Canadian Forest Service Publications
Population structure of the boreal felt lichen in a ribbed moraine landscape of Eastern Newfoundland. 2014. Arsenault, A.; Hussey, V. Botany 92: 639. [Proceedings abstract.]
Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 36316
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The boreal felt lichen (Erioderma pedicellatum) is considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Although the species has suffered major reductions in parts of its range, new findings in Alaska, Russia, and Newfoundland have significantly increased the estimated population and geographic range. The Newfoundland population is particularly interesting because some areas are showing rapid declines while other areas are either showing increase or relatively stable populations. We sampled populations of the boreal felt lichen in plots systematically placed along transects in a ribbed moraine landscape. Our intent was to capture as much of the ecological variation in order to better understand the population structure of this species in different habitats and to develop a predictive habitat model to assist with strategic land-use planning. We found 668 thalli on 375 trees. The vast majority of the boreal felt lichen thalli were on balsam fir trees between 1 and 2 m in height. The number of thalli per tree varied between 1 and 19. We observed several factors that are likely to have an influence on the dynamics of the boreal felt lichen populations including competition from chlorolichens, mortality of the phorophyte, and physical damage from falling trees. This information combined with a detailed ecosystem mapping project will help in the development of a predictive habitat model. We will discuss further the dynamics of the boreal felt lichen populations in the context of a changing forest ecosystem and the management implications for an endangered species in a managed landscape.