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University of Michigan

Publication Date

Fall 2022

Program Name

Iceland: Climate Change and The Arctic


Forest-dwelling bryophytes (mosses, liverworts, hornworts) greatly contribute to biodiversity and ecosystem function but are largely under-studied in comparison to vascular plants. With Iceland’s large-scale afforestation efforts there is a need to understand how different afforestation species are affecting biodiversity, including bryophyte diversity. This study looked at differences in ground-floor bryophyte richness across Sitka spruce, lodgepole pine, and downy birch forests and found that bryophyte richness was highest in the Sitka spruce forests and lowest in downy birch forests. While this suggests a negative correlation between bryophyte richness and light availability, since the conifer species have the densest copy cover, other literature has found a positive correlation between vascular plant richness and light availability. Thus, different forest types may facilitate different vegetation species. Therefore, I suggest that planting forests composed of a variety of monospecific plots may be the best afforestation method for preserving ground-floor biodiversity.


Biodiversity | Botany | Forest Biology | Research Methods in Life Sciences | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology


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