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Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Quedensley, T. Sultan [1].

Lichens of Volcan Zunil: A Preliminary Glimpse into Guatemalan Cloud Forest Lichen Diversity.

Cloud forest ecosystems around the world are shrinking or disappearing at an alarming rate, and these changes influence the distribution and survival of many taxa including the lichen-forming fungi. Cloud forest lichen diversity is poorly known in most regions of Central America, and no previous study has attempted an in-depth floristic analysis of the lichens in this Guatemalan ecosystem. This project documents lichen diversity at the generic level in the cloud forests on Volcan Zunil, an extinct volcano located in the Sierra Chuatroj, southeast of Quetzaltenango in northwestern Guatemala. Lichens were sampled on all available substrates at six elevational bands on Volcan Zunil at elevations ranging from 1800-3500 meters. The specimens were processed at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and identified using standard techniques including thin layer chromatography and microscopic measurements. My preliminary data found a total of 73 genera in this cloud forest region. Generic richness was compared among the six elevation transects, and Sorenson's coefficient was used to analyze these comparisons. Current land use policies in Guatemala are probably the most serious threat to this lichen habitat, and this study is the first step towards the elucidation of the current status of lichendiversity in this severely threatened habitat.


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Keywords:
cloud forests
Guatemala
biodiversity.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 15-1
Location: Salon A - Gov Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Monday, August 15th, 2005
Time: 1:30 PM
Abstract ID:203


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