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Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

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

Alpine bryophytes and lichens of Mt. Katahdin, Maine.

Documentation of alpine bryophytes and lichens on Maine's highest peak, Mt. Katahdin (1607 m), in Baxter State Park, began in the late 1880s but is incomplete. Foot traffic on this mountain in 2002 included almost 50,000 hikes. The impact of these visits on the alpine ecosystem is unknown. We surveyed above 884 m in balsam fir forest and krummholz and beyond tree line for 10 days in 2001-2003, following the Park's strict permit process, and attempted to examine representatives of all habitat types. Miller focused on bryophytes, and Hinds, Fryday, and Dibble focused on lichens. We relocated most species from historic lists and added many others to the documented flora. So far, we have confirmed 92 species of mosses, 50 liverworts, 96 macrolichens, and 130 crustose lichens. Areas of greatest species richness for bryophytes were cirque headwalls and alpine fens and seeps over bedrock, and for lichens late snow areas of the cirque headwalls and rocks near the summit. A newly documented high altitude, base-rich, spring seep yielded the first records of calcareous fen mosses and several lichens for the alpine zone. The rare arctic-alpine mosses Loeskypnum wickesiae, Pseudoleskea radicosa, and Warnstorfia sarmentosa, all from above tree line, are significant additions to the flora of Maine and are represented by only a few other collections from the northeastern United States. Noteworthy lichens included nine crustose lichens not previously known from North America, two macrolichens (Stereocaulon symphycheilium and Ephebe hispidula) known previously only from northwest and arctic North America, and 28 crustose species new to New England, many showing significant range extensions. Our investigations are further evidence that high elevation Katahdin is a significant southern outpost of the cryptogamic arctic-alpine flora in eastern North America.

1 - New York State Museum, Biological Survey, Albany, New York, 12230-0001, USA
2 - Michigan State University, Herbarium, Department of Plant Biology, East Lansing, Michigan, 48824-1312, USA
3 - University of Maine, Department of Biological Sciences, Orono, Maine, 04473-5751, USA

alpine habitats
range extension
Mt. Katahdin

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: 32-9
Location: Special Event Center (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
Time: 12:30 PM
Abstract ID:855

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