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Blake Library

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Focus on Faculty


Professor Steven SelvaOn Tuesday, May 7th, at 3pm Blake Library staff will host the third Focus on Faculty presentation in the Nadeau Teleconference room.

Dr. Steven Selva, Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, will give a presentation on "Using Lichens to Assess Old Growth."

Photo of the Chaenothecopsis viridialba lichen found by Dr. Selva on rare occasions in old-growth forest of northeastern North America.Dr. Selva says that "While a large number of forest-dwelling lichens can routinely be found in forests of all ages, there are some lichen species that tend to be found only in forests that have remained undisturbed for long periods of time. As a forest ages, not only do the trees get larger and spaced further apart from each other, we find that the number of microhabitats increases over time as well.

"Lichen biodiversity also increases as a forest ages, as new microhabitats become available to them for colonization. The lichens that tend to be found only in older forests are 'indicator species'--indicators of old-growth conditions--that can be used to assess the ecological continuity of other forests in the region."

Research/publications of Dr. Selva:

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(banner image is of Sharon Zimmer-Boucher, Roger Grindle, and Roland Burns)