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Abstract Detail

Organisms as Ecosystems: Exploring the Microbiome of Plants

Scharnagl, Klara [1], Lucking, Robert [2].

Ecology of Lichen Communities in Cypress Domes: Exploring Edge and Microclimate Effects.

Lichens are widely used as bioindicators; primarily as indicators of air quality and pollution levels, lichen community composition and diversity can also serve as indicators of ecosystem health. Lichens are effective as indicators due to their environmental sensitivity, which results from their complex symbiotic existence. Certain species of lichens can be found within specific bands of (a) light availability, (b) moisture availability, (c) substrate type, (d) seasonal temperature highs and lows, (e) air quality, (f) disturbance level, and (g) epiphytic neighbors. To investigate these lichen community shifts due to environmental factors, we studied lichen species and morphological diversity in cypress domes in Big Cypress National Preserve along a road near Raccoon Point. We investigated a total of twenty domes, at varying distances from the road [which we used as a proxy for air quality and disturbance level, assuming that domes closer to the road would be more greatly exposed to vehicle exhaust and road debris, as well as increased foot traffic due to ease of accessibility]. In each dome, we ran a transect perpendicular to the road from the edge of the dome to the center; each tree along the transect was then sampled on the N, E, S, and W faces - a 10-12cm strip of bark was sampled at breast height. DBH data for each tree was collected, in addition to light availability and microclimate data at the center of each dome. Dome size was estimated using GoogleEarth. Lichens collected were then described using a variety of morphotype descriptors, and then sequenced at the Field Museum in Chicago. We hypothesized that both the species diversity and morphology would experience a turnover from the edge to the center of the dome. We further hypothesized that there would be some lichen community shifts between domes close to the road versus those further from the road and/or buffered from the road by other domes.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Florida International University, Earth and Environment, 11200 SW 8th Street, AHC-II, Room 290, Miami, FL, 33199, USA
2 - Field Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL, 60605-2496, USA

cypress dome
population ecology.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: C8
Location: Rosedown/Riverside Hilton
Date: Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Time: 8:45 AM
Number: C8002
Abstract ID:171
Candidate for Awards:None

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