A comparison of bryophyte species diversity and niche structure of montane streams and stream banks.

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Eleven alkaline W Canadian montane streams were sampled by transects to compare the bryophyte species cover, diversity, frequency, richness, niche width, and niche overlap in 3 vertical zones (relative to water level) with the same parameters in 4 acidic streams on Slide Mt, Adirondacks, New York. Resources for niche width and overlap include vertical distance from water surface, aspect in stream, substrate size, and percent bare substrate. Species cover, richness, and diversity increase from the submerged zone 1 ( < -5 cm) to the terrestrial zone 3 (10-30 cm). Brillouin species diversity increases from 1.98 to 3.03 (means per stream) along the same gradient. All species except one from zone 1 also occur in zone 3. Niche width values are most reliable for small widths and become increasingly less reliable for large niche widths. Niche overlap is high among most species for at least one resource parameter. -from Authors

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Canadian Journal of Botany