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Abstract Detail

Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Bowman, Keith [1], Kimmerer, Robin [1].

The influence of the diaspore (propagule) bank and diaspore rain on bryophyte (moss) community composition in northern white cedar swamps.

Landscape fragmentation has been shown to negatively influence biodiversity. Northern white-cedar swamps (NWCS) are among the most diverse communities in NY and are exposed to the effects of fragmentation through agriculture. Bryophytes comprise a significant portion of the biodiversity in NWCS, but their response to fragmentation is poorly understood. This study seeks to explore the impact of fragmentation on bryophyte communities in NWCS by examining the relative effects that propagule availability (diaspore bank and diaspore rain) and environmental factors (light, moisture, and substrate) have on edge and interior bryophyte community composition in Fabius Swamp, Onondaga County, NY. Bryophytes reproduce using a variety of diaspores (e.g. spores, gemmae, and fragments), all of which can be present within the diaspore rain and bank. Three sites were sampled to quantify the extant bryophyte community, the diaspore bank (soil samples), and diaspore rain (diaspore traps). The traps and soil samples were placed in a greenhouse under conditions suitable for diaspore growth along with controls. The extant, diaspore bank and diaspore rain communities were found to differ from one another in composition. The extant community contained 120 bryophyte taxa. Accounting for taxonomic differences, the diaspore rain and diaspore bank accounted for 44.8% and 12.6% of the extant community, respectively. Nearly one-third of the taxa in the diaspore rain and one-half of the taxa in the diaspore bank were not detected in the extant cedar swamp community. These observations can be explained, in part, by the life histories of the different species, but may be suggestive of limitations in current understanding of dispersal abilities of certain taxa. This work will help assess the vulnerability of bryophytes to landscape level impacts such as fragmentation and may inform their use as indicators of environmental functions.

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1 - SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Environmental Forest Biology, 241 Illick Hall, SUNY ESF, Syracuse, NY, 13210, USA

diaspore bank
diaspore rain

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 31
Location: 554A/Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Time: 11:30 AM
Number: 31010
Abstract ID:633

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