Estimating the biomass of harvestable epiphytic moss in Central Western Oregon
MetadataShow full item record
To address the need for inventory estimates for the non-timber forest product of epiphytic moss (a mixture of bryophytes), we inventoried 100 randomly selected 1/8 ha sites in 50- to 200-year-old upland and riparian forests below 915 m elevation in central western Oregon, USA. All commercially harvestable moss was removed from each site, using methods commonly employed by commercial harvesters, and weighed. Although harvestable epiphyte mats were found in 29% of the sites, only 6% had enough moss for the site to be considered harvestable by commercial standards (>50 kg/ha). The commercial moss biomass inventories across all sites, which ranged from 0 kg/ha to 217 kg/ha, are substantially lower than those previously reported for northern Oregon. We examined relationships of harvestable moss occurrence and abundance to environmental variables to facilitate the understanding and prediction of harvestable moss biomass on the landscape. Harvestable moss was most likely to be found in low elevation (<500 m) areas, within 50 m of perennial water, on sites that supported more than 10 m2/ha in hardwood basal area, and on sites that lacked dry-site shrubs such as Berberis nervosa, Gaultheria shallon, and Holodiscus discolor. Our inventory method is presented and its applicability to other regions is discussed.