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The Vanishing Present: Wisconsin's Changing Lands, Waters, and Wildlife$
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Donald M. Waller and Thomas P. Rooney

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226871714

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226871745.001.0001

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How Have Wisconsin's Lichen Communities Changed?

How Have Wisconsin's Lichen Communities Changed?

(p.135) 11 How Have Wisconsin's Lichen Communities Changed?
The Vanishing Present: Wisconsin's Changing Lands, Waters, and Wildlife

Susan Will-Wolf

Matthew P. Nelsen

University of Chicago Press

This chapter reviews some of what we know about lichens and their sensitivity to substrates and environmental conditions. It draws on both direct and indirect lines of evidence to infer that lichen flora has declined considerably in quantity and quality. Resurvey findings reveal conspicuous declines, including the disappearance of half the lichen species that once occurred in Madison over the past century. Conspicuous losses and biotic homogenization of bark lichens are also observed near a coal-fired power plant in central Wisconsin. Where lichen data are unavailable, changes in habitat are used to infer how the abundances of slow-growing species must have declined with the loss of mature trees and old growth forests.

Keywords:   lichen flora, substrates, environmental conditions, biotic homogenization, mature trees, bark lichens

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