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Stand-level variation drives canopy water storage by non-vascular epiphytes across a temperate-boreal ecotone

Citation

Stanton, Daniel et al. (2021), Stand-level variation drives canopy water storage by non-vascular epiphytes across a temperate-boreal ecotone, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.ffbg79cv3

Abstract

Epiphytes, including bryophytes and lichens, can significantly change the water interception and storage capacities of forest canopies. However, despite some understanding of this role, empirical evaluations of canopy and bole community water storage capacity by epiphytes are still quite limited. Epiphyte communities are shaped by both microclimate and host plant identity, and so the canopy and bole community storage capacity might also be expected to vary across similar spatial scales. We estimated canopy and bole community cover and biomass of bryophytes and lichens from ground-based surveys across a temperate-boreal ecotone in continental North America (Minnesota). Multiple forest types were studied at each site, to separate stand level and latitudinal effects. Biomass was converted into potential canopy and bole community storage on the basis of water-holding capacity measurements of dominant taxa. Bole biomass and potential water storage was a much larger contributor than outer canopy. Biomass and water storage capacity varied greatly, ranging from 9 to >900kg ha–1 and 0.003 to 0.38 mm, respectively. These values are lower than most reported results for temperate forests, which have emphasized coastal and old-growth forests. Variation was greatest within sites and appeared to reflect the strong effects of host tree identity on epiphyte communities, with conifer-dominated plots hosting more lichen-dominated epiphyte communities with lower potential water storage capacity. These results point to the challenges of estimating and incorporating epiphyte contributions to canopy hydrology from stand metrics. Further work is also needed to improve estimates of canopy epiphytes, including crustose lichens.

Usage Notes

FILE NAME: LitterMass_UMN.csv

DESCRIPTION: This spreadsheet is used to keep track of which canopy/twig litter samples have been processed, and collect data on the mass of epiphytes collected.

Description of each column:

Debris Type: The type of litter being processed. Options are: "foliose" (foliose lichen growth form), "fruticose" (fruticose lichen growth form), "moss" (any moss removed from branches), "litter" (the twigs themselves, that are being cleaned)

Plot: The name we assigned to the plot, consisting of (site acronym)_(dominant tree acronym)_(replicate if reapeating the same site+dominant tree combination).

Site: (site acronym) from the plot name. This is the name of the site/are in which the plot is located, including State Parks, State Forests, Research Stations, Wildlife Management Areas, Recreation Areas, County lands, other parks, etc.

ForestType: (dominant tree acronym) from the plot name. This is a 4 letter acronym for the latin name of the dominant canopy tree species. It contains the first two letters of the genus and first two letters of the species.

Plot Replicate: from the plot name. This is the replicate number of the plot if there are multiple plots in the same forest type at the same site.

Microplot: The microplot from which the litter was collected. Format is cardinal direction + distance (m) from plot center. (i.e. N22 is located 22m N of plot center.)

Mass: The total mass of each debris type (in grams) isolated from the litter.

FILE NAME: BoleCover_UMN.csv

Description of each column:

Plot: Plot name, comprised of "locality"_"dominant tree species 4 letter acronym"_"replicate number". i.e. The plot CC_LALA_01 is from Cedar Creek, is dominated by Larix laricina (Tamarack), and is the first replicate of that forest type at that locality.

Microplot: Microplot name, comprised of the cardinal direction of the transect upon which the microplot is located (N-north, S-south, etc.) and the distance from plot center in meters (6 - 6 meters, etc.). i.e. Microplot N6 is located along the north transect of the main plot, 6 meters from plot center.

DirectionHeight: The direction the quadrat was facing (N- north, and S-south) and the height at which the quadrat was attached to the tree (0 - at ground level, 1.5 - center of the quadrat at ~ breast height, or 1.5 meters).

Direction: The direction the quadrat was facing (N- north, and S-south)

Height: The height at which the quadrat was attached to the tree (0 - at ground level, 1.5 - center of the quadrat at ~ breast height, or 1.5 meters)

TreeSpecies: The 4 letter acronym for the species of tree the quadrat was attached to.(e.g. LALA = Larix laricina, PIST = Pinus strobus, etc.)

DBHcm: The diameter at breast height of the sampled tree, in centimeters.

SpeciesGroup: The functional group each epiphyte belongs to in this study.

SpeciesType: Denotes whether each epiphyte is a lichen or bryophyte.

PercentCover: The estimate of percent cover of each epiphyte in the quadrat.

FILE NAME: Plot_Data_UMN.csv

Description of each column:

Plot: The name we assigned to the plot, consisting of (site acronym)_(dominant tree acronym)_(replicate if reapeating the same site+dominant tree combination).

FieldName: The plot name assigned in the field. The FieldName sometimes differed from the Plot name in the 2018 field season, before we had settled on using dominant tree acronyms. For example, the oak savanna plots at Cedar Creek started out as “CC_OAK…” and later became “CC_QUMA…” (QUMA = Quercus macrocarpa, or bur oak).

Microplot_Sample_Date: This is the date the microplot (ground, bole, and canopy) data was collected. This sometimes differed from the Community_Sample_Date in the 2018 field season, because we started surveying before we had developed our microplot protocols. Once these were established, we revisited the same sites and completed the microplot sampling.

Latitude: Latitude of the center of the plot.

Longitude: Longitude of the center of the plot. State: State in which the plot is located.

County: County in which the plot is located.

Site: This is the name of the site/are in which the plot is located, including State Parks, State Forests, Research Stations, Wildlife Management Areas, Recreation Areas, County lands, other parks, etc.

Forest_Type: This is the forest type name associated with the NPC Code in which the plot is located.

Dominant_Tree: This is the latin name for the dominant canopy tree species in the plot.

Dominant_Acronym: This is a 4 letter acronym for the latin name of the dominant canopy tree species. It contains the first two letters of the genus and first two letters of the species.

Plot_Replicate: This is the replicate number of the plot if there are multiple plots in the same forest type at the same site.

NPC_Code: Native Plant Community class, type, and subtype. This is the DNR code for the Native Plant Community (NPC) given for the plot location. It was provided to us either by the DNR shapefile used in mapping, or by Erika Rowe at the DNR (for EMN sites only)Some of these contain subtypes that give a finer scale distinction of the flora at a site.

"Native plant community classes are units of vegetation that generally have uniform soil texture, soil moisture, soil nutrients, topography, and disturbance regimes. For wooded vegetation, native plant community classes were developed by emphasizing understory vegetation more than canopy trees, under the hypothesis that in much of Minnesota understory plants are often more strongly tied to local habitat conditions (such as levels of nutrients and moisture) than are canopy trees. "

"Native plant community types are defined by dominant canopy trees, variation in substrate, or fine-scale differences in environmental factors such as moisture or nutrients. Type distinctions were also made to describe geographic patterns within a class."

"Native plant community subtypes are based on finer distinctions in canopy composition, substrates, or other environmental factors. In some instances, subtypes represent apparent trends within a type for which more study and collection of data are needed. In other instances subtypes are well-documented, fine-scale units of vegetation that are useful for work such as rare plant habitat surveys."

NPC1: Native Plant Community class only. This is a simplified version of the available NPC with all type and subtype letters/numbers removed.

NPC2: This is an even more simplified version of the NPC which only contains the system code (i.e. MH = Mesic Hardwood, WF = Wet Forest, FD = Fire Dependent Woodland, etc.) All system codes are listed in the DNR field guides.

Ecological_Section: The DNR ecological section in which the plot is located. "Sections are units within Provinces that are defined by origin of glacial deposits, regional elevation, distribution of plants, and regional climate. Minnesota has 10 sections."

MN DNR Abbreviations are as follows:

MIM - Minnesota & NE Iowa Morainal

MDL - N. Minnesota Drift & Lake Plains

NSU - Nrthern Superior Uplands

Physiography: Denotes whether the plot was located in an upland, lowland, or riparian area.

Elevation_m: Elevation at the center of the plot in meters, as determined in the field using a GPS.

BasalArea_m2ha: Total basal area of the plot in square meters per hectare.

BasalArea_PercentConifers: Percentage of the total basal area composed of coniferous trees.

BasalArea_PercentHardwoods: Percentage of the total basal area composed of hardwood trees. *BASAL AREA CALCULATIONS* Basal area is measured at 5 points throughout each plot (center, N, S, E, W boundaries). Stand basal area is calculated from these 5 numbers directly on the datasheet. See annotated plot datasheet for detailed calculation instructions (LCCMR > METHODS > Field > Datasheets > LCCMR_PlotDatasheet)

Plot Location:Written description of the plot location, with additional notes on how to navigate to the plot.

Plot Notes:Notes taken in the field regarding plant communities, topography, etc. about the plot. This is transcribed from section 8 "Notes" on the plot datasheet.

FILE NAME: FunctionalGroups.csv

DESCRIPTION: This spreadsheet is used to asign biomass and water-holding capacity values to each growth form or functional group of lichen and bryophyte.

Description of each column:

SpeciesGroup: Name of functional group, usually a growth form. These correspond to the categories used in Bole Cover surveys

Type: Whether the functional group is a Lichen or Bryophyte

N replicates: Number of replicates used in generating mean STM or WHC values

STM: Specific thallus mass calculated as (Dry mass of specimen) / (Wet area of specimen), in g cm-2

WHCBlot: Water-holding capacity measured as described in the Hembre et al. 2021, the mass of H2O contained internally in a specimen following gentle hydration, shaking and blotting (to remove external water), in g H2O cm-2

Funding

Minnesota Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Award: Project M.L. 2018, Chp. 214, Art. 4, Sec. 02, Subd. 03e