We have investigated relationships between one simple indicator of lichen species diversity and environmental variables in forests across the coterminous United States. We want to know whether this indicator can help quantify the influence that factors such as climate and air quality have on lichen biodiversity at large scales and whether it will be useful in monitoring changes in these factors. Since lichens are biologically distinct from the trees, shrubs, and herbaceous vegetation found on sample plots, a good indicator of effects on the lichen community complements other indicators and contributes to a more complete picture of potential effects of these causal factors on the entire forest ecosystem.
Will-Wolf, Susan; Ambrose, Mark J.; Morin, Randall S. 2011. Relationship of a lichen species diversity indicator to environmental factors across the coterminous United States. In: Conkling, Barbara L., ed. 2011. Forest health monitoring: 2007 national technical report. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-147. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pages 25-63. 39 p.