New Method Monitors Species Groups and Estimates Carbon Storage in Moss and Lichen Layers in Boreal and Temperate Forests
Mat forming mosses and lichens have important functional roles in the ecosystem. Forest Service scientists developed a nondestructive, repeatable, and efficient method for gauging these functions and evaluating responses to ecosystem changes. They used this method to estimate biomass, carbon and nitrogen content for nine moss and lichen functional groups among eight contrasted habitat types in the Pacific Northwest and boreal Alaska.
Ground layer cover, volume, standing biomass, carbon content, and functional group richness were greater in boreal forest and tundra habitats of Alaska compared to moss and lichen ground layers in Oregon forests and steppes. Biomass in upland black spruce forests was nearly double other reports, likely because this method included viable, nonphotosynthetic tissues. Functional group richness was greatest in lowland black spruce forests. High biomass and functional distinctiveness in Alaska ground layers highlight the need for increased attention to currently under-sampled boreal and Arctic regions, which are projected to be among the most active responders to climate change.
|A rapid method for landscape assessment of carbon storage and ecosystem function in moss and lichen ground layers||(publication)|
Forest Service Partners