Lichen Cover (lichen + cover)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Vegetation responses in Alaskan arctic tundra after 8 years of a summer warming and winter snow manipulation experiment

C.-H. A. Wahren
Abstract We used snow fences and small (1 m2) open-topped fiberglass chambers (OTCs) to study the effects of changes in winter snow cover and summer air temperatures on arctic tundra. In 1994, two 60 m long, 2.8 m high snow fences, one in moist and the other in dry tundra, were erected at Toolik Lake, Alaska. OTCs paired with unwarmed plots, were placed along each experimental snow gradient and in control areas adjacent to the snowdrifts. After 8 years, the vegetation of the two sites, including that in control plots, had changed significantly. At both sites, the cover of shrubs, live vegetation, and litter, together with canopy height, had all increased, while lichen cover and diversity had decreased. At the moist site, bryophytes decreased in cover, while an increase in graminoids was almost entirely because of the response of the sedge Eriophorum vaginatum. These community changes were consistent with results found in studies of responses to warming and increased nutrient availability in the Arctic. However, during the time period of the experiment, summer temperature did not increase, but summer precipitation increased by 28%. The snow addition treatment affected species abundance, canopy height, and diversity, whereas the summer warming treatment had few measurable effects on vegetation. The interannual temperature fluctuation was considerably larger than the temperature increases within OTCs (<2C), however. Snow addition also had a greater effect on microclimate by insulating vegetation from winter wind and temperature extremes, modifying winter soil temperatures, and increasing spring run-off. Most increases in shrub cover and canopy height occurred in the medium snow-depth zone (0.5,2 m) of the moist site, and the medium to deep snow-depth zone (2,3 m) of the dry site. At the moist tundra site, deciduous shrubs, particularly Betula nana, increased in cover, while evergreen shrubs decreased. These differential responses were likely because of the larger production to biomass ratio in deciduous shrubs, combined with their more flexible growth response under changing environmental conditions. At the dry site, where deciduous shrubs were a minor part of the vegetation, evergreen shrubs increased in both cover and canopy height. These changes in abundance of functional groups are expected to affect most ecological processes, particularly the rate of litter decomposition, nutrient cycling, and both soil carbon and nitrogen pools. Also, changes in canopy structure, associated with increases in shrub abundance, are expected to alter the summer energy balance by increasing net radiation and evapotranspiration, thus altering soil moisture regimes. [source]

The influence of multi-scale environmental variables on the distribution of terricolous lichens in a fog desert

Jennifer S. Lalley
Abstract Question: How do environmental variables in a hyper-arid fog desert influence the distribution patterns of terricolous lichens on both macro- and micro-scales? Location: Namib Desert, Namibia. Methods: Sites with varying lichen species cover were sampled for environmental variables on a macro-scale (elevation, slope degree, aspect, proximity to river channels, and fog deposition) and on a micro-scale (soil structure and chemistry). Macro-scale and micro-scale variables were analysed separately for associations with lichen species cover using constrained ordination (DCCA) and unconstrained ordination (DCA). Explanatory variables that dominated the first two axes of the constrained ordinations were tested against a lichen cover gradient. Results: Elevation and proximity to river channels were the most significant drivers of lichen species cover in the macro-scale DCCA, but results of the DCA suggest that a considerable percentage of variation in lichen species cover is unexplained by these variables. On a micro-scale, sediment particle size explained a majority of lichen community variations, followed by soil pH. When both macro and micro-scale variables were tested along a lichen cover gradient, soil pH was the only variable to show a significant relationship to lichen cover. Conclusion: The findings suggest that landscape variables contribute to variations in lichen species cover, but that stronger links occur between lichen growth and small-scale variations in soil characteristics, supporting the need for multi-scale approaches in the management of threatened biological soil crust communities and related ecosystem functions. [source]


ARCHAEOMETRY, Issue 1 2010
Numerous small, low volume rockfalls around the crest of the Italian and French Alps, principally formed from calcareous mica schist and metabasalt, have impeded travel across the major cols for millennia. As documented by Polybius and Livy in the ancient literature, Hannibal's Army was blocked by a two-tier rockfall on the lee side of the Alps, a rubble sheet of considerable volume that delayed his exit into the upper Po River Country. An in-depth study of the possible cols reveals that the only such two-tier landform lies below the Col de la Traversette, at ,2600 m above sea level. In addition, it represents a problem in applied geomorphology, namely, to accurately determine the nature of the surface rubble sheet in Hannibal's time (218 bc). A reconstruction of the initial deposit, likely Late Glacial, following the retreat of the Po Glacier, is based upon an analysis of the source rock and geological setting. Further specifications on the geometry of the Neoglacial cover sediment are based on weathering characteristics, lichen cover and soil development. The ,myth' that Hannibal fired the rockfall to comminute boulders is plausible given the vegetation records which support tree growth nearby, but is unsubstantiated by the lack of any carbonized rock. [source]

Determinants of Lichen Diversity in a Rain Forest Understory

BIOTROPICA, Issue 4 2007
L. A. Dyer
ABSTRACT Change in lichen diversity is often used as a bioindicator to estimate effects of atmospheric pollution, but natural variation in lichen cover and species richness can be very high. We examined the top-down effects of spore-consuming ants and the bottom-up effects of nutrient and light availability on lichen diversity associated with the leaf surface of the rain forest understory plant, Piper cenocladum. Plots containing P. cenocladum were randomly assigned to treatments in factorial experiments that included high and low light levels, nutrient enrichment, and presence and absence of the ant mutualist, Pheidole bicornis. At the conclusion of the experiments, plants were harvested and size of leaves, secondary metabolite content (amides), epiphyll cover, and the species richness of the lichens (which comprised 85% of the epiphyll community) were quantified. Epiphyll cover (mosses, liverworts, and lichens) was greater on plants that had ant-mutualists and balanced resources. Lichen species richness was greater for plants with balanced resources, particularly for those with high light availability. Relationships between toxins and lichen cover and richness were weak and unclear. In this system, natural sources of variation were reliable determinants of lichen diversity and both biotic and abiotic influences were important. [source]