Bryophytes and Lichens of North America: Diversity, Function and Importance
Fenton, Nicole , Bergeron, Yves .
Bryophytes on the Clay Belt: impacts on ecosystem function.
Bryophytes drive many aspects of ecosystem function in boreal black spruce forests on the Clay Belt of Quebec and Ontario. The goal of this presentation is to illustrate the role of bryophytes in ecosystem function and the implications for forest management, using studies on paludification in boreal black spruce forests as examples. Paludification is a phenomenon by which a forest on mineral soil is transformed into a treed peatland via the accumulation of a thick forest floor and a rising water table. Subsequently the ecosystem processes of water balance, tree growth and C storage are altered. Results indicate that changes in forest structure lead to the establishment and subsequent expansion of Sphagnum spp. mosses into the previously feather moss dominated bryophyte layer. These sphagna contribute to the net accumulation of organic material with a higher growth rate and lower decomposition rate compared to feather mosses. Given the impact of bryophyte community composition of ecosystem function, it is important to consider the impact of forest management on the bryophyte community. Preliminary studies indicate that different types of forest harvest significantly different effects on the bryophyte community (favouring feather mosses or different types of sphagna). Consequently the composition of the bryophyte community can dictate the type of forest harvest that should be used on a given site.
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1 - Université du Quebec en Abitibi-Temiscamingue, NSERC Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, 455 Boul. de l\'Universite, Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, J9X 4E5, Canada
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
Time: 3:50 PM