Rebar and metal tag marking a plot, now 20 years old!
Leonie and Becky re-marking a sample plot in a thinned pine stand
We re-flag plots so future researchers can continue to learn how thinning pine stands changes the understory plant and lichen community. Lichen is very slow growing, so long term monitoring is required to understand the effects of a silviculture technique
A ground cover subplot in a thinned pine stand. The percent cover of each species of shrub, herb, grass, lichen, and moss is recorded. Later, we will compare the species composition and cover to the same plots that were sampled previously in 2005 and 1998
The team examines a subplot in a control (no thinning) stand.
Leonie, Becky, and Kelsey examine a subplot to make sure they've captured all the species. Lichen species can be so diverse and tiny that a very close attention to detail is required.
An interesting type of 'crustose' lichen: Icmadophila ericetorum. Caribou don't typically eat crustose lichens, but they are cool to find. Also visible at the top of the photo is a lichen from the Cladonia genus that caribou do eat: Cladonia carneola.
A common (and delicious) plant in the thinned lichen stands: Vaccinium myrtilloides, blueberries!
Cladonia mitis is one of the more common 'reindeer lichens' that caribou feed on.