BC’s Inland Rainforest – Conservation and Community
Lichen diversity in deciduous wetland swales.
Matthew Doering 1 and Darwyn Coxson 1
Most studies on lichens in wet montane forests in B.C. have focused on coniferous forest stands. However, willow and alder swales along small streams and in wet seepage areas, so-called deciduous wetland swales (DWS) may represent a previously unknown “old-growth” habitat for lichen communities. In a program of research starting at UNBC in 2007 we are now examining this hypothesis. In particular we are looking at: What proportion of wet sub-boreal spruce landscapes contain DWS features? What is the influence of DWS tree species and tree age on lichen community development? Do changes in bark texture influence lichen species diversity? How different are DWS lichen communities from that of upland deciduous swales? And what is the contribution of lichens to nutrient cycling in DWS environments? Field sampling in 2008 will identify representative DWS sites in wet, cool and very wet, cool variants of sub-boreal spruce landscapes in the Prince George Forest District and will characterise lichen communities in these sites. Associated laboratory research will assess the contribution of DWS lichens to nutrient cycling, looking at rates of nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria contained within these lichens. For further information please see http://wetbelt.unbc.ca/featured-05.htm
1 Ecosystem Science and Management Program, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, B.C. Canada, V2N 4Z9
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