Forested wetlands are ecologically and economically important, but many are poorly understood. A robust inventory of species is important for sound management in these ecosystems, particularly ones that include cryptogams such as arboreal lichens, which are rich and abundant in forested wetlands. On the island of Newfoundland, Canada, little is known about what lichens are found in forested wetlands, how lichen communities interact with different forested wetlands, or whether there are lichens unique to forested wetlands. Therefore, we investigated the potential for macrolichens to act as indicators of forested bog, fen and swamp wetland classes in four regions. We counted macrolichen thalli, by species, on the lower bole of black spruce (Picea mariana) trees within plots from each forested wetland class in each region. We also collected data on habitat characteristics in each wetland: soil pH, canopy closure, and ground and shrub cover, all of which differed significantly among forested wetland classes. Macrolichen communities differed among regions and forested wetland classes but the greatest differences were among regions. We also attempted to identify reliable macrolichen indicator species for forested wetland classes and regions but were unsuccessful. A lichen of conservation concern, Erioderma pedicellatum (Hue) P.M.Jørg., was detected in some of our forested wetland sites, highlighting the importance of proper management of these unique habitats.
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Vol. 123 • No. 1