Lichen biodiversity and conservation status in the Copeland Forest Resources Management Area: a lichen-rich second-growth forest in southern Ontario
Keywords:Lecidea sarcogynoides, Bellemerea cinereorufescens, Phlyctis speirea, Xanthoparmelia angustiphylla, Candelariella lutella, Arthonia byssacea, Arthonia ruana, Chaenothecopsis pusiola, Cresponea chloroconia, forest management, biodiversity, Ontario
AbstractSouthern Ontario is the most densely populated region in Canada. As a result, ubanization, industrialization, and agriculture are extensive. Few ecosystems in the region have been unaltered, and second-growth forests now dominate the remaining natural landscape. To better understand the lichen diversity in these second-growth forests, we inventoried 24 distinct vegetation communites in the Copeland Forest Resources Management Area (1780 ha) located between Barrie and Orillia in September and October 2011, recording 154 species in 79 genera. One species, Lecidea sarcogynoides, was collected for the first time in Canada and is reported for the first time in North America; one additional species, Micarea micrococca, was collected for the first time in Ontario and is reported for the first time in Canada; three species that have previously been collected in Ontario — Bellemerea cinereorufescens, Phlyctis speirea, and Xanthoparmelia angustiphylla — are reported for the first time in the province; and Candelariella lutella was collected and is reported for the second time in Ontario and the third time in Canada. In addition, six species with a provincial status rank of S1 (critically imperilled) or S2 (imperilled) were located: Arthonia byssacea, Arthonia ruana, Chaenothecopsis pusiola, Cresponea chloroconia, Pachyphiale fagicola, and Placynthiella uliginosa. Our results show that second-growth forests can be important refugia for lichen diversity. The majority of the lichen diversity within the Copeland Forest was contained in a small number of sites (6 of 24). This suggests that management strategies should integrate lichen diversity by targeting species-rich areas. We found that sites with a high variation in: canopy closure, tree species, tree age, moisture, and the presence of snags had the highest lichen diversity. Forest managers in southern Ontario can use our results to identify species-rich areas on their properties.
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