Bruce McCune

Department of Botany and Plant Pathology

I work in three overlapping, interdependent areas:

  • Tools for analysis of ecological communities and habitats: My research on analytical tools concerns how species abundance as a response variable differs from the ideal variables, how this creates problems, how to deal effectively with those problems. My current research in this area focuses on species response surfaces in multidimensional predictor spaces.
  • Ecology of temperate forest epiphytes: My work in this area include basic research on the distribution, abundance, and dispersal limitations of temperate forest epiphytes and applied work on how changing climates and forest practices and will alter our future ecosystems. We have studied the long-term consequences of green-tree retention, how different species and functional groups of lichens are distributed in forests, and how the structure of young forests be changed to enhance the re-entry and development of old-growth associated epiphytes.
  • Taxonomic syntheses of lichens in the Pacific Northwest: My work on regional lichen floras facilitates work on the ecology of lichens in the Pacific Northwest.


McCune, B. 2015. The front door to the fourth corner: variations on the sample unit × trait matrix in community ecology. Community Ecology 16: 267-271.

Smith, R. J., J. C. Benavides, S. Jovan, M. Amacher & B. McCune. 2015. A rapid method for landscape assessment of carbon storage and ecosystem function in moss and lichen ground layers. Bryologist 118: 32-45.  doi:

McCune, B. & H. T. Root. 2015. Origin of the dust bunny distribution in ecological community data. Plant Ecology 216: 645-656.

Nelson, P. R., B. McCune, C. Roland & S. Stehn. 2015. Non-parametric methods reveal non-linear functional trait variation of lichens along environmental and fire age gradients. Journal of Vegetation Science 26: 848-865.

Root, H. T., B. McCune & Sarah Jovan. 2014. Lichen communities and species indicate climate thresholds in southeast and south-central Alaska, USA. Bryologist 117: 241-252.