2019 Great Walden BioBlitz

July 18, 2019
Great Walden BioBlitz logo

Several Herbaria staff and some students from the Pfister Lab participated in the 2019 Great Walden BioBlitz on July 6, 2019. The BioBlitz, an event co-sponsored by The Walden Woods Project, Minute Man National Historical Park, and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, was held in celebration of Dr. E.O. Wilson’s 90th birthday.

Some interesting finds by our HUHers include an orange myxobacteria, a Russula species of mushroom, Pleurozium schreberi (moss), Fallopia cilinodis (fringed black bindweed) and Neckera pennata  (shingle moss).

Fallopia cilinodis was found by accident when Walter Kittredge got lost on the way to the BioBlitz. He came upon a clear-cut slope and decided to take a look since he thought there may be something interesting to find. The plant is uncommon in the county as HUH Associate Ray Angelo notes: “Thoreau never saw it in Concord. His entry of Sept. 19, 1856 notes not having seen it in Concord. The Middlesex County flora of Dame and Collins (1888) refers to it as scarce, having been seen or collected in Ashby, Newton and Waltham. Neither Pratt nor Fred Hosmer list it in their manuscripts of plants in Concord. The CNH portal shows specimens also from Sherborn, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro, and a specimen collected by Eaton and the Tryons in Lexington in 1963.”

The orange myxobacteria, found by Genevieve Tocci, Giovanna Bishop, and James Mitchell, was discovered in the Pantry Brook Wildlife Management Area in Sudbury. It has been determined to be Stigmatella aurantiaca. S. aurantiaca is generally found on rotting wood or fungi.

All in all, a fun and exciting day was had by our Herbaria participants!

Neckera pennata (Shingle moss) Fallopia cilinodis (fringed black bindweed)
a Russula species of mushroom
Neckera pennata  (shingle moss); photo by Walter Kittredge Fallopia cilinodis (fringed black bindweed); photo by Walter Kittredge Russula species of mushroom; photo by Giovanna Bishop