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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Dorey, Jenna [1], Lendemer, James [1], Naczi, Robert F. C. [2].

The lichen in the room: do patterns of biodiverse, understudied groups really mirror those of the plants and animals that often set conservation priorities?

The Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain (MACP) is a region of North America that is both highly altered by human development, and considered one of four global areas most vulnerable to rising sea levels. Recent study of the region revealed that it hosts remarkably high lichen biodiversity, much of which previously had been unrecognized. This work also uncovered a disturbing pattern — the most species-diverse sites tend to be less than one meter above sea level. Considering that eastern North America is considered by many to be biologically well explored, how is it that this high lichen diversity has been overlooked until recently? Limited inventory data of birds, mammals, and vascular plants suggested that spatial diversity patterns of lichens in the region did not mirror those of the better-studied “charismatic” organisms. We present the results of a study aimed at testing this hypothesis via inventory of selected lichen study sites on the Delmarva Peninsula of the MACP for woody plants and sedges of the genus Carex. We compare the patterns of surveyed organisms in the study area within the context of ecologic, geographic, climatic and anthropogenic factors that influence species diversity in Delmarva.

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1 - The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY, 10458, USA
2 - The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY, 10458-5126, USA

coastal plain

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 63
Location: Salon 19/20/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM
Number: 63004
Abstract ID:602
Candidate for Awards:None

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