March 19 is Taxonomist Appreciation Day. Unsung and often misunderstood, taxonomists work in the scientific shadows yet perform research that’s critical to the monitoring and effective management of biodiversity. In this post, we hope to convince you that taxonomists not only deserve a day of appreciation, but are absolutely essential to understanding our natural world. [...]
All posts in The World Beneath Our Feet
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!
ABMI acarologist—that’s someone who studies mites and ticks—Dr. Lisa Lumley presented Mites in Alberta as part of our It’s Our Nature to Know webinar series. Lisa outlined the ABMI’s mite research, and why collecting data on mites in the province is important to Albertans and helps to support land-use decision making. “Oribatid mites are the [...]
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. [...]
Join the BiodiverCity Challenge!
If you’re near Edmonton and looking for a nature activity that’s both family- and social-distancing-friendly, why not take part in Edmonton’s first ever BiodiverCity Challenge this June 11–14? The BiodiverCity Challenge is inspired by the City Nature Challenge, a global urban biodiversity “contest”, or bioblitz, where cities compete against one another to monitor biodiversity within [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]