All posts in Taxonomy

Moss-covered tree

Lichen block party: get to know your neighbours

Despite the millions of potential observers in cities, urban lichens are understudied. A recent blockbuster paper helps Edmontonians get to know their neighbours. It includes a detailed checklist of species found in the city, images of each species, local distribution maps, and identification keys. This inventory was the first step to establishing a local biomonitoring [...]

Antifreeze and sunblock: How mosses survive an Alberta winter

The following is a guest post from Krista Williams, bryologist with the ABMI. In case you missed it, check out Krista’s recent webinar on the wonderful world of bryophytes here. Meantime, here’s another reminder of why these tiny plants are so a-moss-ing… Mosses are peculiar little plants—barely noticeable yet incredibly intriguing. They lack many of [...]

Join us for an a-moss-ing webinar!

Mosses are easily overlooked, but they’re hugely important to Alberta’s ecosystems. From filtering water and serving as food and habitat to better-known species, to maintaining soil and—in some places—even outstripping the primary productivity of the forest canopy far above, these tiny, unsung plants are full of surprises. On November 3rd @ noon Mountain Time, join [...]

Join us for a mite-y webinar!

Join ABMI acarologist—that’s someone who studies mites and ticks—Dr. Lisa Lumley on Friday, September 10 for Mites in Alberta, the latest in the It’s Our Nature to Know webinar series. Lisa will outline the ABMI’s mite research, and why collecting data on mites in the province is important to Albertans and helps to support land-use [...]

Explore the wondrous world of Alberta’s lichens

On June 29, ABMI lichenologist Dr. Diane Haughland presented Lichens of Alberta, the second in our It’s Our Nature to Know webinar series. Diane studies the taxonomy and ecology of Alberta’s lichens, and her team is responsible for identifying thousands of lichens from across the province each year to help track changes in Alberta’s biodiversity. [...]

Rarity and sample bias in the secret world of lichens

A modified version of this post recently appeared as part of the ABMI’s regular feature in the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists’ newsletter, BIOS Quarterly. Here at the ABMI, we like to say that you manage what you measure—that the more we know about our living resources, the more likely we’ll be to responsibly manage [...]

Underwater Storytellers: Understanding Wetlands by Studying Aquatic Invertebrates

Beneath the surface of Alberta’s wetlands lives a diverse community of aquatic invertebrates. For most of us, the species that call wetlands home only become recognizable after individuals reach their adult phase, and take the form of flying insects like dragonflies and mosquitoes. Taxonomists, however, like those working in the ABMI’s Processing Centre at the Royal Alberta [...]

The Recovery of Porsild’s Bryum

Porsild’s Bryum Provincial Recovery Team video by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Along the Whitehorse Creek in Whitehorse Wildland Park in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains lives an Endangered* species. It’s green and cushy, and it loves water. Porsild’s Bryum is one of more than 1,000 species of moss found in Canada. Like many moss species, [...]