Download Full Text (984 KB)


Rowan County Sphagnum Swamp is one of the best remaining examples of a bottomland swamp forest left in the Knobs region of Kentucky. Bottomland swamp forests are characterized by soil with a high percentage of organic matter above clay and Devonian shale. This arrangement leads to standing water much of the year and a strongly acidic soil. Common tree species in the Rowan County Sphagnum Swamp include Acer rubrum (red maple), Quercus palustris (pin oak), Liquidambar styraciflua (sweet gum), Nyssa sylvatica (sour gum) and Betula nigra (river birch). Bottomland swamp forests used to be more common, but have dwindled due to land clearing for timber and agriculture. The research project included cataloging the species of lichens found in the Rowan County Sphagnum Swamp through five field trips to the study site. Eighty-five collections were made with samples being deposited in the Morehead State University Herbarium (MDKY). Lichen samples were identified using dissecting and compound microscopes, C (bleach) and K (KOH) chemical tests, and observation under ultraviolet light. Common species of lichens included Buellia erubescens, Lecanora hybocarpa, Punctelia rudecta, and P. missouriensis. Uncommon species included Lecanora thysanophora. This research was supported by a Morehead State University Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

Publication Date

Spring 2021


Arts and Humanities | Business | Education | Engineering | Higher Education | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Catalogue Of Lichen Species In The Rowan County Sphagnum Swamp, Rowan County, Kentucky



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.