Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FIA Project 4008005

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Developing potential forest-dwelling vertebrate and lichen indicators for the central and southern portions of the Robson Valley

Author(s): Triton Environmental Consultants; Marsh, Janet
Imprint: Valemount, B.C. : Slocan Forest Products Ltd., 2003
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Lichens, British Columbia, Vertebrates, Sustainable Forest Management Plans (SFMP) BC
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative

Abstract

Slocan Forest Products Ltd. (Valemount Division) expressed a need to identify potential forest-dwelling vertebrates that could be used as monitoring indicators to support Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP) initiatives in the Robson Valley. In addition, a list of lichen species potentially affected by forest practices in the Forest District was also requested. This report provides a review of the distribution and presence of both forest-dwelling vertebrates and lichen species in the central and southern portions of the Robson Valley (SBSdh, ICHmm, ESSFmm) as well as results of a screening procedure used to select forest-dwelling vertebrates according to their utility as potential monitoring indicator species. A review of available information indicated there are about 197 potential forest-dwelling vertebrates in the Robson Valley. An initial screening using sensitivity (positive or negative responses) to forest practices as a dominant criteria indicated 115 species were considered to have moderate to high sensitivities to forest practices. A second screening focusing on cost-effectiveness and reliability criteria further reduced the list of potential candidate species to 58 species. Most of the potential candidate indicators are passerine birds and woodpeckers. However, because a range of taxa and spatial scales were also considered important, other species such as marten are also recommended as potential monitoring species. The rationale for species elimination or inclusion is briefly discussed including limitations of the proposed indicators. The database of potential lichen species that occur in the Robson Valley Timber Supply Area (TSA) contains 360 lichen species, separated into three growth forms: fruticose (165 species), foliose (149 species) and crustose (46 species). The number of fruticose lichen species is high due to the number of Caliciales or 'pin' lichen species that have been identified in Interior Cedar-Hemlock (ICH) old-growth stands; some sites in the ICH biogeoclimatic zone have been intensely sampled in search of pin lichens which are indicators of old-growth forests. Lichen species that are restricted to rock were omitted from the database as well as arctic/alpine obligates. Many lichens occur on both 'hardwoods' and 'coniferous' trees, but a greater number of lichen species occur on a 'coniferous' substrate in the dominant coniferous forests of the Robson Valley TSA. Also, 'coniferous' is high (196) due to the number of pin lichen species that are found on this substrate. Numerous lichens that occur on tree substrates also are found on rock; 'mossy rock' was a dominant substrate under the 'rock' heading. Except for the SBSdh, the biogeoclimatic subzones of the Robson Valley are moist/wet and support a luxuriant moss flora as seen in the high number of lichen species (77) that use moss as a substrate on the forest floor. Some lichen species are specific to 'tree bases', 'upturned roots', 'downed wood' (logs) and 'stumps', but many of these species also occur on other tree parts as well. Long-lived 'shrubs' will often support several lichen species
Triton Environmental Consultants Ltd. and Janet Marsh


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Updated August 02, 2006 

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