Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

McMullin, Troy [1], Wiersma, Yolanda  [2].

Seeing the forest for the trees: using lichens in forest conservation .

Determining how to prioritize conservation actions for forest stands is complex and multifaceted. For example, species that tend to only colonize old-growth forests are not always positively correlated with tree age or with the length of time that an area has remained forested (continuity). Other environmental variables (e.g., relative humidity, nutrient enrichment, and connectivity) at different scales (stand vs. landscape) are also important. Therefore, there is greater accuracy in examining biodiversity directly to determine conservation value rather than using proxies. Due to the resources and expertise required to examine all elements of biodiversity, however, we recommend the use of lichens. Many lichen species are particularly sensitive to environmental conditions and can be useful indicators of different environments. Moreover, they don’t change throughout the year, which facilitates study and comparison among stands. In this talk, we will discuss some of the important variables comprising suitable environments for rare species in forest ecosystems, dispersal limitations and slow recruitment, why suites of species tend to be better indicators than individual ones, how lichen richness is often not correlated with stand age, limitations of using a single group of organisms, the importance of scale in continuity, and how to implement the use of lichens in conservation prioritization for forests.

1 - Museum of Nature, Research and Collections, PO Box 3443 Stn ā€œDā€, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 6P4, Canada
2 - Memorial University, Biology Department, Saint John's, NL

old-growth forests

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: 0004
Abstract ID:805
Candidate for Awards:None

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