Resurvey of the mosses of the San Dimas Experimental Forest: are climate warming and decreased air pollution reflected in moss species composition and distribution?

Climate warming and decreased air pollution are expected to change moss species composition and distribution according to specific ecological requirements. Xeric species are expected to increase their diversity and hydric/mesic species are expected to decrease their diversity and all species are expected to expand their distribution to higher elevations in response to increased temperatures. All species, especially corticolous mosses, which are impacted most by pollution, are expected to increase their diversity and expand their distribution to lower elevations as they benefit from decreased levels of airborne pollutants. This study compared surveys of the mosses of the San Dimas Experimental Forest, Los Angeles County, CA that were made in 1975-1978 and 2011-2012. We found that xeric species expanded to higher elevations and increased their diversity, while hydric/mesic/corticolous species expanded their distribution in both directions and mesic species decreased their diversity in response to changes in climate and pollution.

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