Peck, J.E.  1997a.  Commercial moss harvest in northwestern Oregon:  Describing the epiphyte communities.  Northwest Science, 71(3): 186-195.  


    This paper describes the epiphytes impacted by commercial moss harvest in northwestern Oregon.  Commercially harvestable epiphytes were sampled on hardwood tree trunks and shrub stems from 10 sites in each of the Cascade and Coast Ranges.  Fifty species of mosses, hepatics, lichens, and vascular plants were found in over 500 epiphyte mats.  Seven taxa were defined as "target" species, due to high frequency of occurrence and abundance.  Six species were defined as "incidental" due to lower frequency and abundance but a high association with target species.  The remaining 37 species were defined as "nontarget" species that would generally be avoided by commercial harvesters, but are often accidentally harvested.  In the Cascade Range, Neckera douglasii was the most abundant harvestable epiphyte, with an average of 170 kg/ha of dry-weight harvestable material across ten sites.  In the Coast Range, Isothecium myosuroides was most abundant, with an average of 530 kg/ha of dry-weight harvestable material.  All harvestable epiphytes were less abundant in stands with high conifer basal area.  Target species were most abundant in stands with relatively high hardwood basal area, except Antitrichia curtipendula which was most abundant in younger stands.  Some nontarget and incidental species were also most abundant on tree trunks.  To protect rare species and epiphyte diversity, moss harvest should be prohibited in areas being managed toward "old growth" conditions to facilitate the development of complex epiphyte communities requiring substrate continuity.


PNW Moss Lit