Article

Relationships between air pollution, population density, and lichen biodiversity in the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve

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Abstract

The fragmented ecosystems along the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve provide important habitats for biota including lichens. Nonetheless, the Reserve is disturbed by dense human populations and associated air pollution. Here we investigated patterns of lichen diversity within urban and rural sites at three different locations (Niagara, Hamilton, and Owen Sound) along the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario, Canada. Our results indicate that both lichen species richness and community composition are negatively correlated with increasing human population density and air pollution. However, our quantitative analysis of community composition using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicates that human population density and air pollution is more independent than might be assumed. The CCA analysis suggests that the strongest environmental gradient (CCA1) associated with lichen community composition includes regional pollution load and climatic variables; the second gradient (CCA2) is associated with local pollution load and human population density factors. These results increase the knowledge of lichen biodiversity for the Niagara Escarpment and urban and rural fragmented ecosystems as well as along gradients of human population density and air pollution; they suggest a differential influence of regional and local pollution loads and population density factors. This study provides baseline knowledge for further research and conservation initiatives along the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve.

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... Consequently, the presence of particular lichen species can be used as indicators of various stages of forest development and their absence may indicate disturbance (Tibell, 1992;Selva, 1994Selva, , 1999Cameron, 2002;Coppins and Coppinss, 2002). These narrow habitat requirements can also be used to detect changes to their habitat (McMullin et al., 2016). ...
Article
Arboreal lichens have a wide range of tolerance to habitat disturbance. As a result, they have been used globally as bioindicators of environmental change, particularly for monitoring atmospheric pollution. Here, we use lichens to monitor air quality and ecological integrity (EI) at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site in Nova Scotia, Canada. We provide descriptions of two protocols and compare the results using data gathered in 2006, 2011, and 2016. To monitor air quality, we established 12 monitoring sites throughout the park and used a suite of lichens that are intolerant to air pollution to develop an index of air purity (IAP) that we compared every 5 years. Our protocol for monitoring EI of forest ecosystems was set up at these same 12 sites. We selected 50 regionally common field-identifiable lichen species and genera ranging in sensitivity from disturbance-tolerant to intolerant, and compare their presence in spatially constrained zones on a variety of tree species every 5 years. Our results suggest that air quality in Kejimkujik has increased slightly in the 10 years since monitoring was implemented, which is consistent with improvements in local air quality. Species richness also increased slightly, suggesting that EI has not declined. The maintenance of EI, through protection and restoration of natural resources, is a key priority in the management of national parks in Canada. Our protocols will provide early detection of changes to EI, enabling park managers to take responsive action. We are confident that our protocols can be replicated in other parts of the world with different suites of regionally common lichens.
... Efforts to understand and quantify ecological responses across anthropogenic gradients has resulted in some general, though equivocal, predictions about patterns of ecological response to spatial heterogeneity in human dominated landscapes. For instance, a negative relationship between species richness and human disturbance has been demonstrated in birds [16,17], invertebrates [18,19], plants [20,21], and other taxa [22,23]. Moreover, this relationship is often non-linear, with a peak in richness in areas of intermediate human modification [24,25]. ...
Article
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Ecological processes are strongly shaped by human landscape modification, and understanding the reciprocal relationship between ecosystems and modified landscapes is critical for informed conservation. Single axis measures of spatial heterogeneity proliferate in the contemporary gradient ecology literature, though they are unlikely to capture the complexity of ecological responses. Here, we develop a standardized approach for defining multi-dimensional gradients of human influence in heterogeneous landscapes and demonstrate this approach to analyze landscape characteristics of ten ecologically distinct US cities. Using occupancy data of a common human-adaptive songbird collected in each of the cities, we then use our dual-axis gradients to evaluate the utility of our approach. Spatial analysis of landscapes surrounding ten US cities revealed two important axes of variation that are intuitively consistent with the characteristics of multi-use landscapes, but are often confounded in single axis gradients. These were, a hard-to-soft gradient, representing transition from developed areas to non-structural soft areas; and brown-to-green, differentiating between two dominant types of soft landscapes: agriculture (brown) and natural areas (green). Analysis of American robin occurrence data demonstrated that occupancy responds to both hard-to-soft (decreasing with development intensity) and brown-to-green gradient (increasing with more natural area). Overall, our results reveal striking consistency in the dominant sources of variation across ten geographically distinct cities and suggests that our approach advances how we relate variation in ecological responses to human influence. Our case study demonstrates this: robins show a remarkably consistent response to a gradient differentiating agricultural and natural areas, but city-specific responses to the more traditional gradient of development intensity, which would be overlooked with a single gradient approach. Managing ecological communities in human dominated landscapes is extremely challenging due to a lack of standardized approaches and a general understanding of how socio-ecological systems function, and our approach offers promising solutions.
... This can be especially useful in indicating poor air quality so that measures can then be taken to improve air pollution. Lichens are known bioindicators of air pollution (Asta et al. 2002;McMullin et al. 2016). ...
... This phenomenon is related to the increasing intensity of global human activity, resulting in increased chemical pollution (e.g. Barker & Tingley, 1992;Maiti & Chowdhury, 2013;Munir et al., 2016;McMullin et al., 2016), global climate change (e.g. Bellard et al., 2012), overexploitation, habitat loss and fragmentation (Pimm & Raven, 2000;Fahrig, 2003;Krauss et al., 2010;Essl et al., 2015), and the introduction of invasive species (e.g. ...
Thesis
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Because of the current global biodiversity decline, understanding the consequences of each threat on biodiversity is crucial for conservation biology. Invasive species are among the main threats at the global scale, and can locally imply harmful damages on ecosystems. Studying the phenomena driving the effects and potential for expansion of these species appears as a crucial element to assess their long terms impacts. In this study, we focused our efforts on an invasive population of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, in France, to bring insight about the interactions of this population with its environment and to study the changes in resource allocation to the life history traits, related to reproduction, survival and dispersal probabilities, during the range expansion of the population. We studied the diet in the French invasive population and in other invasive and native populations, and found that this species can expand by predating a narrow, as well as a broad, range of prey categories. We also detected an impact of X. laevis on the native amphibian community in France. In the second section of the thesis, we reported a decrease in reproductive investment, and an increased dispersal allocation of resources at the range edge. We finally studied population dynamics and detected a lower survival probability and density at the range core. All these results combined suggest that the potential for long term impacts is important in France for X. laevis as well as in other areas where the species has been, or will be, introduced.
... This is because lichen metabolism is regulated by water availability, both from precipitation and relative humidity (Armstrong, 1974;Lange et al., 1986;Rundel, 1988;Green et al., 1994). Growth rates are negatively correlated with air pollution (Henderson, 2000;McMullin et al., 2016;Nash & Gries, 1995), acid rain (Lechowicz, 1982(Lechowicz, , 1987Scott & Hutchinson, 1987), and the accumulation of snow (Bidussi et al., 2016). Species specific lichen growth is also influenced by elevation (Lindsay, 1975;Berryman & Mc-Cune, 2006), substrate (Brodo, 1973;Esseen, 1981;Tolpysheva & Timofeeva, 2008), and temperature (Gaio-Oliveira et al., 2004). ...
Article
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Cladonia subgenus Cladina (the reindeer lichens) can be a dominant part of terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. They are particularly abundant in arctic-alpine and boreal regions, where they are a primary food source for woodland caribou/reindeer in winter months. Determining the growth rates of reindeer lichen is important for understanding and managing lichen regeneration following disturbances such as timber harvesting, mining, grazing, and wildfire. Regen-eration and rehabilitation rates can be calculated with greater accuracy when growth rates are well understood. We provide a summary of 17 studies from 6 countries that determined the linear growth rates of three reindeer lichen groups, Cladonia arbuscula/mitis (mean = 4.7 mm/yr.), C. rangiferina/ C. stygia (mean = 5.1 mm/yr.), and C. stellaris (mean = 4.8 mm/yr.). We use linear growth rates as a proxy for overall growth and biomass. Variables found to influence lichen growth rates are also discussed, which include light, moisture, temperature, air pollution, acid rain, precipitation, snow accumulation, substrate, age of individuals, and type of disturbance. These results can assist land managers in developing more accurate strategies for restoring lichens in disturbed areas.
... Beginning in the late 20th century lichens started recolonizing cities and increasing in diversity and abundance from Tokyo to Paris, and Cincinnati to London (Rose and Hawksworth 1981, Seaward and Letrouit-Galinou 1991, Washburn and Culley 2006, Ohmura et al. 2012. A more complex relationship between lichen diversity and urban areas is emerging as studies show that air quality is the major driver of lichen community composition, while human population density is not (Munzi et al. 2007, McMullin et al. 2016, and some urban areas can harbor surpris-ingly high lichen diversity (McMullin et al. 2014). As air quality continues to improve in many cities, the trend in increasing urban lichen diversity may continue. ...
Article
New York City is the largest urban area in the USA. The growth of this vast and densely populated region has drastically reshaped the landscape and biodiversity over the past 400 years. Lichens are one component of biodiversity that respond to urbanization in unique ways, many of which are still not well understood. The aims of this study were to review the historical literature on lichen diversity in New York City, discuss the changes in diversity through time, and compile an annotated checklist of lichen species currently in New York City. Since the first publication on lichen diversity in New York City was published almost 200 years ago by John Torrey, six publications have reported the lichen species occurring in the vicinity of New York City, or some subset of the city. There appears to be a general trend in decreasing diversity from the earliest publication to 1968, when the fewest species are reported. Since 1968 there has been an increase in the number of species reported. Targeted surveys of sites studied in 1968 showed that the species in those areas have indeed increased. The annotated checklist is comprised of 103 taxa in 55 genera that have been reported from New York City since 1968. The majority of species are crustose (57 species), and only one cyanolichen has been reported. Future studies on how the lichen diversity continues to change as air quality and climate change, and how horticulture throughout the city influences the lichen diversity, hold great promise for furthering the knowledge of how organisms respond to complex, heterogenous urban environments.
... Moreover, other environmental factors could lead to dependent and independent biological changes resulting in microbial diversity [14][15][16]. Furthermore, population density is another significant factor that affects microbial diversity and consequently phages population [17]. Impact of environmental changes on phage diversity and abundance has been reported during wastewater treatment processes [18]. ...
... For comparison, prior to 2000, the mean number of authors was 1.6. The peak in 2016 was caused by one paper with 30 authors on the phylogeny of Trypetheliaceae (Lücking et al. 2016b), thus far the record for the journal, and this was bolstered by two papers with 15 authors each, one on new species in Trypetheliaceae (Lücking et al. 2016a) and one on lichen diversity and air pollution in the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve in North America (McMullin et al. 2016). The paper with the second highest number of authors (20) was published by Stofer et al. (2006), analyzing the richness of lichen functional groups in relation to land use intensity across Europe. ...
Article
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Peter D. Crittenden served as senior editor of The Lichenologist , the flagship journal in the field of lichenological research, for a period of two decades, between 2000 and 2019. A review of the development of the journal and the publication output during this period is provided. The number of papers published during this period (1197) matches that of all papers published under the three previous senior editors, Peter W. James, David L. Hawksworth and Dennis H. Brown, during a much longer period of 42 years from 1958 to 1999. Peter oversaw important editorial changes to the layout and content of the journal: an increased size with a modern cover design, leaving behind the classic mint-coloured cover of more than 40 years; the addition of ‘thematic issues’ and encouragement of large monographs; implementation of substantial changes to the Code , such as effective electronic publication and obligate registration of new fungal names; and more recently a new policy to reject so-called ‘single naked species descriptions’. Shortly before Peter took over as senior editor, The Lichenologist had received its first impact factor, and Peter managed to continuously increase this measure from around 0.9 to lately up to over 1.5, higher than most other competing journals. The 1197 papers between 2000 and 2019 were published by a total of 1138 different authors, more than half of whom appeared just once as author, whereas a small number participated in numerous (up to 93) papers. There was a continuous increase in the mean number of authors per paper per year, from below 2.5 to around 3.5, the highest numbers ranging between 11 and 30; still, c . 75% of all papers between 2000 and 2019 were single-authored or had up to three authors. Based on affiliations at the time of publication, two thirds of author contributions came from Europe (66%), 13% from North America, 9% from Asia and 7% from Latin America. Likewise, almost half of the study areas were located in Europe and around 10% each in North America, South America and Asia. The countries with the highest number of studies included, in descending order, the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden. North America and Europe were over-represented in terms of author contributions, whereas Africa, Latin America, Australia and Oceania were over-represented in terms of study areas. The 1197 papers analyzed encompassed a broad diversity of topics, classified into 32 categories. Taxonomy of lichenized fungi was the most frequent component, representing the focal point in almost half of all studies, followed by phylogeny and evolution, ecology, and the taxonomy of lichenicolous fungi. Around two thirds of the currently accepted genera of lichenized fungi were treated, with a significant correlation between known species richness and the number of papers in which a genus was treated, underlining the taxonomic representativity of papers published in the journal during the past two decades. Examples of genera that were treated more frequently than expected included commonly studied model organisms, such as Lobaria , and those frequently featured in ecological or other non-taxonomic studies, such as Xanthoria . Species-rich tropical genera, particularly in the Graphidaceae , were generally under-represented. Mean number of authors per paper per volume and total number of country origins of authors per volume were the best predictors of impact factor, followed by diversity of study countries per volume, mean number of study countries per paper per volume, mean number of topics per paper per volume, and proportion of studies with phylogenetic components per volume. Individual papers that contributed to high impact factors included broad-scale revisionary treatments and worldwide keys to species-rich taxa, substantial phylogenetic reclassifications of known taxonomic groups, papers dealing with novel methodological approaches of broad interest, and broad-scale studies related to environmental change and lichen biomonitoring.
... Lichen diversity can serve as an effective indicator for biomonitoring in natural ecosystems (Khastini et al., 2019). It is also used for assessing the scale of dynamic processes associated with both global and regional factors (McMullin et al., 2016;Brzeziecki, 2017), forecasting the state of ecosystems and developing effective measures for their conservation (Waser et al., 2007;Zhang et al., 2016). ...
Article
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The paper presents the first data on lichen diversity in the Kenozersky National Park (Arkhangelsk Region, Northwest Russia). As a result of the study, 263 species and 1 subspecies of lichens and allied fungi were found in the southern part of the national park. Seventeen lichen species are reported for the first time for Arkhangelsk Region. Biatora albidula is a new species for Northwest European Russia. Two recorded species are included in the Red Data Book of Russian Federation and 7 in the Red Data Book of Arkhangelsk Region. Pycnothelia papillaria can be recommended for inclusion to the Red Data Book of Arkhangelsk Region.
... Lichens, a symbiotic association between algae (or cyanobacteria) and fungi are highly sensitive to pollution. In both Europe and the U.S., lichens have been included as indicators of forest health (Galloway 1992;Stolte 1997;Wolseley et al. 2006;Lalley et al. 2006Pinho et al. 2012Munzi et al. 2013;Nascimbene et al. 2013, Will-Wolf et al. 2015Munzi et al. 2019;McMullin et al. 2016;Filippini et al. 2020;Czerepko et al. 2021). The South Asia Nitrogen Hub (SANH) Work Package (WP3.1) is therefore studying the impacts of pollution on select species that are important as a nontimber forest product, and potentially nitrogen-sensitive (Everniastrum, Parmeloids, Parmotrema, Ramalina, and Usneasps) being species preferred in trade and providing livelihood support to local communities (Chatterjee et al. 2017). ...
... Lichens, a symbiotic association between algae (or cyanobacteria) and fungi are highly sensitive to pollution. In both Europe and the U.S., lichens have been included as indicators of forest health (Galloway 1992;Stolte 1997;Wolseley et al. 2006;Lalley et al. 2006Pinho et al. 2012Munzi et al. 2013;Nascimbene et al. 2013, Will-Wolf et al. 2015Munzi et al. 2019;McMullin et al. 2016;Filippini et al. 2020;Czerepko et al. 2021). The South Asia Nitrogen Hub (SANH) Work Package (WP3.1) is therefore studying the impacts of pollution on select species that are important as a nontimber forest product, and potentially nitrogen-sensitive (Everniastrum, Parmeloids, Parmotrema, Ramalina, and Usneasps) being species preferred in trade and providing livelihood support to local communities (Chatterjee et al. 2017). ...
... Lichens, a symbiotic association between algae (or cyanobacteria) and fungi are highly sensitive to pollution. In both Europe and the U.S., lichens have been included as indicators of forest health (Galloway 1992;Stolte 1997;Wolseley et al. 2006;Lalley et al. 2006Pinho et al. 2012Munzi et al. 2013;Nascimbene et al. 2013, Will-Wolf et al. 2015Munzi et al. 2019;McMullin et al. 2016;Filippini et al. 2020;Czerepko et al. 2021). The South Asia Nitrogen Hub (SANH) Work Package (WP3.1) is therefore studying the impacts of pollution on select species that are important as a nontimber forest product, and potentially nitrogen-sensitive (Everniastrum, Parmeloids, Parmotrema, Ramalina, and Usneasps) being species preferred in trade and providing livelihood support to local communities (Chatterjee et al. 2017). ...
... Lichens, a symbiotic association between algae (or cyanobacteria) and fungi are highly sensitive to pollution. In both Europe and the U.S., lichens have been included as indicators of forest health (Galloway 1992;Stolte 1997;Wolseley et al. 2006;Lalley et al. 2006Pinho et al. 2012Munzi et al. 2013;Nascimbene et al. 2013, Will-Wolf et al. 2015Munzi et al. 2019;McMullin et al. 2016;Filippini et al. 2020;Czerepko et al. 2021). The South Asia Nitrogen Hub (SANH) Work Package (WP3.1) is therefore studying the impacts of pollution on select species that are important as a nontimber forest product, and potentially nitrogen-sensitive (Everniastrum, Parmeloids, Parmotrema, Ramalina, and Usneasps) being species preferred in trade and providing livelihood support to local communities (Chatterjee et al. 2017). ...
Book
This book unveils forestry science and its policy and management that connect past and present understanding of forests. The aggregated knowledge is presented to cover the approaches adopted in studying forest structure, its growth, functioning, and degradation, especially in the context of the surrounding environment. The application of advance computation, instrumentation, and modelling has been elaborated in various chapters. Forest ecosystems are rapidly changing due to forest fires, deforestation, urbanization, climate change, and other natural and anthropogenic drivers. Understanding the dynamics of forest ecosystems requires contemporary methods and measures, utilizing modern tools and big data for developing effective conservation plans. The book also covers discussion on policies for sustainable forestry, agroforestry, environmental governance, socio-ecology, nature-based solutions, and management implication. It is suitable for a wide range of readers working in the field of scientific forestry, policy making, and forest management. In addition, it is a useful material for postgraduate and research students of forestry sciences.
... In accordance with our first hypothesis that lichen biodiversity increases along the urban-rural gradient, we found that both the Lichen Diversity Values (LDVTs) and Values of Naturalness (LDVSs) increased from the city centre to the rural areas, a result also paralleled by the variation in lichen species richness. This pattern is consistent with previous research showing that lichen diversity increases along urban-rural gradients in response to increasing air quality [69][70][71]. Notably, we recorded the maximum levels of environmental quality at only two rural sites far from the city centre, whereas the air quality in the city centre was relatively poor. ...
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An inventory of the lichens of Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park in the Georgian Bay area of southern Ontario was carried out by 30 lichenologists participating in the 2008 Tuckerman Workshop. A list of 370 species of lichens, related fungi and lichenicolous fungi was compiled, documenting that the parks are remarkably rich in lichens, including many rarities. Following the park inventory, an additional 21 lichens from Bruce County are listed based on the published literature and other recent collections. Twelve lichens, one related fungus and nine lichenicolous fungi are additions to the Canadian lichen flora: Acarospora moenium, Bagliettoa baldensis, Biatora ocelliformis, Caloplaca flavocitrina, Clavascidium umbrinum, Dermatocarpon dolomiticum, D. muhlenbergii, Heppia adglutinata, Lecania cuprea, Opegrapha mougeotii, Thelidium minutulum, Heteroplacidium compactum; Mycoglaena myricae; Capronia peltigerae, Lichenoconium erodens, Muellerella hospitans, M. ventosicola, Phaeopyxis punctum, Phoma cladoniicola, Plectocarpon cladoniae, Polycoccum minutulum, Tremella candelariellae. An additional 35 lichens, two related fungi, and 13 lichenicolous fungi are new for Ontario: Acarospora macrospora, Biatora chrysantha, B. turgidula, Biatorella hemisphaerica, Botryolepraria lesdainii, Buellia griseovirens, Caloplaca saxicola, C. subsoluta, Cladonia atlantica, Clauzadea monticola, Cliostomum leprosum, Diplotomma venustum, Enterographa zonata, Farnoldia hypocrita, Gyalecta foveolaris, Hymenelia heteromorpha, Lempholemma isidiodes, Lepraria caesiella, L. eburnea, Leptogium intermedium, Opegrapha rufescens, Placidium squamulosum, Porpidia contraponenda, P. macrocarpa f. nigrocruenta, P. soredizodes, P. superba, Pseudosagedia aenea, Psorotichia schaereri, Pycnora sorophora, Sagiolechia protuberans, Thelocarpon epibolum var. epithallinum, Trapeliopsis pseudogranulosa, Vezdaea acicularis, Violella fucata and Xylographa vitiligo; Epigloea pleiospora and Sarea difformis; Clypeococcum hypocenomycis, Cornutispora ciliaris, Lettauia cladoniicola, Lichenodiplis lecanorae, Marchandiomyces corallinus, Muellerella erratica, M. lichenicola, Nectriopsis parmeliae, Phoma cladoniicola, Pronectria robergei, Refractohilum peltigerae and Spirographa fusisporella. A total of 77 range extensions are presented, many of which are significant discoveries, but others of which represent the first Canadian records of species that have been found to be common and widespread in adjacent regions of the United States. With regard to lichens, the parks now constitute the best-studied area of their size in Ontario. Eiglera flavida is an additional report for Bruce County not collected on the workshop; it is also new for Ontario. Of the habitats visited in the park, the shoreline cliffs and adjoining forests at Halfway Log Dump are the most rich in species (223). Flowerpot Island was almost as diverse (196). Although somewhat less diverse, the alvars (with 149 species) also contained several remarkable records and a surprising number of species.
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Lichens are known to be indicators for air quality; they also respond to climate. We developed indices for lichen response to climate and air quality in forests across the northeastern United States of America (U.S.A.), using 218–250 plot surveys with 145–161 macrolichen taxa from the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. Lichen indicator species for response to climate and air quality were selected using Indicator Species Analysis, correlations with environmental variables, and published literature. Ordinations were used to evaluate the strength and relationships of the final indices. The Pollution Index was calculated for a plot from abundances of 12 tolerant and 45 sensitive indicator species standardized by abundance of all lichen species. The Index was correlated with modeled deposition of acidifying sulfur and oxidized nitrogen and with lichen community ordination pollution axes. Analyses suggested separate response of lichens to fertilizing N (weak statistical support). The Climate Index, from abundances of 19 warmer and 47 cooler climate indicator species, was correlated with modeled minimum January and annual maximum temperatures, and with ordination climate axes. The two indices are statistically independent. Repeat sample variability for each index was 7–14.5% (lower with higher quality data), supporting detection of consistent trends of 16–20% change over time or variation across space. Variability of the Climate Index was more affected by data quality than that of the Pollution Index. The continuous gradient of Pollution Index values suggests the cleanest areas may have air pollution above a critical load to fully protect lichen communities. These Indices can be applied to track lichen responses using other data from our study regions; suitability should be tested before use outside of the study area.
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The ecological continuity of 28 northern hardwoods, spruce–fir (Picea–Abies), eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis L. Carriere), and eastern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.), stands in the Canadian Maritimes has been assessed and the sites ranked among 77 stands in the Acadian Forest Ecoregion using an index of ecological continuity based on the total number of calicioid lichens and fungi collected at each site. Distinguished by their tiny (1–2 mm tall) stipitate apothecia, the calicioid lichens and fungi are a natural unit of investigation, with most species dependent on the occurrence of mature forests containing trees of different ages and varied light and temperature regimes. Given that the diversity of microhabitats can be expected to increase over time in an ageing forest and that the calicioid lichens and fungi can be found growing in more of these microhabitats than any other group of species, it is the presence or absence of these species that provides the evidence whether a forest that looks old...
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An efficient method for estimating bryophyte diversity in forest stands must consider more than just the dominant forest mesohabitat. We compared two methodologies commonly used for estimating diversity in forest ecosystems. Floristic habitat sampling (FHS) utilizes stratification of all forest mesohabitats, which includes the natural diversity of microhabitats found within and stratifies a mosaic of mesohabitats (e.g. forest, streams, seeps, and cliffs) and microhabitats (e.g. rocks logs, etc.) that are often not considered in forest research projects that use plot sampling to estimate species diversity. In Canadian cedar hemlock forest, FHS methodology recorded more than twice as many bryophyte species as plot sampling (PS). A comparison of the dominant forest mesohabitat concluded that plot sampling was not as efficient as FHS in estimating bryophyte diversity and that plot sampling can result in different interpretations of species diversity. Rare species ordination of stands sampled using FHS showed strong clustering of sites with respect to biogeoclimatic zones and age since the last major disturbance (fire or logging) as compared with rare species ordinations from PS data, which showed no delineation of stands along temporal gradients. Plot sampling has many useful applications in ecology, but floristic habitat sampling is more efficient for quantifying overall bryophyte diversity. FHS provides an excellent way to record a comprehensive list of species.
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Southern Ontario is the most densely populated region in Canada and urbanization is extensive. As a result, a large number of natural areas have been set aside in the cities, such as parks and conservation areas. The value of these areas for conserving lichen biodiversity has not been investigated in Ontario. Therefore, between 2008 and 2014, we systematically examined the lichens and allied fungi in the Arboretum at the University of Guelph, a 165 hectare park and nature reserve centrally located in the City of Guelph, Ontario. One hundred and four species in 55 genera were recorded and several are considered rare. Caloplaca soralifera is recorded for the first time in Canada. Provincially, Acarospora moenium is recorded for the second time, Bacidina egenula and Strangospora moriformis are reported for the third time, and Evernia prunastri was collected for the second time in southern Ontario in over a century. An undescribed species of Chaenotheca with distinctive brown-orange pruina on the capitulum and mazaedium was also discovered along with nine species that have a provincial status rank of S1 (critically imperilled), S2 (imperilled), or S3 (vulnerable). The native old-growth forests contained the greatest number of lichen species, particularly the largest one, which borders the wetland in the Nature Reserve. Investigations for lichens throughout Guelph revealed two species that were not found in the Arboretum. However, a substantial number of species were discovered in the park that were not found anywhere else in the city. Our results show that the Arboretum is a refuge for many lichen species within this urban landscape.
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Taxonomic identification of benthic macroinvertebrates is critical to protocols used to assess the biological integrity of aquatic ecosystems. The time, expense, and inherent error rate of species-level morphological identifications has necessitated use of genus- or family-level identifications in most large, statewide bioassessment programs. Use of coarse-scale taxonomy can obscure signal about biological condition, particularly if the range of species tolerances is large within genera or families. We hypothesized that integration of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) barcodes (partial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I sequences) into bioassessment protocols would provide greater discriminatory ability than genus-level identifications and that this increased specificity could lead to more sensitive assessments of water quality and habitat. Analysis of DNA barcodes from larval specimens of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) taxa collected as part of Maryland’s Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) revealed ,2 to 33 as many DNA-barcode groups or molecular operational taxonomic units (mOTUs) as morphologically identified genera. As expected, geographic distributions for several mOTUs were tighter than for the parent genus, but few mOTUs showed closer associations with water-quality variables or physical-habitat features than did the genus in which they belonged. The need for improved protocols for the consistent generation of DNA barcodes is discussed.
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Southern Ontario is the most densely populated region in Canada. As a result, urbanization, 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 communities 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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We announce the release of an advanced version of the Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis (MEGA) software, which currently contains facilities for building sequence alignments, inferring phylogenetic histories, and conducting molecular evolutionary analysis. In version 6.0, MEGA now enables the inference of timetrees, as it implements our RelTime method for estimating divergence times for all branching points in a phylogeny. A new Timetree Wizard in MEGA6 facilitates this timetree inference by providing a graphical user interface (GUI) to specify the phylogeny and calibration constraints step-by-step. This version also contains enhanced algorithms to search for the optimal trees under evolutionary criteria and implements a more advanced memory management that can double the size of sequence data sets to which MEGA can be applied. Both GUI and command-line versions of MEGA6 can be downloaded from www.megasoftware.net free of charge.
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Lichens are an important component of the boreal forest, where they are long lived, tend to accumulate in older stands, and are a major food source for the threatened woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou). To be fully sustainable, silvicultural practices in the boreal forest must include the conservation of ecological integrity. Dominant forest management practices, however, have short-term negative effects on lichen diversity, particularly the application of herbicides. To better understand the long-term effects of forest management, we examined lichen regeneration in 35 mixed black spruce (Picea mariana) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana) forest stands across northern Ontario to determine recovery following logging and postharvest silvicultural practices. Our forest stands were 25–40 years old and had undergone 3 common sivilcultural treatments that included harvested and planted; harvested, planted, and treated with N-[phosphonomethyl] glycine (glyphosate); and harvested, planted, and treated with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). Forest stands with herbicide treatments had lower lichen biomass and higher beta and gamma diversity than planted stands that were not treated chemically or control stands. In northwestern Ontario, planted stands that were not treated chemically had significantly greater (p < 0.05) alpha diversity than stands treated with herbicides or control stands. Our results show that common silvicultural practices do not emulate natural disturbances caused by wildfires in the boreal forest for the lichen community. We suggest a reduction in the amount of chemical application be considered in
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We propose a protocol for assessing the ecological impacts of edge effects in fragments of natural habitat surrounded by induced (artificial) edges. The protocol involves three steps: (1) identification of focal taxa of particular conservation or management interest, (2) measurement of an ‘edge function’ that describes the response of these taxa to induced edges, and (3) use of a ‘Core-Area Model’ to extrapolate edge function parameters to existing or novel situations. The Core-Area Model accurately estimates the total area of pristine habitat contained within fragments. Moreover, it can be used to predict the amount of unaltered habitat preserved within any hypothetical fragment, such as a planned park or nature reserve, regardless of its size or shape. The model is simple, requiring two edge function parameters and the area and perimeter length of the fragment. Model simulations revealed that for any edge-sensitive species and habitat type there exists a critical range of fragment sizes in which the impacts of edge effects increase almost exponentially. This critical size range cannot be predicted without empirical measurement of the edge function.
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Human alteration of Earth is substantial and growing. Between one-third and one-half of the land surface has been transformed by human action; the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has increased by nearly 30 percent since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution; more atmospheric nitrogen is fixed by humanity than by all natural terrestrial sources combined; more than half of all accessible surface fresh water is put to use by humanity; and about one-quarter of the bird species on Earth have been driven to extinction. By these and other standards, it is clear that we live on a human-dominated planet.
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Here we report 22 lichen species from 21 genera that are either new to the Canadian province of Ontario or are new records of provincially uncommon species. One species is new to Canada: Hyperphyscia syncolla. Three are new to Ontario: Bryoria fremontii, Fulgensia bracteata ssp. bracteata, and Hypogymnia incurvoides. Eighteen species are new reports of uncommon species: Acrocordia cavata, Bacidina egenula, Chaenothecopsis exilis, C. haematopus, Candelaria fibrosa, Collema limosum, Evernia prunastri, Flavoparmelia baltimorensis, Heterodermia galactophylla, Leptogium hirsutum, Megaspora verrucosa, Microcalicium disseminatum, Myelochroa obessa, Psorotichia schaereri, Punctelia appalachensis, Rinodina pachysperma, Teloschistes chrysophthalmus, and Trypethelium virens. Our records bring the number of lichens and allied fungi known from Ontario to 1069.
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In 1972, the United States Congress enacted §316(b) the Clean Water Act, which mandates minimization of the adverse impacts of entrainment and impingement of fish and other aquatic life at cooling water intake structures. Since the Act was passed, there has been continuous controversy over the magnitude of any such impacts and over the need for mitigating measures to reduce these impacts. The objective of this paper is to examine the published scientific information relevant to this issue The review includes (1) peer-reviewed literature reporting results of studies of impacts of entrainment and impingement at power plants on fish populations, (2) peer-reviewed literature and “blue-ribbon” commission reports on aquatic resource degradation that evaluate causes of observed degradation of aquatic ecosystems, and (3) EPA’s own assessments of causes of degradation in coastal environments. The clear conclusion from the review is that any impacts caused by impingement and entrainment are small compared to other impacts on fish populations and communities, including overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and invasive species. The available scientific evidence does not support a conclusion that reducing entrainment and impingement mortality via regulation of cooling water intakes will result in measurable improvements in recreational or commercial fish populations.
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Due to insufficient morphological diagnostic characters in larval fishes, it is easy to misidentify them and difficult to key to the genus or species level. The identification results from different laboratories are often inconsistent. This experiment aims to find out, by applying DNA barcoding, how inconsistent the identifications can be among larval fish taxonomists. One hundred morphotypes of larval fishes were chosen as test specimens. The fishes were collected with either larval fish nets or light traps in the northern, southern and northwestern waters of Taiwan. After their body lengths (SL) were measured and specimen photos were taken, all specimens were delivered, in turn, to five laboratories (A-E) in Taiwan to be identified independently. When all the results were collected, these specimens were then identified using COI barcoding. Out of a total of 100 specimens, 87 were identified to the family level, 79 to the genus level and 69 to the species level, based on the COI database currently available. The average accuracy rates of the five laboratories were quite low: 80.1% for the family level, 41.1% for the genus level, and 13.5% for the species level. If the results marked as "unidentified" were excluded from calculations, the rates went up to 75.4% and 43.7% for the genus and species levels, respectively. Thus, we suggest that larval fish identification should be more conservative; i.e., when in doubt, it is better to key only to the family and not to the genus or species level. As to the most misidentified families in our experiment, they were Sparidae, Scorpaenidae, Scombridae, Serranidae and Malacanthidae. On the other hand, Mene maculata and Microcanthus strigatus were all correctly identified to the species level because their larvae have distinct morphology. Nevertheless, barcoding remains one of the best methods to confirm species identification.
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This short review focuses on lichens which have cyanobacteria as their main photosynthetic partner or in localized areas termed cephalodia. Research is cited to show that cyanolichens are very sensitive to gaseous air pollution, to acid rain, and to habitat disturbance. These lichens are worth conserving for their own sake but are also valuable for assessing the status of forests in areas like northeastern North America, where forests cover large tracts of land. The richness of the cyanolichen flora reflects biological diversity in the forests. Cyanolichens fix atmospheric nitrogen, are generally nutrient-rich, and have a diverse associated invertebrate fauna. These invertebrates provide food that sustain both resident and migrating birds. Management strategies that might be used to maintain and ensure the survival of the rich cyanolichen flora of the northeastern U.S. and Atlantic Provinces of Canada are presented and discussed.
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Presence and frequency of epiphytic macrolichens were measured along an air-quality gradient in Halifax City, NS, Canada. Species frequency plots over distance and multidimensional scaling (MDS) suggested lichen-community changes consistent with expected air-quality changes. A provisional list of air-quality indicators was selected based on: 1) demonstrated variation along the air-quality gradient, 2) frequency across the province, 3) literature values of air-quality sensitivity, and 4) ease of field identification. Indicators were placed in one of three classes: 1) pollution tolerant, 2) intermediate pollution tolerance, and 3) pollution sensitive. MDS analysis suggests an elevation gradient in Nova Scotia and this should be investigated with a further study.
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In the last decades, several methods were proposed for assessing environmental quality — mainly air pollution — on the basis of lichen data (see chapter 4, this volume). At the end of the 80s the predictivity of 20 different methods with respect to instrumental pollution data was tested in Switzerland using multiple regression [1, 5]. The highest correlation was found with the sum of frequencies of lichen species within a sampling grid of 10 units positioned on the trunks of free-standing trees. This method was immediately and widely adopted in several other countries, esp. Italy and Germany, with some modifications, chiefly concerning the size of the sampling grid. Since 1987, hundreds of studies were carried out with this approach, which led to its standardization in the form of guidelines both in Germany [13], and in Italy [7].
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A DNA barcode based on 650 bp of mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase I is proving to be highly functional in species identification for various animal groups. However, DNA degradation complicates the recovery of a full-length barcode from many museum specimens. Here we explore the use of shorter barcode sequences for identification of such specimens. We recovered short sequences — i.e. ∼100 bp — with a single PCR pass from more than 90% of the specimens in assemblages of moth and wasp museum specimens from which full barcode recovery was only 50%, and the latter were usually less than 8 years old. Short barcodes were effective in identifying specimens, confirming their utility in circumstances where full barcodes are too expensive to obtain and the identification comparisons are within a confined taxonomic group.
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Aim The objective of this work was to determine if the existence of ancient forests on cliffs was specific to the Niagara Escarpment, Canada, or part of a globally widespread pattern. Location Sixty-five cliff sites were visited in five countries in the temperate climatic zone, and trees were sampled for age and growth rate on forty-six of these. Methods Two hundred and twenty-four core samples or cross-sections were taken from trees on cliffs that varied in height, aspect, rock-type, and exposure. General observations were also made of regeneration of the tree species forming the mature canopy, and other habitat conditions. Results The evidence shows that ancient slow-growing forest occurs on most cliffs. Age and growth rate distributions were similar at all treed sites. Small-statured Thuja, Juniperus, or Taxus stems with age estimates in excess of 1000 years were found in the United States, the United Kingdom and France, and small Pinus and Quercus stems nearly 400 years in Germany. There was a high rate of recurrence of plants in the genera Polypodium, Asplenium, Cystopteris, Campanula, Rosa, Prunus, Hedera, and Sorbus. Most of the sites appear to be habitats of completely natural origin. Conclusions We conclude that ancient natural forest is a normal feature of cliffs, at least in the temperate zone.
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We investigated effects of landscape-level factors on measures of biodiversity using published descriptions for 98 significant natural areas along the Niagara Escarpment. This is a 725km, largely forested, Paleozoic limestone escarpment that, excepting the Great Lakes, is the most prominent topographical feature of southern Ontario, Canada. Results show highly significant differences in mean site size and extent of forest interior among natural areas of different ownership classes, with larger and more forested sites being under mixed (private + public) ownership, but no significant difference between sites of public and private ownership. Analysis of covariance demonstrated that after controlling for differences in landscape-level factors (total size of natural area, extent of forest interior, extent of landform heterogeneity and geographic location), most measures of biotic diversity (including the number of vegetation community types, provincially rare vascular plants, and regionally and locally rare breeding birds) differed significantly among sites of private, public and mixed ownership. In general, values at public and mixed ownership sites were greatest, with significantly lower biodiversity values at privately-owned sites. Furthermore it would seem not to be a product of public bodies having historically purchased the largest sites or most-forested sites, since there is no significant difference between the mean size of publically-owned and privately-owned sites. Results of stepwise multiple regression confirm the well known relation between size of a natural area and variation in both total, and rare species diversity. Since public sites have generally more species than private sites, they are essential elements of any conservation network.
Article
The purpose of this study was to develop a real-time PCR assay to specifically identify lake whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis in larval fish assemblages based on a 122 bp amplicon from the mitochondrial genome. The efficiency of the reaction, as calculated from the standard curve, was 90·77% with the standard curve having an r2 value of 0·998. Specificity of the assay provided single melt peak in a melt-curve analysis and amplification of only the target species. The assay successfully identified target DNA in as low as 0·1% proportion of a DNA mixture. This assay was designed on the portable Smart Cycler II platform and can be used in both field and laboratory settings to successfully identify C. clupeaformis.
Article
Clear-cut or mosaic forestry practices are known to reduce biodiversity in harvested areas, but the biodiversity in the remaining adjacent forests is also affected. Interior parts of the forest that become edge have increased light, wind, and temperature, and a decrease in moisture. Species with a narrow range of tolerance to environmental change are most affected. To better understand this ‘edge effect’ in the Acadian Forest, 20 mature deciduous stands in northeastern New Brunswick were examined that were adjacent to clear-cuts ranging from 6–11 years old. We used lichens as our bioindicators and selected the genus Lobaria because it is particularly sensitive to disturbance, but also common in mature deciduous forests of this region. Three Lobaria species that are known to occur in the Acadian Forest were examined: L. pulmonaria, L. quercizans, and L. scrobiculata. Canopy closure, temperature, and presence data were recorded at the forest edge and at the first occurrence of any of these three species along a transect running directly into the forest (three transects at each stand, 60 total). Our results show that the species selected have a negative response to newly created forest edges. Lobaria pulmonaria was the most tolerant to edge effects followed by L. quercizan and L. scrobiculata. The mean occurrence distance from the forest edge for all three species was 12.12 m (± 5.66). Forest managers can use these findings to better understand the impacts of clear-cutting on the biodiversity that inhabits the edges created in the residual forests.
Book
Forests must be measured, if they are to be managed and conserved properly. This book describes the principles of modern forest measurement, whether using simple, hand-held equipment or sophisticated satellite imagery. Written in a straightforward style, it will be understood by everyone who works with forests, from the professional forester to the layperson. It describes how and why forests are measured and the basis of the science behind the measurements taken. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009. All rights are reserved.
Chapter
This chapter discusses the predicted, observed, and uncertain effects related to lichen and climate change together with the habitats of vulnerable lichens, with special attention to mountain tops in the tropics-the most likely place for possible extinction of lichens as a result of global warming. Lichens have been observed to respond rapidly to climate change. So far, the changes are as expected with a rather rapid increase of (sub)tropical species in temperate areas, and a gradual decrease of some boreo-alpine elements. No lichens have, so far, been reported to be seriously threatened by climate change. Marked shifts in occurrence and distribution have been predicted based on known habitat preferences and projected climate change. Lichens, like most cryptogams, tend to be widespread, much more so than phanerogams or land animals. Also, many of the species seem to be capable of rather rapid dispersal, as shown by the recent arrival of some (sub)tropical species in a temperate area. Lichens are unequivocally responding to global change. The effects are, so far, apparent only in the last two decades and in the temperate region only. Lichens have indirectly suffered from global change effects in arctic regions. The most severe effects of climate change, leading to probable extinctions, are expected on high mountains in tropical regions.
Article
The Urban Climate aims to summarize analytical studies directed toward physical understanding of the rural-urban differences in the atmospheric boundary layer. Attempts to quantify conditions have met with some success. There is certainly a clear understanding of the physical relations that create the climatic differences of urbanized areas. Although some of the earlier classical studies are cited here, the emphasis is on the work done during the last decade and a half. This volume comprises 11 chapters, beginning with an introductory chapter discussing the literature surrounding the topic, its historical development, and the problem of local climate modification. The second chapter presents an assessment of the urban atmosphere on a synoptic and local scale, and examines the observational procedures involved. The following chapters then go on to discuss urban air composition; urban energy fluxes; the urban heat island; the urban wind field; models of urban temperature and wind fields; moisture, clouds, and hydrometeors; urban hydrology; special aspects of urban climate; and finally, urban planning. This book will be of interest to practitioners in the fields of meteorology, urban planning, and urban climatology.
Article
Biomonitoring can provide cost-effective and practical information about the distribution of nitrogen (N) deposition, particularly in regions with complex topography and sparse instrumented monitoring sites. Because of their unique biology, lichens are very sensitive bioindicators of air quality. Lichens lack a cuticle to control absorption or leaching of nutrients and they dynamically concentrate nutrients roughly in proportion to the abundance in the atmosphere. As N deposition increases, nitrogen-loving eutrophic lichens become dominant over oligotrophic lichens that thrive in nutrient-poor habitats. We capitalize on these characteristics to develop two lichen-based indicators of air-borne and depositional N for interior forested mountain ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest and calibrate them with N concentration measured in PM2.5 at 12 IMPROVE air quality monitoring sites in the study area. The two lichen indices and peak frequencies of individual species exhibited continuous relationships with inorganic N pollution throughout the range of N in ambient PM2.5, suggesting that the designation of a critical level or critical load is somewhat arbitrary because at any level above background, some species are likely to experience adverse impacts. The concentration of N in PM2.5 near the city of Spokane, Washington was the lowest measured at an instrumented monitoring site near known N pollution sources. This level, 0.37 μg/m3/year, served as a critical level, corresponding to a concentration of 1.02% N in the lichen Letharia vulpina, which is similar to the upper end of background lichen N concentrations measured elsewhere in the western United States. Based on this level, we estimate critical loads to be 1.54 and 2.51 kg/ha/year of through-fall dissolved inorganic N deposition for lichen communities and lichen N concentration, respectively. We map estimated fine-particulate (PM2.5) N in ambient air based on lichen community and lichen N concentration indices to identify hotspots in the region. We also develop and map an independent lichen community-based bioclimatic index, which is strongly related to gradients in moisture availability and temperature variability. Lichen communities in the driest climates were more eutrophic than those in wetter climates at the same levels of N air pollution.
Article
Pollution control initiatives in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, resulted in the decommissioning of the Coniston Smelter in 1972. The last assessment of the effects from the smelter on the surrounding lichen biota was in 1990, which showed an overall improvement in richness following these initiatives, but still few species were present close to the smelter. We examined five sites along this gradient to determine if this pattern is still present on the landscape. Sixty-four macrolichen species in 15 genera were found. Lichen richness and Shannon diversity increased at all sites, but the increase was no longer linear with distance from the smelter. There was no significant difference between lichen richness and diversity at sites at increasing distances from the smelter. We show that past air pollution from the Coniston Smelter is no longer restricting lichen growth and development in the Greater Sudbury area as it was historically. Lichen populations are, therefore, now shaped by other environmental variables.
Article
The barcoding of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (coI) gene was amplified and sequenced from 16 species of freshwater fishes found in Lake Wivenhoe (south-eastern Queensland, Australia) to support monitoring of reservoir fish populations, ecosystem function and water health. In this study, 630-650 bp sequences of the coI barcoding gene from 100 specimens representing 15 genera, 13 families and two subclasses of fishes allowed 14 of the 16 species to be identified and differentiated. The mean ± s.e. Kimura 2 parameter divergence within and between species was 0·52 ± 0·10 and 23·8 ± 2·20% respectively, indicating that barcodes can be used to discriminate most of the fish species accurately. The two terapontids, Amniataba percoides and Leiopotherapon unicolor, however, shared coI DNA sequences and could not be differentiated using this gene. A barcoding database was established and a qPCR assay was developed using coI sequences to identify and quantify proportional abundances of fish species in ichthyoplankton samples from Lake Wivenhoe. These methods provide a viable alternative to the time-consuming process of manually enumerating and identifying ichthyoplankton samples.
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1. In this work, we hypothesized that in urban areas with reduced pollution levels, local climatic conditions can be an important driver of lichen diversity. Thus, lichen functional groups could be used to study the effects of the urban heat island, characterized by higher temperature and lower humidity in urban than in peri-urban areas. To test this hypothesis, we sampled functional groups of epiphytic lichens in 48 forest remnants of a Mediterranean urban area (Almada, Portugal).2. Of all tested functional groups (including those most closely associated with air pollution), groups related to water requirements showed the most significant correlations with surrounding artificial areas, roads and forest. These results suggest that the current major driver of lichen diversity is the climate within the urban area rather than air pollution, as frequently assumed.3. The analysis of local climate using meteorological data of temperature and humidity confirmed the existence of urban heat island in the study area.4. Synthesis and applications. The analysis of lichen functional groups gave an integrated response to the climatic modifications occurring in urban areas, namely to the urban heat island, suggesting that lichens can be used as a tool to evaluate the impact of urban areas on local climate and the effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation strategies if pollution levels are low.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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A previously published study used light microscopy, SEM and mtDNA sequencing to identify eggs of 104 taxa to species, 24 to genus and 67 to family levels; 28 of the species were identified by hatching methods and 23 species of eggs were obtained from aquaculture farms (in which the species were known). Light-microscopic characters of 10 species that have not previously been reported are described in the present paper. It is concluded that (1) more diagnostic characters can be found by SEM than by light microscopy, (2) different species may share identical egg morphology even under SEM, so identification using morphological characters is better applied to the categories of family or genus only, not to species, and (3) in addition to the hatching method, molecular sequencing is an alternative way to assign an egg to a species as well as to verify the correctness of previous morphological identification. This necessitates use of the same egg for both morphological observations and DNA sequencing. Its feasibility and experimental process are demonstrated in the present paper using lizardfish (Synodontidae) as an example.
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The Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD) is an informatics workbench aiding the acquisition, storage, analysis and publication of DNA barcode records. By assembling molecular, morphological and distributional data, it bridges a traditional bioinformatics chasm. BOLD is freely available to any researcher with interests in DNA barcoding. By providing specialized services, it aids the assembly of records that meet the standards needed to gain BARCODE designation in the global sequence databases. Because of its web-based delivery and flexible data security model, it is also well positioned to support projects that involve broad research alliances. This paper provides a brief introduction to the key elements of BOLD , discusses their functional capabilities, and concludes by examining computational resources and future prospects.
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Air pollution has many negative effects on the natural environment, from changes in plant growth patterns to loss of ecosystem function. This study uses citizen science to investigate national-scale patterns in the distribution and abundance of selected lichen species on tree trunks and branches, and to relate these to air pollution and climate. Volunteers collected data for nine lichen indicators on 19,334 deciduous trees. Submitted data provided information on species-level patterns, and were used to derive composite lichen indices. Multiple linear regression and ANCOVA were used to model the relationships between lichen response variables on Quercus spp. and pollution, climate and location. The study demonstrated significant relationships between patterns in indicator lichens and levels of N- and S-containing pollutants on trunks and twigs. The derived lichen indices show great potential as a tool to provide information on local, site-specific levels of air quality.
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A new checklist of the lichen-forming, lichenicolous, and allied fungi occurring in the continental United States and Canada is presented. It contains 3,580 lichen species and an additional 219 species of lichenicolous and allied fungi, for a total of 3,799 species in 477 genera. The following taxa are reported as new to North America: Arthonia linitae, Buellia adjuncta, Buelliella physciicola, Cornutispora intermedia, Diploschistes candidissimus, Epicladonia simplex, Fulgensia bracteata subsp. deformis, Graphium aphthosae, Homostegia piggotii, Leproloma membranaceum var. chrysodectoides, Lettauia cladoniicola, Lichenostigma maureri, Melaspilea epigena, Nectria lecanodes, Polycoccum vermicularium, Sphaerulina dolichotera, Thelotrema suecicum, Vouauxiella lichenicola, and Xanthoria fulva. Also, three new combinations are proposed: Lecanora albella var. rubescens (Imshaug & Brodo) Lumbsch, Lichinella melamphylla (Tuck.) Essl., and Lichinella minnesotensis (Fink) Essl.
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A procedure for the routine identification of the products of lichen-forming fungi by thin-layer chromatography is described. Microextracts of plant fragments are chromatographed in three solvent systems. The spots of unknowns are assigned to RF classes defined by the RF values of marker controls of two lichen substances (atranorin and norstictic acid) chromatographed on every plate. The unknowns are tenatively identified by sorting (by RF classes) punched cards summarizing microchemical data for all compounds previously studied. The preliminary identification is then confirmed by additional microchemical tests. The open-ended system can incorporate new and unknown compounds as well as information from other chromatographic systems. Data obtained by the standardized procedure are given for 104 products.
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The use of lichens as monitors of atmospheric pollution is now an established tool, with different tolerances to pollutants being reflected in the distribution (as well as abundance and health) of individual taxa. Lichens also accumulate substances from air and rainfall, and samples may be used to ascertain the nature of emissions and the sphere of influence of industrial installations. Following a chapter outlining the natural history of lichens, the author examines the effects of SO2 on lichens and their distribution, and comments on acid rain. The following chapters summarise the use of lichens in monitoring ozone and nitrogen compounds, fluorides, aromatic hydrocarbons, and heavy metals. Chapter 8 reviews the use of transplant studies. Use of lichens to monitor radioactive elements is then indicated. Chapter 10 looks at the invertebrate fauna of lichens in relation to pollution: melanism in moths (focusing on peppered moth Biston betularia and microfauna (emphasising work on mites). Chapter 11 provides an identification key, and indicates appropriate chemical tests. The final chapter describes techniques and approaches to original work. There are four sets of colour plates. -P.J.Jarvis
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The photobiont ultrastructure of the epiphytic lichens Bryoria fuscescens and Bryoria fremontii was studied along the pollution gradient from two Cu-Ni smelters in Nikel and Monchegorsk in northern Finland and north-western Russia. The relationship between ultrastructural characteristics of B. fuscescens and environmental factors (i.e. climate, atmospheric SO2 and bark element concentrations) was studied by using a principal component analysis (PCA) aiming to assess the air quality in a northern environment. Based on PCA, increased plasmolysis and mitochondrial changes in the Trebouxia photobiont were significantly correlated with elevated pollutant concentrations. Degenerated cells, showing altered chloroplasts and electron-translucent pyrenoglobuli, occurred in lichens growing 35–50 km from the Monchegorsk smelter. Cell wall and cytoplasmic lipid volumes, and size of pyrenoglobuli, positively correlated with the distance from the Monchegorsk smelter. Vacuoles and electron-opaque vacuolar deposits were significantly increased at the Finnish site in the vicinity of a pulp mill. Swelling of mitochondrial cristae and thylakoids showed little correlation with environmental factors, but indicated of initial stage of injuries and were observed at several slightly polluted sites in northern Finland and north-western Russia. The results suggest that the severe photobiont injuries of lichens are strongly associated with poor air quality.
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The spatial variation in epilithic lichen community structure was investigated as part of a larger study of the vegetation and ecology of the tall limestone cliffs within the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve in southern Ontario, Canada. The cover of all lichen taxa was visually estimated for a total of 199 samples taken from the top, middle, or bottom of the cliff face at five sites. Twelve environmental variables were also measured. Twenty-seven lichen taxa were identified on the samples. Multivariate ordinations of species composition (DCA, CCA, PCCA) revealed variation in community structure on multiple scales, but no groupings of sites that would have suggested the presence of several distinct species assemblages. A gradient in species composition from north to south, most clearly reflected in the decreasing cover of foliose and fruticose species, may reflect a gradient in human disturbance. There was also intermediate-scale patchiness in species composition in a horizontal plane across cliffs, but despite earlier claims made in the literature, no evidence of vertical zonation of the lichens on cliffs was found. Species composition also responded to small-scale factors possibly related to exposure, light, or moisture. Unlike community composition, the total cover of all lichens was homogeneous over large spatial scales and varied only on a small scale, illustrating that scale as well as resolution of a study may influence the ecological patterns seen. More than half of the species found on the Niagara Escarpment are rare on rock substrates elsewhere in southern Ontario, and two are new for North America (Candelariella heidelbergensis (Nyl.) Poelt and Lecanora perpruinosa Frberg). The result that cliffs support a distinct flora containing many rare species suggests that they are a reservoir for biodiversity not just for vascular plants, but also for lichens.
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Herbivore damage is generally detrimental to plant fitness, and the evolu- tionary response of plant populations to damage can involve either increased resistance or increased tolerance. While characters that contribute to resistance, such as secondary chem- icals and trichomes, are relatively well understood, characters that contribute to a plant's ability to tolerate damage have received much less attention. Using Helianthus annuus (wild sunflower) and simulated damage of Haplorhynchites aeneus (head-clipping weevil) as a model system, we examined morphological characters and developmental processes that contribute to compensatory ability. We performed a factorial experiment that included three levels of damage (none, the first two, or the first four inflorescences were clipped with scissors) and eight sires each mated to four dams. We found that plants compensated fully for simulated head-clipper damage and that there was no variation among plant families in compensatory ability: seed production and mean seed mass did not vary among treat- ments, and sire X treatment interactions were not significant. Plants used four mechanisms to compensate for damage: (1) Clipped plants produced significantly more inflorescences than unclipped plants. Plants produced these additional inflorescences on higher order branches at the end of the flowering season. (2) Clipped plants filled significantly more seeds in their remaining heads than did unclipped plants. (3) Clipped plants, because they effectively flowered later than unclipped plants, were less susceptible to damage by seed- feeding herbivores other than Haplorhynchites. (4) In later heads, seed size was greater on clipped plants, which allowed mean seed size to be maintained in clipped plants. Although there was genetic variation among the families used in this experiment for most of the characters associated with compensation for damage (seed number, mean seed size, mean flowering date, length of the flowering period, and branching morphology), in analyses of these characters, no sire X treatment interactions were significant indicating that all of the families relied on similar mechanisms to compensate for damage.