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Abstract Detail

Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Root, Heather [1], Geiser, Linda [2], Jovan, Sarah [3].

Epiphytic macrolichen indication of air quality and climate in interior forested mountains of the Pacific Northwest, USA.

Air quality and climate in the US Pacific Northwest can have profound effects on human and ecosystem health. We developed three lichen-based indicators of nitrogen-related air quality and climate for forests of the Pacific Northwest east of the Cascade Crest measured between 2003 and 2012. We applied a calibration between N concentration in Letharia vulpina and inorganic throughfall deposition to map air quality at 396 plots. Using the relationship between lichen N concentration and species’ occurrences, we developed a community-based indicator representing a shift from oligotrophic to eutrophic communities and mapped air quality based on the community index at 517 plots. Both indices were calibrated with N concentration measured in particulates (PM2.5) at 12 IMPROVE sites in the study area (R2 = 0.65 and 0.63). By balancing a subset of the data by elevation, presence of hardwoods, and lichen N concentration, we used ordination to identify gradients in community composition independently associated with air quality and climate. Maps of all lichen air quality indices showed consistent patterns suggesting poorest air quality near agricultural and urban areas where communities were dominated by eutrophic species. The dominant climate gradient was related to precipitation and continentality with the greatest total species richness in moist, suboceanic climates. The indices can be used to monitor trends in time by scoring past and future measurements.

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1 - Oregon State University, Forest Ecosystems and Society, 321 Richardson Hall, Corvallis, OR, 97333, USA
2 - USDA Forest Service, 201 14th Street SW, Yates Bldg., 3 SC, Washington, DC, 20250, usa
3 - USDA Forest Service, Portland Forestry Sciences Lab, 620 SW Main, Suite 400, Portland, OR, 97205

Air Quality
Climate change
Pacific Northwest
Nitrogen deposition.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 29
Location: River Fork/Grove
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: 29004
Abstract ID:453
Candidate for Awards:None

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