Bryophyte Species Associations with Coarse Woody Debris and Stand Ages in Oregon

  • Rambo T
  • Muir P
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Abstract

We quantified the relationships of 93 forest floor bryophyte species, including epi- phytes from incorporated litterfall, to substrate and stand age in Pseudotsuga menziesii-Tsuga heterophylla stands at two sites in western Oregon. We used the method of Dufrdne and Legendre that combines a species' relative abundance and relative frequency, to calculate that species' importance in relation to environmental variables. The resulting "indicator value" describes a species' reliability for indicating the given environmental parameter. Thirty-nine species were indicative of either humus, a decay class of coarse woody debris, or stand age. Bryophyte com- munity composition changed along the continuum of coarse woody debris decomposition from recently fallen trees with intact bark to forest floor humus. Richness of forest floor bryophytes will be enhanced when a full range of coarse woody debris decay classes is present. A suite of bryophytes indicated old-growth forest. These were mainly either epiphytes associated with older conifers or liverworts associated with coarse woody debris. Hardwood-associated epiphytes main- ly indicated young stands. Mature conifers, hardwoods, and coarse woody debris are biological legacies that can be protected when thinning managed stands to foster habitat complexity and biodiversity, consistent with an ecosystem approach to forest management.

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Authors

  • Thomas R. Rambo

  • Patricia S. Muir

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