision, this indicator has shown potential to indicate broad-scale response to climate (more in western USA) and to air quality (more in eastern USA). One confounding factor is that at large spatial scales air quality and/or climate are likely to be correlated with intensity of human land use. We investigated this by exploring correlation of lichen species richness, climate, and air quality with forest density, forest connectivity, and urban/agriculture/semi-natural land cover near each plot at 5 spatial scales (~10ha to ~47,000ha). Correlations between climate and landscape affect patterns with lichen species richness more in western USA, while links between air quality and landscape are more important in eastern USA. Patterns for the West and west regions appear strongest at larger spatial scales than for the East and east regions. There is much variation between regions within either East or West USA. For the Pacific Northwest region (West) and Eastern Deciduous Forest region (East) lichen species richness is too imprecise to be a useful indicator; indicators based on lichen species composition rather than just counts are necessary. Preliminary analyses indicate lichen species composition data are needed to distinguish between effects of air quality and of land cover in eastern regions even where lichen species richness is strongly correlated with the two variables.

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1 - University of Wisconsin Madison, Department of Botany, Birge Hall, 430 Lincoln Drive, Madison, Wisconsin, 53706-1381, USA
2 - USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station - FIA, 11 Campus Blvd, Suite 200, Newtown Square, PA, 19073, USA
3 - North Carolina State University, Forestry & Environmental Resources, Raleigh, NC, USA
4 - USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, 3041 Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park, NC, 27709, USA
5 - Oregon State University, Department of Botany & Plant Pathology, 2082 Cordley Hall, Corvallis, Oregon, 97331-2902, USA

air quality
landscape pattern
coterminous USA.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for BSA Sections
Session: P2
Location: Event Tent/Cliff Lodge
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: P2BL008
Abstract ID:654

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