The ecology of lichens is understudied in Florida, especially the southern portion of the state. The goal of this study was to assess lichen cover on the trunks of oaks, Quercus, at Myakka River State Park. Lichen cover was measured vertically from the ground level 0.0 m to 7.4 meters along each cardinal direction. A pearson coefficient showed that total lichen cover did not increase nor decrease with tree height. Total cover on the tree trunk was greatest for the east side (33%) and lowest for the north side of the trees (17%). Crustose lichens accounted for 85% of the cover, and foliose only 15%. Foliose lichen cover increased significantly with height (ANOVA F(2,6)= 26.29, p= 0.0011) while crustose cover did not (ANOVA F(2,6)= 2.56, p= 0.16). Lastly, diversity of macrolichens between Myakka River State Park and Ocala National Forest was compared. Lichen diversity was very similar between sites, but two additional tropical species were found in Myakka.
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Vol. 28 • No. 3