Limestone flora of the Simonton Corner Quarry Preserve, Rockport, Maine, USA.
Limestone is a distinctive substrate that has significant effects on soils and plants. The present study characterizes the diversity of vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens at the Simonton Corner Quarry Preserve, an abandoned limestone quarry in Rockport, Maine, USA, which was in operation in the late 1800s. We document vascular plant diversity and associated edaphic features (i.e., soil pH and elemental chemistry) using 30 5×5 meter plots spread throughout the site. For vascular plants, 114 species in 96 genera and 50 families were observed; few of these species are known to prefer calcareous environments, and 38% are nonnative. Conversely, the soil- and rock-dwelling cryptogam biota, which comprises 21 moss species in 13 families and eight lichen species in three families, contains many calciphilic species. The bryoflora conspicuously lacks liverworts, whereas the lichen biota is dominated by cyanolichens. This study will inform future conservation and reclamation work at this and other human-altered limestone sites in Maine and floristically similar areas and contribute to our understanding of the geoecology of New England.