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Abstract Detail

Bryology and Lichenology

Milby, Allen [1], Metzgar, Jordan [2].

Contrasting lichen and bryophyte diversity between moderately and highly impacted on-campus old growth forests.

Old-growth forests are unique habitats often characterized or identified by their lichen and bryophyte diversity. Although these taxa are used as indicators of old-growth conditions, little is known of the impact disturbance has on their diversity. We compared and contrasted cryptogam diversity in two old-growth forest tracts on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, to quantify disturbance impacts. Stadium Woods is located on the main campus directly adjacent to the football stadium, where it has experienced significant amounts of use from football patrons, forestry students, the corps of cadets, and after World War II, was the home a housing area for veterans. Another stand, Center Woods, is offset from the main campus and has been mostly used by the wildlife department for various research projects over the years, experiencing much less disturbance than Stadium Woods. Both tracts are dominated by oaks and northern hardwood species such as Quercus alba, Quercus rubra, Acer rubrum, and Prunus serotina. These tracts are remnants of the same original contiguous forest that once covered the Blacksburg area prior to European colonization. Stadium Woods and Center Woods provide an opportunity to compare how the history of disturbance in these forests has affected lichen and bryophyte diversity. We used PerMANOVA and a two-step cluster analysis to quantify disturbance effects on cryptogam abundance in these two old-growth forest tracts. This study has documented the first occurrence of two hepatic species, Pallavacinia lyellii and Chiloscyphus cuspidatus, in Montgomery County, Virginia. Our results will further document the understudied Virginia cryptogam flora and have important ramifications for old-growth forest assessment and ecology.

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1 - Virginia Tech, Massey Herbarium, 926 W. Campus Drive, Derring 2119, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, USA
2 - 926 W. Campus Dr, MC 0406, Derring Hall 2119, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, United States

old-growth forests
indicator species

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: BL, Bryology/Lichenology combined session
Location: Tucson G/Starr Pass
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2019
Time: 3:00 PM
Number: BL006
Abstract ID:195
Candidate for Awards:A. J. Sharp Award

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