Description: Climate change and human activities may alter the structure and function of boreal peatlands by warming waters and changing their hydrology. Diatoms can be used to assess or track these changes. However, effective biomonitoring requires consistent, reliable identification. To address this need, this study developed a diatom voucher flora of species found across a boreal fen gradient (e.g., vegetation) in interior Alaskan peatlands. Composite diatom samples were collected bi-weekly from three peatland complexes over the 2017 summer. The morphological range of each taxon was imaged. The fens contained 184 taxa across 38 genera. Eunotia (45), Gomphonema (23), and Pinnularia (20) commonly occurred in each peatland. Tabellaria was common in the rich and moderate fen but sparse in the poor fen. Eunotia showed the opposite trend. Approximately 11% of species are potentially novel and 25% percent matched those at risk or declining in status on the diatom Red List (developed in Germany), highlighting the conservation value of boreal wetlands. This voucher flora expands knowledge of regional diatom biodiversity and provides updated, verifiable taxonomic information for inland Alaskan diatoms, building on Foged’s 1981 treatment. This flora strengthens the potential to effectively track changes in boreal waterways sensitive to climate change and anthropogenic stressors.

Target Audience: This talk is for people interested in diatom distributions, taxonomy, and ecology.