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Abstract Detail

Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Kranabetter, Marty [1], Williston, Patrick [2], MacKenzie, Will [1].

Terrestrial moss, liverwort and lichen diversity across productivity gradients of southern boreal forests.

Terrestrial cryptogams (mosses, liverworts and lichens) provide a useful suite of species for monitoring forests, especially when species distributions and diversity attributes are well defined from benchmark sites. To facilitate this, we surveyed contrasting plant associations of upland boreal forests (in British Columbia, Canada) to explore the relationships between soil fertility and substrate type vs cryptogam distributions. Total terrestrial cryptogam richness of the study sites (19 plots of 0.15 ha each) was 149 taxa, with 48 mosses, 23 liverworts, and 78 lichens. Soil fertility was strongly related to distribution by guild (i.e. lichen species richness declined with greater forest productivity, while moss and liverwort richness increased) and substrate (i.e. species richness on forest floor and cobbles declined with greater forest productivity as species richness increased on coarse woody debris). Generalists comprised only 15% of the cryptogam community by species, and mesotrophic sites were characterized by a deficiency in species adapted to the dry-poor or moist-rich ends of the fertility spectrum. Consequently, plot diversity was lowest on mesic-Huckleberry sites, while rich-Oak fern replicates had the highest cumulative diversity. The close relationship between species composition and diversity indices of terrestrial cryptogam communities with soil fertility and associated stand attributes emphasizes the need to consider site conditions in ecosystem monitoring.

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1 - British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Range, Bag 6000, Smithers, BC, V0J 2N0, Canada
2 - Gentian Botanical Research, 4861 Nielsen Road, Smithers, BC, V0J 2N2, Canada

Species Richness
coarse woody debris
indicator species.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 9
Location: 215/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 9:15 AM
Number: 9003
Abstract ID:715

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