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Impacts of nitrogen deposition on herbaceous ground flora and epiphytic foliose lichen species in southern Ontario hardwood forests

McDonough, Andrew M., Watmough, Shaun A.
Environmental pollution 2015 v.196 pp. 78-88
Acer saccharum subsp. saccharum, climate, community structure, correlation, epiphytes, flora, hardwood forests, herbaceous plants, lichens, nitrogen, nitrogen content, soil pH, species diversity, spring, temperature, Ontario
In this study 70 sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) dominated plots in Ontario, Canada were sampled in the spring of 2009 and 2010 and herbaceous plant and epiphytic foliose lichen species data were compared against modeled N and S deposition data, climate parameters and measured soil and plant/lichen S and N concentration. Herbaceous plant species richness was positively correlated with temperature and indices of diversity (Shannon Weiner and Simpson's Index) were positively correlated with soil pH but not N or S deposition or standardized foliar N scores. Herbaceous community composition was strongly controlled by traditional factors, but there was a small and significant influence of atmospheric S and N deposition. Epiphytic lichen species richness exhibited a strong negative relationship with standardized foliar N score and only one lichen species (Phaeophyscia rubropulchra) was observed at sites with a standardized foliar N score of 0.76.