Article

Ten years of monitoring air quality and ecological integrity using field-identifiable lichens at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site in Nova Scotia, Canada

Authors:
  • Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute
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Abstract

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.

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... In most studies using lichens as a bioindicator, the absence of pollution sensitive lichens in an area is indicative of a high pollution levels (e.g., McMullin et al. 2017). Others (e.g., Munzi et al. 2007) have examined functional groups and used their presence or absence (depending on traits) as indicators of high vs. low air quality. ...
... Here, we test the hypothesis that the presence of a single species of pollution-tolerant lichen, Parmelia sulcata Taylor, can indicate poor air quality. We chose P. sulcata for this study as it is widespread globally and it is documented to be capable of withstanding common urban pollutants (Istomina and Likhacheva 2015;McMullin et al. 2017). ...
... As a result, lichens are useful indicators of heterogeneity in an ecosystem, because the number of microhabitats is positively correlated with the number of species (McMullin et al. 2010). An increase in species diversity will increase the number of ecosystem functions that lichens can provide, such as food and habitat for invertebrates (Slansky 1979;Hesbacher et al. 1995;Pettersson et al. 1995), providing nesting materials for birds and squirrels (Hayward and Rosentreter 1994;Hilton et al. 2004), nutrient cycling (Millbank and Kershaw 1969;Henriksson and Simu 1971;Rychert and Skujins 1974;Knops et al. 1996), and bioindicators of air quality (Conti and Cecchetti 2001;Boch et al. 2013;McMullin et al. 2017). ...
Article
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Tree bark characteristics influence lichen colonization. To better understand how urban parks can be managed to maximize lichen biodiversity, we examined trees in seven parks throughout the City of Guelph in southern Ontario. We measured bark characteristics and lichen communities on four common tree species that have a wide range of pH: Acer platanoides L., Acer x freemanii E. Murray, Pinus resinosa Aiton, and Pinus strobes L. We recorded the lichen species on 99 trees, calculated the pH and fissuring of the bark, and determined the diameter at breast height (DBH) as a proxy for age. Gamma diversity on all trees included 18 lichen taxa. We used graphite bark rubbings analyzed in ImageJ 1.47v to calculate the degree of bark fissuring. We collected bark samples from each tree trunk and determined the acidity with a pH meter. Using multivariate analyses we show that lichen community composition is positively correlated with DBH and tree species, but the degree of fissuring did not have a significant effect. We could not statistically analyze pH independent of tree species, but our results suggest pH is not a significant variable. We show lichen biodiversity in urban parks can be increased by planting a variety of tree species at different ages.
... Our results contribute to establishing a better understanding of the lichen biota in the northern Appalachian Mountains and the Gaspé Peninsula (e.g., Dodge 1926, McMullin & Dorin 2016, McMullin et al. 2017b, Sirois et al. 1988). They also add to notable work on lichen biogeography and diversity in eastern Canada (e.g., Gowan & Brodo 1988;McMullin 2009McMullin , 2012McMullin , 2015McMullin & Wiersma 2017;McMullin et al. 2008McMullin et al. , 2017aSelva 1999), and more broadly to the body of knowledge on Appalachian lichens (e.g., Allen & Lendemer 2016b;Selva 2013Selva , 2014Selva , 2016Lendemer et al. 2013). ...
Thesis
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The lichen biota of North America is poorly documented in many areas, including many of Canada's national parks. For example, Forillon National Park in Quebec, Canada had no previously published accounts of its lichen biota. Therefore, we conducted a comprehensive survey of macrolichens and calicioid lichens and fungi in the park to establish a baseline species list. We discovered 170 taxa in the park (169 species and two subspecies in 48 genera). One species, Melanohalea exasperata, is a first record for Canada; three species, Calicium denigratum, Sclerophora coniophaea, and Scytinium teretiusculum, are new provincial records; two species; Chaenothecopsis oregana and Parmelia fertilis, have notable range extensions; and one species, Sclerophora peronella, is listed as ‘special concern’ under Schedule 1 of the Canadian Species at Risk Act. We present annotated checklists and identification keys to the macrolichen and calicioid species of Forillon National Park.
... Air pollution is often considered a factor affecting lichen distribution in Canada (Cameron 2004;Cameron et al. 2007;McMullin et al. 2017). Accordingly, distance to roads was considered as a parameter that might be used to estimate anthropogenic influence on air quality; however, this parameter is correlated with site selection bias. ...
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Fuscopannaria leucosticta is a rare and understudied cyanolichen with an interesting and unusual distribution in tertiary relict hotspots worldwide. There is a relatively large population in eastern North America, where it occurs mostly throughout the Appalachian Mountains and reaches its northernmost extent in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada. The ability to detect this species, and thus determine its habitat requirements, is critical for understanding how it might be affected by human-induced environmental degradation. Maximum entropy modelling with MaxEnt was used to predict the distribution of suitable habitat for this species in Nova Scotia using 62 presence locations, 1405 pseudo-absence locations and four environmental covariates: depth to water table (a proxy for relative soil moisture), distance to the coast and mean annual temperature and precipitation. Our predictive maps identify important habitat features and areas of high suitability in Nova Scotia with an area under the curve value of 0·85. The predicted distribution of this lichen was most affected by temperature. This study elucidates locations as well as species-habitat relationships for F. leucosticta, providing land managers with baseline data that can aid in the discovery of additional populations and provide a better understanding of its ecological requirements which will support the development of sound conservation strategies for this rare lichen.
... In 2013, air pollution induced around 93% of all death cases in countries where its population was exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution (European Environment Agency 2015; Kodros et al. 2018). Although air quality monitoring using lichens and mosses as bioindicators is very popular in Europe and worldwide (Jeran et al. 2007;Harmens et al. 2008;Godinho et al. 2009;Kularatne and De Freitas 2013;Klimek et al. 2015;McMullin et al. 2017) this method is still not much represented in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H). ...
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The aim of the study was to assess heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) air pollution in Bosnia and Herzegovina by using a lichen, Hypogymnia physodes. Metal content was determined by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) and was between very high naturality or alteration to middle naturality or alteration. Strong correlations between Cr and Ni confirmed mainly anthropogenic sources. The scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) analysis of C, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K, Ca, V, Co, As, Sn, Sb, Hg and Bi were performed on the lichen surface and hyphae of the transplanted samples. Despite significant damage to tissue and cell integrity, the recurrent presence of particulate matter in lichen indicates the considerable presence of dust in the urban atmosphere which, according to chemical composition, may be due to anthropogenic and natural sources such as soil.
... Results from the present study increase the number of known lichens and allied fungi in Carden from 14 to 199 (Brownell and Riley 2000;Jones 2004 (Brodo et al. 2013), both of which also have considerably different lichen communities than Carden. The Arboretum differs from Carden by (1) being on the edge of the Deciduous (Carolinian) Forest Region (Rowe 1972), and thus contains southern species at their northern limit that do not reach Carden; (2) being in an urban environment, the City of Guelph, where it is heavily impacted by development and air pollution, which limits intolerant lichen species and promotes the colonization of tolerant ones (McMullin et al. , 2017; and (3) containing virtually no exposed alvar pavement. The Bruce Peninsula study revealed a higher number of lichen and allied fungi species than in Carden (370), but it differs by (1) containing a greater number of ecosystems including sand dunes, old-growth forests, and coastal environments created by Lake Huron and Georgian Bay; (2) having more variation in topography, mostly due to the Niagara Escarpment; and (3) having been surveyed by 30 lichenologists instead of one (Brodo et al. 2013). ...
Article
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Alvars are globally rare ecosystems occurring mostly in the Great Lakes region of North America and the Baltic region of northern Europe. They are defined by calcareous rock (dolostone, limestone, or marble) plains with exposed pavement, thin soil with grasslands, or forested areas that are usually stunted. One of the largest alvars in the Great Lakes region is the Carden Alvar Natural Area (Carden), which is in southern Ontario ~100 km NNE of Toronto and ~25 km E of Orillia. In recent decades, recognition of the rare and uncommon species inhabiting Carden has led to the protection of 3035 of its ~12,873 ha (24%). To continue to better understand Carden’s wildlife, the first detailed survey of the lichens and allied fungi was completed in 2015 and is presented herein. The study was conducted on protected lands and revealed 199 species in 99 genera. Twenty-five species are provincially listed as S1 (critically imperiled), S2 (imperiled), or S3 (vulnerable) by the Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre, several species represent major range extensions in the province, and a high number (17) of species with cyanobacteria as their primary photobiont were discovered. Results from this study can assist land managers in Carden to identify areas of high conservation value, develop sound conservation strategies, and justify the purchase or donation of additional property for conservation purposes.
... Unlike vascular plants, they lack a protective cuticle that allows them to acquire nutrients directly from the atmosphere and precipitation that washes over them (Richardson 1975;Richardson and Cameron 2004). As a result, airborne chemicals are also taken in by lichens, which have a range of tolerances, making it possible to correlate air quality with the presence of particular species (Richardson 1992;Cameron et al. 2007;McMullin et al. 2017). A study in three cities in southern Ontario showed that urbanization is negatively correlated with lichen diversity . ...
Article
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Bioblitzes are typically 24-hour biological surveys of a defined region carried out by taxonomic specialists, citizen scientists, and the general public. The largest in Canada is the Ontario BioBlitz, an annual event held in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Between 2013 and 2016, we examined the feasibility of including lichens and allied fungi in the Ontario BioBlitz. These taxa are often overlooked, understudied, and taxonomically difficult. We completed a bioblitz in each of the four major watersheds in the GTA and recorded 138 species in 72 genera which, combined with all previous collections, totals 180 species in 88 genera in the area. Thirteen of the species we collected are provincially ranked as S1 (critically imperilled), S2 (imperilled), or S3 (vulnerable). We collected Lecanora carpinea for the first time in Ontario. Our results provide a baseline list of GTA lichens that can be used for monitoring. This is one of the first detailed lichen surveys of a major North American urban area and it demonstrates that rapid bioblitz surveys are proficient in capturing lichen diversity despite their inconspicuous nature and the advanced microscopy and chemical analyses required for their identification.
... This method was highly accepted and was recognised by national government authorities in Switzerland, Germany and Italy (VDI, 1995;Nimis, 1999). In previous studies, IAP using lichens was used to assess air quality in urban area of Grenoble, France; to evaluate environmental stress in industrial setup around Barak Valley, India; to monitor air quality and ecological integrity at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site in Nova Scotia, Canada; and to determine lichen indicator species in Balkan, Serbia (Gombert et al., 2004;Das et al., 2013, McMullin et al., 2017Ristić et al., 2020). ...
Article
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The utilisation of biological organisms, especially lichens in the environmental biomonitoring approach, has been proven to be an effective and low-cost technique suitable for developing countries like Malaysia. Index of Atmospheric Purity (IAP) tracked compositional changes in lichen communities which correlate with changes in levels of atmospheric pollution. Gunung Jerai was formed during the Cambrian Period; thus, it is a biodiversity hotspot ideal for a diverse range of lichens. In the present work, a total of 44 corticolous lichen species were sampled and identified to evaluate the pollution status of Gunung Jerai using IAP, starting from 80 to 1200 m with 300 m intervals. The samples were collected within 10 × 50 cm sampling grids attached to 60 trees, bringing a total of 120 000 cm² of the sampling area. The air quality of the sampling area was determined by IAP score, a low score indicated by high levels of pollution. Results showed that the lowest IAP score was recorded at 300 m; meanwhile, the highest IAP score was recorded at 900 m elevation. Elevational gradient and pollution have a significant effect on the IAP score of Gunung Jerai. On average, Gunung Jerai is indicated as having a low pollution status. However, several elevations of the rainforest showed high and moderate pollution status. The IAP method is best to assess environmental pollution and provide quicker results than chemical monitoring methods. Further research could be done to evaluate the other sampling sites adjacent to other areas of Gunung Jerai.
... The monitoring plan describes the park's ecosystem conceptual model, monitoring measures, monitoring project protocols and sampling design. Adherence to EI monitoring is a top priority in the Canada National Parks Act [14]. Through EI monitoring, people can understand the specific plants, animals and their ecosystems in the park, and master the changes of various species in the ecosystem at a certain time scale. ...
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Canada is one of the first countries in the world to establish a national park, and pioneered the concept of ecological integrity management of national parks. Based on this concept, the country has basically achieved the sustainable development of national parks. China has a vast territory, a large number of scenic spots and nature reserves, but its system and management methods need to be optimized. This paper takes forestry developed countries as an example, summarizes the progress of ecological integrity protection in Canadian national parks, summarizes its current ecosystem adaptive management concepts and implementation methods, Ecological Integrity (EI) monitoring construction and related evaluation index systems, ecosystem protection and restoration. The experience is intended to provide a reference for the improvement of the ecological integrity protection of national parks in China.
... These stations comprised of main roads where major roundabouts, industries, and commercial areas are located. The high frequency of motor vehicles increases emissions of phytotoxic gasses such as nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide [21]. Excessive accumulation of these gasses cause air pollution and have a negative impact to the growth of lichens [22]. ...
Article
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Lichens, a symbiotic relationship of fungus and algae are suitable to serve as bio-indicator of air pollution due to their ability to absorb toxic materials into their thallus. This study aimed to assess the air pollution status in Shah Alam based on Lichen Biodiversity Index (LBI) which was used to determine the effect of phytotoxic gases released from motor vehicles on the diversity of lichen. A total of 52 sampling stations in central Shah Alam were studied where 12 stations showed high alteration of air, 9 stations showed moderate alteration of air, 18 stations showed low alteration of air but with low naturality, 12 stations showed moderate naturality of air and one station showed high naturality of air. Central Shah Alam is considered polluted since 40.38% of the study area showed condition above moderate pollution level (low alteration/low naturality) while only 25% showed condition below moderate pollution level. Regression analysis showed a strong negative linear relationship between LBI value and frequency of motor vehicles (R 2 = 0.902) which denoted that air pollution caused by motor vehicles negatively affected the diversity of lichen. Thirteen species of lichen were recorded with Pyxine cocoes was identified as the most tolerant lichen while Parmotrema praesorediosum was identified as the most sensitive lichen in the study area.
... Lichens are composite organisms that absorb particles through their cortex and cannot actively retain moisture because they lack a waxy cuticle (Purvis 2000). Because of this characteristic, lichens can be used as indicators of different habitats (Kraichak et al. 2009), for monitoring pollution (Conti and Cecchetti 2001;McMullin et al. 2017), and for monitoring changes to ecosystems (Berglund 2004). They are also among the most sensitive organisms to climate change in forest habitats (Esseen et al. 2016;Nascimbene and Spitale 2017;Nascimbene et al. 2018;Ellis 2019). ...
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Forested wetlands provide ecosystem services and often support elevated levels of biodiversity and rare species. However, forested wetlands are understudied and face threats such as logging and land conversion. Epiphytic lichens are abundant in forested wetlands and may be useful to help delineate microhabitats across wetland–upland gradients. We investigated epiphytic macrolichen richness, diversity, and community composition in 15 sites in the Avalon Forest Ecoregion, Newfoundland, Canada. Within each site, we set up three parallel 40 m transects in (i) the forested wetland, (ii) the ecotone, and (iii) the upland forest. Along each transect, we selected five balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) trees 10 m apart and surveyed for macrolichens on the lower bole. We collected data on tree height and tree diameter at breast height, which differed significantly among forest types. We also collected data on tree age and canopy cover, which did not differ significantly among forest types. Contrary to hypotheses suggesting that biodiversity is highest in ecotones, we found that mean macrolichen richness was significantly higher in wetlands, lower in the ecotones, and lowest in upland forests, and macrolichen diversity followed a similar pattern but with no significant difference among groups. Macrolichen community composition significantly differed among wetlands, ecotones, and upland forests. A lichen of conservation concern, Erioderma pedicellatum (Hue) P.M. Jørg., was detected primarily in forested wetlands, highlighting wetlands as key habitats for rare epiphytic macrolichens.
... Estudios más detallados como los de Amman et al. 14 , muestran que los líquenes pueden ser utilizados como biomonitores de contaminación si se dispone de adecuada información sobre diferentes sustancias transportadas en el aire durante periodos de tiempo constantes, manteniendo esa idea, Alzate 15 sostiene que la implementación de líquenes como biosensores, se convierte en una estrategia asequible y puede responder diferentes preguntas sobre la calidad del aire. Desde 1970 LeBlanc y De Sloover 16 propusieron una metodología para el diagnóstico de la calidad del aire usando líquenes como bioindicadores y calculando un índice llamado Índice de Pureza Atmosférica (IPA), el cual es un número relacionado directamente con la riqueza de la vegetación, entonces, la vegetación de epifitas está relacionada con la calidad del aire; indicador que ha sido ampliamente utilizado en otros estudios como los propuestos por Udeni et al. 17 , Agnan et al. 18 , Troy et al. 19 y Lijteroff et al. 20 . ...
Article
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A study of four old-growth stands in Nova Scotia was conducted to document the ecological characteristics of these currently rare Acadian forest ecosystems. Stands were selected to represent the two dominant climax forest types, hemlock-red spruce-eastern white pine, and sugar maple-yellow birch-beech. Data include measurements of age structure, species composition, diameter distribution, basal area, height, coarse woody debris, snags, vertical structure, and canopy condition. All stands were determined to be uneven-aged. Old-growth reference ages calculated for the stands ranged from 164 to 214 years. All stands displayed broad diameter distributions that had peak basal area representation in the 40- to 50-cm diameter classes. Volumes of dead wood ranged from 111 to 148 m3/ha in the softwood stands and from 63 to 83 m3/ha in the hardwood stands. Dead wood consisted of approximately one-third snags and two thirds downed coarse woody debris. Measurements from the stands were used to evaluate Nova Scotia's recently developed Old Forest Scoring System. Six stand attributes were rated for a maximum score of 100: stand age, primal value, number of large-diameter trees, length of large-diameter dead wood, canopy structure, and understorey structure. Based on the age attribute, three of the four stands were classed as Mature Old Growth and one was very close, indicating that all are in the shifting mosaic stage of late forest succession. The scores for all stands were relatively high, ranging from 75 to 85, as would be expected from some of the best old-growth stands in the province.
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At last, a light and easy-to-use field guide to the rich lichen flora of Northeastern North America. The authors have designed this user-friendly guide for amateur naturalists, nature interpreters, forestry workers, land surveyors, researchers, and the general public. Meant to fit in a pocket or backpack, it requires no previous botanical experience and is written in non-technical language. The 138 lichens in this guide are seen mostly in the Canadian Atlantic provinces, New England, Québec and eastern Ontario. The guide is formatted so that each page is arranged by the surface each lichen grows on in the field, its shape or growth form, then by its color. Full color photographs and black and white drawings for each species also aid in identification. Common Lichens of Northeastern North America is one of the few resources available that helps to make lichens accessible to non-specialists. Recognition of lichen species helps create a better understanding of the diversity as well as an appreciation of these often overlooked and under-studied organisms. Use this guide to get tuned into the ancient, fascinating and beautiful world of lichens— you can start in your own backyard!
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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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Transportation infrastructure in national parks has historically been designed for the automobile. With more vehicles in the parks, visitors found themselves in circumstances more reminiscent of a city than a park. Traffic jams, overcrowding, illegal parking, horn honking, and idling vehicles became common, creating stress and contributing to air and noise pollution, the very things visitors were hoping to get away from. Park managers began searching for alternatives, including shuttle systems. Many national parks have implemented optional shuttle systems, but relatively few have completely closed roads to vehicles, transporting visitors on mandatory shuttles. Zion National Park instituted a mandatory shuttle system in May 2000 to relieve crowding and congestion in the main canyon and to protect natural resources. Taking a longitudinal approach, attributes of the shuttle (e.g., crowding, accessibility, freedom, efficiency, preference, and success) were assessed with experiential park factors (e.g., scenic beauty, naturalness, solitude, tranquility, air quality, and soundscape) in 2000, 2003, and 2010 by surveying shuttle-riding park visitors. While visitors initially reported a few reservations about the shuttle system, by 2003, the majority rated the system successful. Ratings of all shuttle-related variables, except crowding, improved over the decade. Improvements were greatest for freedom, accessibility, and efficiency. Multiple regression found overall shuttle success to be mediated by preference, freedom, accessibility, efficiency, and comfort. Experiential variables assessing park conditions followed a similar pattern, with improved ratings as the decade progressed. Results provide important insights into the visitor experience with mandatory alternative shuttle systems in national parks.
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The continuity of 33 northern hardwoods and spruce-fir stands in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and western New Brunswick is assessed using indices of ecological continuity (IEC) that are based upon the percentage occurrence of ancient forest indicator lichen species found at each site. Stands are ranked according to decreasing IEC value, with results confirming the ancient forest status of 12 of the 15 previously investigated old-growth forest sites included in the investigation. The data also show that epiphytic lichen floras become richer over time, with older stands harboring more rare species, and suggest that the total number of Caliciales species collected at a site may, in itself, be an indicator of continuity.
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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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Differences in lichen presence and abundance in natural and managed coniferous forests of Nova Scotia were studied in thirty stands categorized as 1) harvested and thinned, 2) harvested and unthinned, and 3) naturally disturbed. The frequency of cover of thirty-four lichen taxa was assessed and analysed to examine the effects of forest management history. Nine taxa had significantly greater abundance and two taxa only occurred in old growth forests compared to younger stages. Twenty taxa had significantly greater abundance and five taxa only occurred in natural forests compared to managed forests. The abundance and habitat of each taxon is discussed. Multiple linear regression was used to determine the forest structural features that best explained the abundance of each lichen taxon. Tree age, remnant trees, crown closure, tree volume, and tree spacing were structural features that most consistently influenced lichen abundance.
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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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The crustose lichen flora of fifteen areas in boreal coniferous forests from southern Sweden to Lapland was surveyed. Many of these areas are included in a national programme for monitoring long-term environmental change, the PMK programme. In all 190 species were recorded, 129 of them occurring on bark of conifers and lignum. Some species were found exclusively in forests with a long continuity. By using ordination and hierarchical classifications further species with similar habitat requirements were identified. An Indicator Species Index of Forest Continuity (ISIFC) was designed. Only two of the twenty index species occur on deciduous trees. The ISIFC was highly correlated with forest continuity and also with occurrence of species listed as threatened. Correlations with macroclimatic variables are considered sampling artifacts, and microclimatic factors are suggested to be of primary importance for species occurring in forests with a long continuity.
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Often as part of environmental impact studies and, above all, to obtain authorisations in accordance with prescriptions from the Ministry for the Environment (Italy), surveys and controls that use biological indicators are required. This is because such indicators are valid instruments for evaluating the quality of the air ensuing from the subject (often an industrial plant) of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). In this context, this paper aims to analyse some of the theoretical aspects of biological monitoring and to provide a progress report on the use of lichens as bioindicators of air quality, with a particular eye to the situation in Italy. The object of this paper is that of pointing out the most important lines in the current state of knowledge in this field, evaluating the methodological applications and their advantages/disadvantages with respect to traditional surveying methods.
Article
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Reductions in North American sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions promoted expectations that aquatic ecosystems in southeastern Canada would soon recover from acidification. Only lakes located near smelters that have dramatically reduced emissions approach this expectation. Lakes in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario affected only by long-range sources show a general decline in sulfate (SO4(2-)) concentrations, but with a relatively smaller compensating increase in pH or alkalinity. Several factors may contribute to the constrained (or most likely delayed) acidity response: declining base cation concentrations, drought-induced mobilization of SO4(2-), damaged internal alkalinity generation mechanisms, and perhaps increasing nitrate or organic anion levels. Monitoring to detect biological recovery in southeastern Canada is extremely limited, but where it occurs, there is little evidence of recovery outside of the Sudbury/Killarney area. Both the occurrence of Atlantic salmon in Nova Scotia rivers and the breeding success of Common Loons in Ontario lakes are in fact declining although factors beyond acidification also play a role. Chemical and biological models predict that much greater SO2 emission reductions than those presently required by legislation will be needed to promote widespread chemical and latterly, biological recovery. It may be unrealistic to expect that pre-industrial chemical and biological conditions can ever be reestablished in many lakes of southeastern Canada.
Article
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.
Article
Differences in lichen presence and abundance in natural and managed coniferous forests of Nova Scotia were studied in thirty stands categorized as 1) harvested and thinned, 2) harvested and unthinned, and 3) naturally disturbed. The frequency of cover of thirty-four lichen taxa was assessed and analysed to examine the effects of forest management history. Nine taxa had significantly greater abundance and two taxa only occurred in old growth forests compared to younger stages. Twenty taxa had significantly greater abundance and five taxa only occurred in natural forests compared to managed forests. The abundance and habitat of each taxon is discussed. Multiple linear regression was used to determine the forest structural features that best explained the abundance of each lichen taxon, Tree age, remnant trees, crown closure, tree volume, and tree spacing were structural features that most consistently influenced lichen abundance.
Article
Epiphytic lichens contribute to the biological diversity of old forests, but little is known about the changes that occur in lichen communities as forests age and become structurally more complex. We compared forest age and forest structure as indicators of lichen biomass, richness, and community on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington. Epiphytic lichens were sampled in 1995 and 1996 on 21, 13 ha forested units, ranging from 75 to 165 years old. Canopy lichen litterfall was sampled in 15, 12.5 m 2 plots per unit. Mean lichen litteffall biomass differed significantly between years, but species composition did not. Forest structure variables were refined using principal component analysis resulting in the first two principal components accounting for 75.5 % of the variation in the samples-by-structural-variables matrix. Principal components 1 and 2 represented structure and were compared to forest age by correlating each with lichen biomass, richness, and community composition. Multiple regression was also used to test the relationship of age and eight structural variables against lichen biomass, richness, and community composition. In both years, and in both analyses, forest structure explained more variance in lichen biomass and richness than forest age, whereas age explained more variance in lichen community composition. The structural variables that were important for predicting lichen biomass differed from those predicting lichen richness. In mature forests, structure may be a better predictor of lichen biomass and diversity than forest age. Techniques that emphasize structure have the potential to help forest managers assess mature stands for their biological value.
Article
Old-growth forests had larger trees, greater structural diversity, greater volumes of coarse woody debris, fewer species of vascular plants, more species of trunk epiphytes and higher β and γ diversity than second-growth forests. Although pendent fruticose lichens were common in both stand age classes, species of Alectoria were more abundant in old growth, while second growth was dominated by Bryoria spp. Nitrogen-fixing foliose lichens were more common in all strata of old growth, and Lobaria pulmonaria, a common N-fixing species in old growth, was absent in second growth. Cladonia spp. were more numerous in second-growth forests. Nearly all species of leafy liverworts were more common in old growth and typically occurred on rotting wood. Many of these liverworts were absent from second growth. -from Authors
Article
Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) was one of the first national parks to adopt an alternative transportation system: a shuttle bus system initiated in 1978. To address parking lot shortages while accommodating growing numbers of park visitors, RMNP expanded its shuttle bus service in 2001. Although the expanded shuttle service has helped to alleviate parking congestion at popular trailheads, expansion may also be enabling levels of visitation that cause or exacerbate visitor crowding. Thus, there is a need to evaluate and potentially refine RMNP's shuttle service according to the amount of visitor use that can be accommodated at popular destinations in the park without unacceptable effects on the quality of visitors' experiences. This study evaluated and quantified transportation system performance and visitor crowding at popular recreation sites in the Bear Lake Road corridor resulting from RMNP's shuttle service operations. The study used integrated transportation and visitor use modeling to provide quantitative estimates of the extent of parking congestion, transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, transit operating costs per passenger, and visitor crowding associated with existing and alternative transit service operations scenarios. The National Park Service will use information from the study to refine the operation of shuttle service in RMNP in a manner that both optimizes transportation system performance and protects the quality of visitors' experiences. Further, the study framework can be generalized to other public lands units to design and operate transit service in accordance with transportation, resource, and visitor experience objectives.
Article
Lichens, the proverbial “canaries in the coal mine”, are useful bioindicators due to their sensitivity to environmental changes. In 2006, a protocol was developed at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site in Nova Scotia, Canada that used lichens to monitor ecological integrity and air quality within the park; assessments are ongoing every five years. There are currently no identification tools for park staff to conduct the monitoring process that specifically target the species being assessed. Here we present tools for the identification of the 50 lichen species used in the monitoring program at Kejimkujik. A taxonomic key, photographs of each species and an illustrated glossary are presented. While these tools are intended for individuals unfamiliar with lichens, some basic training to use the key is required. Park staff can use these aids to continue the monitoring protocol at Kejimkujik independently. With some modifications the same tools could serve as a template for other monitoring initiatives in the region.
Article
Concentrations of sulfur, nitrogen, and seven metal elements are reported for the lichen Flavoparmelia baltimorensis from three monitoring stations in Maryland and Virginia. At Plummers Island, Maryland, 15 km from the center of Washington, D. C, lichens have been collected for nearly 100 years. The other two stations, Bear Island, Maryland (21 km) and Stony Man Mountain, Virginia (120 km), were established in the 1970's by Mason Hale to help document changes in ambient air quality in the Washington, D.C area. Concentrations of cadmium, chromium, nickel, zinc, and lead were consistently highest at Plummers Island and lowest at Stony Man Mountain; concentrations of the other four elements (nitrogen, sulfur, aluminum, and copper) were also consistently higher at Plummers Island than at Stony Man Mountain. Recent collections, in 1988 and 1992, revealed marked reductions in the concentration of all nine elements except aluminum al all three stations, providing limited, but encouraging, signs of improved air quality in the region.
Article
Air quality improvement near a coal-fired power plant led to recolonization of Parmelia caperata (L.) Ach. in a pollution-induced void area. Recolonization was first observed about four years after pollution abatement. Least-affected sites were slowest to recover. After eight years of improved air quality, the distribution of P. caperata has returned to near normal. Lichen biomonitoring is useful not only to detect the effects of poor air quality but to document air quality improvements as well. 5 references, 4 figures.
Article
Epiphytic mosses and lichens are very sensitive to air pollution. Their gradual disappearance from large cities and from the vicinity of industrialized complexes is due, mostly, to phytotoxicants. A simple method to map the long-range effect of air pollution on corticolous epiphytes is described. An I.A.P. or "index of atmospheric pollution" based on the number of species present, their coverage and frequency, and their specific tolerance to pollutants can be expressed quantitatively.
Article
The relationship between lichen species richness and forest age was explored in southwestern Nova Scotia by examining the epiphytic lichens in 51 conifer-dominated forest stands with no evidence of harvesting. The stand ages were determined by tree cores and ranged from 52 to 292 years. One hundred and thirty-five lichen species in 61 genera were identified, of which 25 species are new records for Nova Scotia, and two appear to be species new to science. Using the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources’ age thresholds, 12 of the 135 lichen species were found exclusively in ‘‘early old-growth’’ and 16 were found only in ‘‘advanced old-growth’’ forest stands. These forests have a diverse lichen flora including green-alga containing macrolichens, a spectrum of crustose taxa and eight genera and 21 species of cyanolichens, the latter being found mainly on deciduous trees. Data on the identified lichen species were used, with the help of two existing indices of ecological continuity, to calculate a value for each of the 51 forest stands assessed. The values should represent an age category (i.e., the higher the value the older the forest stand). The values calculated, however, using either of these indices, were not high enough to identify any of the stands as ‘‘old-growth.’’ In contrast, the stand ages determined using tree cores, showed that some stands were old enough to be defined as ‘‘old-growth.’’ The failure of index 1 to identify any stands as old-growth was likely due to regional ecological variations, suggesting that a new suite of lichens needs to be developed for southwestern Nova Scotia. The problems with index 2, which used calicioid lichens as a predictor of old-growth, appeared to be that insufficient data were collected on these easily overlooked taxa.
Article
The relationships between the structural complexity of coniferous forests and the epiphytic lichen com- munities that inhabit them were examined in 51 conifer-dominated stands in southwestern Nova Scotia. One hundred and fifteen lichen species were studied in stands in the age range of 50–300 years. Envi- ronmental variables shaping the structural complexity of each forest stand were measured and their relationship with lichen species were assessed using a canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). The CCA revealed that the considerable variation in lichen community composition can be explained by sev- eral environmental variables associated with forest structure. The stand orientation on the first axis of the CCA found the most important variables for lichen richness to be stand age, tree stem density and snag stem density. The stand orientation on the second axis is strongly correlated with deciduous stem density and abundance including specific deciduous tree species such as Acer rubrum abundance. The analysis indicates that the greater the structural complexity in the forest, and thus the more microhabi- tats available, the greater the lichen species richness. These results should provide forest managers with a better understanding of the environmental variables that influence lichen diversity, and contribute to the development of more sustainable forest management strategies.
Article
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
Article
The pH of freshwater has lowered with a decrease in the food supply for fish and a reduction in their reproduction. A national study plan on the problem involves an inventory of man-made and natural sources of sulphur E of Manitoba and the Mississippi River, to be followed by similar studies of NOx, hydrocarbons and mercury; studies of atmospheric processes such as dry deposition, oxidation of sulfur dioxide, and precipitation scavenging; design and testing of models of long-range atmospheric transportation and transformtion of pollutants that will estimate present and future trans-boundary fluxes; continuation and expansion of field measurement and monitoring to attempt to draw trends in the quality of ambient air and precipitation; studies of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems to attempt to assess their capacity to withstand or react to the atmospheric loading of materials owing to long-range transport. -J.Johnson
Article
Epiphytic lichens have long been used as ecological indicators. Lichen biomonitoring surveys were carried out by five experienced teams and the results compared across the entire process, from sampling design planning to species counting. The five teams received the same background information and worked in parallel but independently in the same area. European standard operating procedures (SOPs), which are still in preparation, were followed in order to identify possible critical issues and improve consistency. Five exercises with progressive reduction in the degree of operational freedom were carried out by the teams. The results revealed differences between teams on each exercise and showed that investigations run by different teams in the same area and at the same time may not be entirely comparable. This was partly due to inherent differences between crews (skills, familiarity with local flora, and accuracy in applying SOPs), partly to ambiguities in the SOPs, and partly to insufficient training with the SOPs. The results may be valuable in improving biomonitoring procedures and in achieving high-quality, consistent lichen diversity data.
Article
Several case histories illustrate national park air issues and responses in Canada. These examples include: acidification studies and establishment of a multiparticipant monitoring programme at Kejimkujik; studies of smoke at campgrounds in Jasper, La Mauricie and Forillon, its effect on health, and the management of visitors and firewood supply to mitigate these risks; and estimates of emissions from through-traffic in Yoho. From these cases and from reviews of the secondary literature, we can identify air issues that affect the maintenance of ecological integrity in national parks. These issues are: forest fires and smoke management; defining goals for ecosystem restoration; representation of natural regional conditions; visitor health and amenity; acidification; pesticides; eutrophication from airborne nitrates; permafrost melting; and UV-B. In June 1995, an International Air Issues Workshop brought together representatives from Canadian and U.S. national parks and other selected agencies. They ranked the air issues affecting national parks, producing quite an eclectic list. From the most to least serious issue, they are: acidification, toxics, visibility impairment, UV-B, smoke management, oil and gas development, fugitive dust, global warming, overflights, light pollution, noise and odour. Note that atmospheric change is only one among a group of stresses affecting national parks. Of 28 stresses recognized as significant for national parks in 1992, acid precipitation ranked 8th and climate change 23rd. Petrochemicals, 17th, pesticides, 18th and heavy metals, 21st, may be partly airborne. The 1995 workshop made several recommendations applicable to Parks Canada, from which those related to research and monitoring needs have been extracted. The air monitoring needed most by national parks is of suspended particulate and visibility. This is in response to human health and amenity concerns and international treaty obligations. The long-term protection of natural sites in national parks provides opportunities for other agencies to monitor ambient air quality and ecosystem responses, for example through the installation of under-canopy monitoring towers. The air research most needed in national parks is the modelling of natural landscapes and vegetation complexes in response to climate change. This follows from the primary purpose of each national park, to maintain the ecological integrity of an area selected to represent a natural region. The principal air research opportunities for other agencies in national parks are probably intensive instrumentation and sampling over several years to examine the air-vegetation-soil transfers of nutrients, pollutants and radiation.
Article
The effect of air pollution from nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on the epiphytic lichens of the city of Seville (Spain) has been studied. Indices of air purity (IAP) were calculated, based The effect of air pollution from nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on the epiphytic lichens of the city of Seville (Spain) has been studied. Indices of air purity (IAP) were calculated, based on the lichen flora ofMelia azedarach L. present at 25 stations distributed through the city. The arrangement and classification of the stations by principal component on the lichen flora ofMelia azedarach L. present at 25 stations distributed through the city. The arrangement and classification of the stations by principal component analysis and cluster analysis, respectively, enabled the study area to be zoned into four zones of air purity. Accordingly, analysis and cluster analysis, respectively, enabled the study area to be zoned into four zones of air purity. Accordingly, the zonal map of air purity for the city of Seville yields a gradient of air purity that is very steep from the centre to the zonal map of air purity for the city of Seville yields a gradient of air purity that is very steep from the centre to the outskirts. The dependence of 77.6% of IAP variability with NO2 pollution levels detected with air emission sensors distributed through the city suggests the relationship between NO2 levels and zones of air purity. the outskirts. The dependence of 77.6% of IAP variability with NO2 pollution levels detected with air emission sensors distributed through the city suggests the relationship between NO2 levels and zones of air purity.
Article
The development of the epiphytic lichen vegetation on tree trunks inside and nearby twelve towns and industrial areas in south-west Sweden was investigated 1986/88 and 1997 using a photographic technique. The lichen vegetation studied in terms of area cover as well as the air pollution sensitivity and preference for nitrogen of the individual lichens. During both surveys the lichen flora was strongly impoverished in urban areas compared to suburban areas and especially to the countryside (reference) areas nearby. The air pollution situation has improved in the area both before and during the study period. This holds especially for SO2, to a lesser extent also for NO2. Following the improvement of the air quality, an increased lichen area cover on the tree trunks was observed. Also the cumulative pollution sensitivity of the lichens present was higher in 1997 compared to 1986/88 in suburban and countryside areas. For the nitrogen impact, the increase from 1986/88 to 1997 was smaller than for pollution sensitivity, but still statistically significant. The trends are interpreted as signs of a normalisation of the lichen flora. It is concluded that the observed pattern of lichen recovery reflects the fact that the reduction of the air pollution level in the central parts of the towns is still not large enough to permit a large-scale recovery of the lichen flora, while in the suburban areas and the countryside next to the towns, the air quality has now improved to an extent, which permits the reinvasion of a number of lichens.
Article
In this work an attempt to combine the results of lichen mapping with the quantitative levels of certain trace elements in Hypogymnia physodes (L.) Nyl. collected on a national scale is presented. An Index of Atmospheric Purity (IAP) was calculated using a simple method of mapping lichens based on the assessment of the cover and frequency of crustose, foliose and fruticose lichens on different tree species. For determination of trace elements in lichens k0-instrumental neutron activation analysis was used. From the IAP results it can be concluded that the epiphytic lichen flora look quite poor with more than 70% of the territory in the fourth and third classes, which represent highly polluted and moderately polluted air. By comparing IAP results with elemental levels in H. physodes using multivariate statistical methods it was found that the elemental levels do not have a direct negative effect on the diversity of lichens but can help in identification of the type of possible pollution sources and their origin.
  • T Mcmullin
T. McMullin et al. Ecological Indicators 81 (2017) 214-221
Published by the Minister of Justice
  • Canada National
  • Parks Act
Canada National Parks Act. 2000. Published by the Minister of Justice. 185 pp. http:// laws-lois.justice.gc.ca (accessed 21. 01. 2017)
Point Pelee National Park of Canada State of the Park Report
  • T Dobbie
  • T Mcfayden
  • P Zorn
  • J Keitel
Dobbie, T., McFayden, T., Zorn, P., Keitel, J., 2007. Terra ecological consulting. In: Carlson, M. (Ed.), Point Pelee National Park of Canada State of the Park Report. Parks Canada, Ottawa, ON.
Canadian Precipitation Monitoring Network (CAPMoN) Data for Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site
Environment Canada, 2016. Canadian Precipitation Monitoring Network (CAPMoN) Data for Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site (2007–2015).
Biophysical Survey of Kejimkujik National Park
  • P Gimbarzevsky
Gimbarzevsky, P., 1975. Biophysical Survey of Kejimkujik National Park. Forest Management Institute Information Report FMRX-81. Environmental Management Service, Environment, Canada (316 pp).
Forest Birds as Indicators of Ecological Integrity in Kejimkujik National Park
  • S Gullage
Gullage, S., 2005. Forest Birds as Indicators of Ecological Integrity in Kejimkujik National Park. MSc Thesis. Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS.