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Abstract Detail

Bryology and Lichenology

St Clair, Larry L [1], Tratebas, Alice M [2].

Impact of Wildfire on Saxicolous Lichen Communities.

The impact of wildfires on saxicolous lichen communities is poorly documented. Following preliminary bio-deterioration studies examining the impact of lichens on ancient rock art panels in the Black Hills, Wyoming two large wildfires damaged 137 petroglyph panels. Subsequent lichen studies have focused on the relationship between panel integrity, fire-related impact on saxicolous lichen communities, and subsequent changes to panel surfaces as they related to fire-altered lichen community structure and recovery. Specifically, lichen-related responses to fire impact and thallus exfoliation are strongly related to growth form in general and degree of thallus contact with rock surfaces in particular. Other factors contributing to wildfire impact on saxicolous lichen communities include fire intensity, wind direction, and availability and quantity of fuel in close proximity to rock art panels. Survival and recovery of lichen communities, following wildfire, appear to be related to panel aspect, growth form, and availability of “safe sites” associated with rock surface micro-topography – cracks, depressions, and edges. Future monitoring of petroglyph panels will focus on recovery of saxicolous communities and effects of exfoliation of fire-killed lichen thalli and subsequent erosion of exposed rock surfaces.

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Related Links:
M.L Bean Life Science Museum

1 - Brigham Young University, M.L. Bean Life Science Museum & Department of Biology, 2103C M.L. Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 84602, USA
2 - Bureau of Land Management, Archaeology, New Castle Field Office, 1101 Washington Blvd, New Castle, WY, 82701, USA


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: 10:00 AM
Number: 8005
Abstract ID:415
Candidate for Awards:None

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