Aspen are thought to be declining in this region due to a combination of fire suppression, grazing and wildlife management practices, and potentially cool/wet climates of the past century which favor advancing conifer succession. Many scientists are concerned that aspen's related species may also be losing habitat, thereby threatening the long-term local and regional viability of this important community. To date, few studies have specifically examined the role of aspen's epiphytic lichen community. This paper presents basic community research describing the application of Indicator Species Analysis for lichens growing on aspen stems in the central Rocky Mountains of North American. Results show unique lichen assemblages between conifers and aspen — the dominant hardwood of mid-elevations in this region.
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Vol. 24 • No. 2