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Abstract Detail

Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Cameron, Kenneth [1], Ickert-Bond, Stefanie [2], Murray, Barbara [3], Gries, Corinna [4], Doucette, Alfonso [5], Nash, Thomas [4].

Progress toward the construction on an Arctic lichen portal.

Baseline inventory data for lichens, among the most important elements of the Arctic biota, is being organized through a partnership between herbaria in Wisconsin and Alaska.  Being symbiotic organisms, lichens are well known to be highly sensitive to environmental change, and have been used for decades as bioindicators to monitor air pollution.  Their past, current, and future patterns of distribution in Arctic and Subarctic ecosystems are likely to be reflective of significant ecosystem change in temperature, water and nutrient cycling, as well as population dynamics of migratory animals such as caribou.  An unparalleled source of primary data concerning historic distributions of Arctic lichens resides within several large American herbarium collections.  These data are generally overlooked, underappreciated, and rarely accessed by the ecologists, conservationists, climatologists, and wildlife biologists who need them most.  We are converting these data into electronic format in order to make them readily and freely available.  Two of the largest collections of Arctic lichens reside in the herbaria of the University of Alaska Museum in Fairbanks (ca. >20,000 Arctic lichens) and the University of Wisconsin State Herbarium in Madison (ca. >53,000 Arctic lichens).  Many of the lichen specimens of this latter collection were amassed over 40 years by Dr. J.W. Thomson (1913-2009) who devoted his career at WIS to Arctic lichenology.  That dedication culminated in the publication of three voluminous publications on the taxonomy of American Arctic lichens, a portion of which is now out-of-date.  Together we are identifying specimens, updating nomenclature, barcoding, georeferencing, and databasing this pair of world-class collections.  At the same time, an updated checklist of all Arctic & Subarctic lichen species has been generated, photographs and illustrations digitized, and taxonomic characters for each species coded for use in the creation of dynamic taxonomic keys and species descriptions.  Together, this massive set of data is being integrated using the Symbiota software package to generate an online virtual Flora of Arctic Lichens that can be accessed on the web at 

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1 - University Of Wisconsin, Department Of Botany, 154 Birge Hall, 450 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI, 53706, USA
2 - University Of Alaska Museum Of The North, Herbarium (ALA) And Dept. Of Biology And Wildlife, University Of Alaska Fairbanks, 907 Yukon Dr., Fairbanks, AK, 99775, USA
3 - University of Alaska
4 - University of Wisconsin, Madison
5 - University of Wisconsin


Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PBR004
Abstract ID:568
Candidate for Awards:None

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