We here report 359 species in 103 genera from Yellowstone National Park. We found 71.3% of the total number of species in Picea engelmannii forests and 57.4% of the total number in Pseudotsuga menziesii stands. This compares to 42.3% of the species in Pinus contorta and 37.0% of the species in Pinus contorta/Pinus albicaulis stands. The presence of old Pseudotsuga menziesii and mature Picea engelmannii indicates that the forests have not burned for at least 300 yr, contributing to higher lichen diversity. The drier lodgepole pine and whitebark pine forests burn more frequently than every 300 yr and have fewer microhabitats for lichen growth. Species with thalli large enough to identify are beginning to recolonize substrates burned in the 1988 fires. Bryoria fremontii and Letharia vulpina exhibit levels of mercury and sulfur higher than those in other specimens in the region.
Additional Publication Details
Patterns of lichen diversity in Yellowstone National Park