Abstract Detail

Bryology and Lichenology

Hensen, Casey [1], Antoninka, Anita [1], Rengifo Faiffer, Maria [2], Bowker, Matthew [2].

Measuring productivity at varying diversity levels of biocrust communities.

Biocrusts are an assemblage of mosses, lichens, cyanobacteria and other microorganisms that take up the first few millimeters of soils and are found in drylands worldwide. They are important contributors to multiple hydrological and ecosystem processes. This can include fixing carbon and nitrogen, which help prevent erosion in delicate areas. For this study, we have selected different biocrust species commonly found in arid environments of the southwestern United States. This will help us understand if a more diverse biocrust will increase the community productivity. In achieving this, we will also observe the most efficient methods for data collection. Our experimental design includes 12 treatments that are in a blocked configuration in which 4 diversity levels were created with 3 species of mosses (Bryum caespiticium, Syntrichia caninervis, and Syntrichia ruralis) and a lichen (Placidium sp.). These 60 samples were kept in a controlled environment that mimics what they experience in nature. We gathered data by photo monitoring (NDVI), visual cover estimates, chlorophyll fluorescence (PAM), and chlorophyll extraction. Our results thus far show a correlation between our chosen measurement methods over the past 2 months in which the biomass cover and chlorophyll fluorescence has increased over time. This is especially pronounced in the samples that had all species (both lichen and mosses) compared to those with a single species (one moss species). The results support our hypothesis that greater diversity leads to a more productive biocrust community. Chlorophyll extraction and NDVI data analysis will be completed soon, allowing us to answer our question about which method is the most effective for monitoring. This study can lead to further application of using biocusts as key component for field restoration in fragile ecosystems at risk of losing diversity.

1 - Northern Arizona University, School of Forestry, 200 E Pine Knoll Dr, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, Flagstaff, Arizona, 86001, United States
2 - Northern Arizona University, School of Forestry, 200 E. Pine Knoll, Box 15018, Flagstaff, AZ, 86011, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Poster This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Abstract ID:415
Candidate for Awards:None

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