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Impact of Partial Cutting on lichen Diversity in Lodgepole Pine Forests on the Chilcotin Plateau of British Columbia

Author(s) or contact(s): D.J. Miege, T. Goward, M.J. Waterhouse, and H.M. Armleder
Source: Research Branch
Subject: Wildlife
Series: Working Paper
Other details:  Published 2001. Hardcopy is available.


The lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) ecosystems of the west Chilcotin Plateau of British Columbia are important northern caribou habitat. This lichen diversity study is part of a larger research program in these forests, designed to develop and test silvicultural systems that maintain caribou winter range yet allow some level of timber harvesting. The research trial included the following treatments: unlogged control; group selection based on 30% area removal and stem-only harvesting; irregular group shelterwood based on 50% area removal with stem-only harvesting; and irregular group shelterwood based on 50% area removal via whole-tree harvesting. In 1995, prior to logging, the lichen assessment plots were established and measured. In 1998, they were remeasured, 2.5 years after logging. Results showed slight decreases in stand-level lichen richness (F = 4.51, P = 0.02), diversity (F = 3.65, P = 0.04), and abundance (F = 5.73, P = 0.01) in all the partial cutting treatments compared to the uncut controls. Differences between partial cutting treatments were not detected, possibly because of limitations in the study design. Correlation analyses found significant negative relationships between the amount harvested in each plot and richness (r = -0.34, P = 0.03), diversity (r = -0.33, P = 0.04) and abundance (r = -0.32, P = 0.05); and significant positive correlations between the amount harvested and percent cover of slash (r = 0.79, P = 0.0001) and direct beam solar radiation (r = 0.64, P = 0.0001).

Working Paper 55 (395 KB)

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Updated July 24, 2015