Surrogates for Macrofungi and Mosses in Reservation Planning

  • McMullan-Fisher S
  • Kirkpatrick J
  • May T
 et al. 
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Abstract

Abstract: Our knowledge of cryptogam taxonomy and species distributions is currently too poor to directly plan for their conservation. We used inventory data from four distinct vegetation types, near Hobart Tasmania, to address the proposition that vegetation type, vascular plant taxon composition, and environmental variables can act as surrogates for mosses and macrofungi in reservation planning. The four vegetation types proved distinct in their taxon composition for all macrofungi, mosses, and vascular plants. We tested the strength of the relationships between the composition of cryptogam taxonomic groups and vascular plant composition and between the environmental variables and canopy cover. Taxon composition of woody vascular plants and vascular plants was the best predictor of the taxon composition of mosses and macrofungi. Combinations of environmental variables and canopy cover were also strong predictors of the taxon composition of mosses and macrofungi. We used an optimization routine for vascular plant taxa and woody plant species and determined the representation of cryptogam taxa in these selections. We identified sites with approximately 10% and 30% of the greatest proportions of vascular plants and woody vascular plants and calculated representation of mosses and macrofungi at these sites. We compared the results of these site selections with random site selections and random selections stratified by vegetation type. Random selection of sites by vegetation type generally captured more cryptogams than site selection by vascular plants at the 10% level. Vascular plant and woody plant taxon composition, vegetation type, and environmental and structural characteristics, all showed promise as surrogates for capturing common cryptogams in reserve systems.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cryptogam conservation
  • Macrofungi conservation
  • Minimum sets
  • Moss conservation
  • Optimization
  • Reserve selection
  • Surrogates

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Authors

  • Sapphire J M McMullan-Fisher

  • Jamie B. Kirkpatrick

  • Tom W. May

  • Emma J. Pharo

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