What Fruit Flies Like

The upcoming HMWF newsletter features two researchers who have been documenting, over the last several years, the huge biodiversity of moths at Huron Mt.  I’ve written about this work before, but wanted to recognize a recent achievement by one of these researchers in another arena.  Dr. Thomas Werner (Michigan Technological …

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Suckers and Citizen Science

Increasingly, ecological questions call for ‘big picture’ perspectives in space and time.  It’s not so much that these questions are new — they aren’t — but that new tools and approaches are making them, for the first time, rigorously addressable.  Synoptic views from satellites and air-borne sensors, techniques for analyzing …

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Hyperdiverse: ATBI passes 5000

[Warning: this is a longer-than-usual post.  Biological diversity is something worth dwelling on…] All-taxa Biodiversity Inventories (ATBIs) are efforts to fully document biological diversity — list all the species — for some defined area.   The value of such documentation, in a world where all the indications are that we’re …

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Moonworts in the news

We have our first ‘guest blogger’. At the Foundation’s annual meeting in early August, Dr. Evelyn Williams received the Manierre Award, awarded annually in recognition of recent, peer-reviewed publication of Foundation-sponsored work at the Huron Mountains.  Evelyn is a conservation scientist at the Chicago Botanic Garden.  Her award-winning publications spring …

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Finding the headwaters

The Foundation’s 2016 project list includes a rich crop of new studies.  Eight new initiatives (from a total of 25) address topics ranging from paleoecology to mammalian population and community biology to microbial genetics.  I hope to offer windows into several of these, beginning with a study of stream geomorphology. Small, …

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Twenty years of fungi

Documentation of “reference ecosystems”  like the pristine landscape of the Huron Mts. is critical for understanding the ‘baseline’ behavior of ecological processes without the confusing effects of a history of intensive human management; without such studies, it is impossible to fully assess effects of long-term environmental changes.  However, the value …

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Hidden Diversity: Fungal Endophytes

Researchers keep discovering new layers of biological diversity, so perhaps it should not be surprising to learn that there are hundreds (maybe thousands?) of species of poorly known fungi living inside the plants and lichens of the Huron Mountains.  These endophytic fungi — fungi that live within the tissues of  plants without causing …

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