Science

The Indiana Forest Alliance is committed to science-based advocacy when it comes to the protection of our state forests. We can best protect Indiana’s native hardwood ecosystem by utilizing and collaborating with scientists, experts, and researchers from leading universities to prove the value of preserving the natural diversity of Indiana’s public forests.

Research Published in the Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Sciences

Bishop, L., Milne, M. A., Foster, B. (2018, July). A Survey of Spider Diversity in Morgan-Monroe/Yellowwood State Forest. In Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science (Vol. 127, No. 2).

Abstract: As both predators and prey, spiders are important components of forest ecosystems, yet there is a paucity of information about spider species assemblages in Indiana forests. Between 2014 and 2017, the Indiana Forest Alliance sponsored an extensive taxonomic survey, called an Ecoblitz, in Morgan-Monroe/Yellowwood State Forests in Indiana. During this Ecoblitz, 128 spider species were collected. Of these species, 31 were new distribution records for Indiana. Of the total number of species collected, 62% were collected in the bottomland habitat, 60% on slopes, and 19% on ridges. Only 10% of the total species were found in all three habitats. In pair-wise comparisons of habitats, species composition differed between habitats even when species richness was similar. Likewise, collection of spider species during the day differed in composition from those collected at night with only 26% collected during both periods. These data emphasize the benefits of multi-year surveys, such as the Ecoblitz, and the importance of sampling in multiple habitats as well as during the day and the night. The high number of new distribution records in our sample reinforces the premise that spiders as a group are underrepresented in scientific studies of forests in Indiana.

Lendemer, J. C. (2017, July). Lichens and allied fungi of the Indiana Forest Alliance Ecoblitz Area, Brown and Monroe Counties, Indiana incorporated into a revised checklist for the State of Indiana. In Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science (Vol. 126, No. 2).

Abstract: Based upon voucher collections, 108 lichen species are reported from the Indiana Forest Alliance Ecoblitz area, a 900 acre unit in Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood Slate Forests, Brown and Monroe Counties, Indiana. The lichen biota of the study area was characterized as: i) dominated by species with green coccoid photobionts (80% of taxa); ii) comprised of 49% species that reproduce primarily with lichenized diaspores vs. 44% that reproduce primarily through sexual ascospores; iii) comprised of 65% crustose taxa, 29% foliose taxa, and 6% fruticose taxa; iv) one wherein many species are rare (e.g., 55% of species were collected fewer than three times) and fruticose lichens other than Cladonia were entirely absent; and v) one wherein cyanolichens were poorly represented, comprising only three species. Taxonomic diversity ranged from 21 to 56 species per site, with the lowest diversity sites concentrated in riparian corridors and the highest diversity sites on ridges. Low Gap Nature Preserve, located within the study area, was found to have comparable species richness to areas outside the nature preserve, although many species rare in the study area were found only outside preserve boundaries. Sets of rare species arc delimited and discussed, as are observations as to the overall low abundance of lichens on corticolous substrates and the presence of many unhealthy foliose lichens on mature tree boles. Sixty-four species are newly reported from Indiana and the delimitation of new reports is based on a newly presented modern checklist of Indiana lichens. The new checklist of Indiana lichens includes 222 species, with an additional 72 historically reported taxa considered questionable reports that require verification based on reexamination of the original vouchers.

Reports and Articles Documenting IFA Ecoblitz Research

Nine Scientists Weigh In: Ten Reasons Why Indiana Should Protect 10% of Older Forest Areas

Spiders & Indiana Forests by Leslie Bishop. Ph.D., staff scientist

The Impact of Logging on Amphibians by Robert Brodman, Ph.D.

Effects of logging on Breeding Success of Acadian Flycatchers by Donald Winslow, Ph.D.

Bird Nesting Season Needs Much More Protection on the State Forest by Donald Winslow, Ph.D.

Birds, Biodiversity, and Hoosier Forests by William Buskirk, Ph.D.

Looking at the Tip of an Iceberg:Surveying for Insects in the 2014 Ecoblitz of the Morgan-Monroe Back Country Area by Glen Mynhardt, Ph.D.

Interior Forests in Indiana by Marion T. Jackson, Ph.D. & John O. Whitaker, Ph.D.

Logging and Invasive Species by Timothy Brothers, Ph.D.

A Time for Change (On Logging and Public Opinion) by David Haberman, Ph.D.

Of Paramount ImportanceThe Plants of the Morgan-Monroe Back County Area Ecoblitz by Donald G. Ruch, Ph.D

Ecological Assessment of the Crown Hill North Woods by Donald Ruch, Ph.D., Kemuel Badger, Ph.D., & John Taylor