Abstract Detail

Bryology and Lichenology

Brooks, Jahnyah [1], Merced, Amelia [2].

Bryophyte diversity and distribution in the Virgin Islands based on historical collections.

In the Virgin Islands roughly 1,200 tracheophytes are recognized for the region but no official count of bryophytes are recorded. We documented the diversity and distribution of the bryophyte species of the Virgin Islands (British, United States, and Puerto Rico) using historical data from collections available through online herbaria. We also documented which islands had the most species recorded, as well as which species and families were the most abundant. Linear regression tests were used to explore what factors may have a strong influence on the total number of species on a particular island, such as elevation, average annual rainfall, and land area. Lastly, we investigated the possibility of collection biases between the study sites by comparing the number of collections to the number of species recorded for each island. Overall, we found 115 species of bryophytes that belong to 28 families: 83 mosses, 30 liverworts, 2 hornworts. A positive correlation was found between the total number of species and the elevation of the island, but no correlation was found for land area and annual rainfall. With 55% of the collections being recorded there, St. Thomas was the island with the most collections. None of the recorded collections were made by local collectors, and no collections from the Virgin Islands are deposited in herbaria in Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands, our efforts to find other sources of specimens besides online herbaria were unsuccessful. The results of this study will help broaden what is known about the bryophyte species of this region and can potentially open doors for more modern botanical expeditions.

1 - University of the Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie West, St. Thomas, USVI, 00802
2 - University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Biology, PO Box 23360, San Juan, PR, 00931

Virgin Islands.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: BL2008
Abstract ID:960
Candidate for Awards:None

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