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Abstract Detail

Bryology and Lichenology

Smith, Robert J [1], Jovan, Sarah [2], McCune, Bruce [1].

Twenty-five years of climate indication in lichen communities from Alaska to California.

Variation in epiphytic lichen communities can reveal how forests may respond to global changes because lichen responses integrate climate, air quality and forest disturbances. Here we explore lichen communities as climate indicators at 1118 sites in the US Pacific states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California, summarized in two analyses. Analysis 1, from USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) measurements, yielded a super-regional lichen–climate gradient model spanning thirty degrees of latitude. Site scores ("climate scores") from NMS ordination revealed associations between contemporary climate and the composition of epiphytic lichen communities. Changes in climate scores at sites resurveyed in the future could indicate climatic shifts. Select lichen indicator species were faithful and specific to climate zones (sites sharing similar temperature, moisture, seasonality, etc.), which suggests possible monitoring targets. Analysis 2 was a survey of historical data from 50 regional plots remeasured over 25 y in coastal southeast Alaska. For this subset of lichen communities, neither species richness, climate scores, nor indicator species changed more than random expectations over the period 1989-2014. This suggests that environmental monitoring with lichens could be improved by placing new plots across ecological thresholds where changes are most expected, by expanding the range of habitats surveyed to better represent regional variation, and by continuing to remeasure existing plots over extended time periods. As environmental monitoring in the western US continues, stakeholders can benefit from existing FIA information as well as from ongoing monitoring of epiphytic lichens to examine how climate will shape forest communities of the Pacific coast.

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1 - Oregon State University, Dept of Botany and Plant Pathology, 2082 Cordley Hall, Corvallis, OR, 97331-2902, USA
2 - USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis Program, Portland Forestry Sciences Lab, 620 SW Main, Suite 400, Portland, OR, 97205, USA

climate change
Community composition
Environmental monitoring
Indicator species
Lichen ecology
species diversity.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 8, Bryology and Lichenology (ABLS) I
Location: 205/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM
Number: 8001
Abstract ID:236
Candidate for Awards:A. J. Sharp Award

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