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Abstract Detail

Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Miller, Norton G. [1], Fryday, Alan M. [2], Hinds, James W. [3], Dibble, Alison C. [3].

Unexpected Bryophyte and Lichen Biodiversity Documented for the Alpine and Subalpine Zones of Mt. Katahdin, Maine, U.S.A.

WE logged 64 person-days during the summers of 200104 conducting an authorized bryological and lichenological survey of areas above 884 m on Katahdin (max. alt. 1607 m), a steep-sided, somewhat isolated mountain in northern New England, with ca. 13 km2 of alpine tundra and well-developed cirques. Prior floristic research, mainly from expeditions in 1900 (Kennedy and Collins), 1939 (Degelius), and 1949 and 1954 (Schuster), yielded records for 64 mosses, 53 liverworts, and 61 lichens. We confirmed most of these and added many more from field and herbarium studies. Totals now stand at 126 mosses, 78 liverworts, and 289 lichens. Our collections contained 13 lichens previously unknown in North America (Buellia miriquidica, Catillaria contristans, Fuscidea gothoburgensis, Hymenelia cyanocarpa, Lecanora caesiosora, Lecidea commaculans, Metamelanea umbonata, Micarea coppinsii, M. marginata, Porpidia superba f. sorediata, Rhizocarpon amphibium, Scoliciosporum intrusum, Stereocaulon plicatile), 39 others (including three macrolichens) new to northeastern United States, and at least two undescribed species. Richest habitats for rare lichens were southeast-facing bedrock slopes and rocks near areas of late snow-lie. Mosses rare in or unrecorded for the Northeast included Hygrohypnum smithii, Loeskypnum wickesiae, Neckera oligocarpa, Pohlia drummondii, P. tundrae, Pseudoleskea radicosa, Tortella tortuosa var. fragilifolia, and Warnstorfia sarmentosa. Acidic fens associated with snowbeds on irrigated east-facing slopes just below alpine tableland contained many mosses also present in lowland fens. Several interesting discoveries were at or near an alpine calcareous spring-seep on the North Basin headwall, a habitat not noted in earlier botanical work and an anomaly on a mountain consisting of granite, which lacks carbonate minerals. Calcite produced by the interaction of calcium ions from primary granite minerals and bicarbonate ions in groundwater is the favored explanation. Our findings on Katahdin suggest that inventories of other mountains in the northeastern United States will reveal much undiscovered cryptogam diversity.

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1 - New York State Museum, Biological Survey, Albany, New York, 12230, USA
2 - Michigan State University, Department of Plant Biology, Herbarium, 166 Plant Biology Wilson Road, East Lansing, Michigan, 48824-1312, USA
3 - University of Maine, Department of Biological Sciences, 5722 Deering Hall, Orono, Maine, 04469-5722, USA

Mt. Katahdin
alpine tundra
calcareous seep

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: 48-11
Location: Auditorium/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 12:30 PM
Abstract ID:49

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