Learn about citizen science in surveys of bryophytes in Strathcona Park

The Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists is hosting a free online lecture as follows:

Title: Citizen Science Engagement in Surveys of Bryophytes and Lichens in Strathcona Provincial Park
Speaker: Daniel Tucker
Date: Sunday, May 9, 2021
Time: 7:00 p.m. PDT

This talk is open to CVN members and the public (see the registration link below).

Strathcona Provincial Park is the largest wilderness area on Vancouver Island, It spans more than 250,000 hectares of the rugged snow-capped mountains, sub-alpine, and coastal temperate rainforest. Although the wilderness of Strathcona Park has been the subject of many botanical surveys since the 1880s the level of scrutiny has been inadequate considering the heterogeneity and inaccessibility of the landscape.

Bryophytes and lichens are among the most neglected due to their cryptic nature, taxonomic difficulty, and the research bias towards vascular plants. App-based citizen science programs such as iNaturalist are effective tools to enhance awareness of biodiversity, address gaps in floristic data, and monitor rare plant populations. We used iNaturalist as a repository for tracking the Strathcona Wilderness Institute’s bryological and lichenological surveys of Strathcona Park during July-August 2019 and 2020.

We found 186 bryophyte species, and 165 lichens. These surveys increased the known lists by 61 species of bryophytes (total 304), and 140 species (total 170) of lichens. These curated projects used in conjunction with surveys conducted by the Strathcona Wilderness Institute establish a functional floristic baseline essential for species conservation and increase public awareness of these marginalized groups of organisms.

Daniel is an Honours Ecology and Evolutionary Biology student finishing up his last undergraduate semester at the University of Alberta. He is an aspiring botanist interested in understanding the mechanisms behind plant-plant interactions, community assembly, and the biogeographical distributions of “lower” plants (bryophytes) and lichens. His work thus far has focused on montane areas and threatened Garry oak ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest as well as neotropical cloud forests. He has been a summer student with the Strathcona Wilderness Institute for the past three summers.

“Seating capacity” for this webinar is limited, and you will need to register in advance. You can check the computer requirements for attendees here.

Register here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the webinar.

This entry was posted in Botany, Conservation, Guest Speakers. Bookmark the permalink.