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Stephan Saupe, Biology


Mosses are a rarely studied component of forest treefall gaps which ought to receive more attention so as to further understand their role in forest ecosystems. The aim of this study was to determine if a) there is a relationship between canopy gaps and moss growth on forest floors, and b) to determine if there is a difference between the effect of canopy gaps on the vertical depth and abundance of acrocarpous and pleurocarpous moss growth types. The study took place during the summer of 2015, in an eastern deciduous forest biome of the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center (UNDERC), located between upper Michigan and Wisconsin. Treefall gaps plots were paired with closed canopy plots along bog border habitats, and were analyzed for gap effect on moss bed depth and abundance.