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Posted on December 1st, 2015 in Alert, Forestry, Plants | No Comments »

Every year, mycologists from around the midwest gather to collect, identify, and examine species of fungi at the A. H. Smith Great Lakes States Foray. This event has taken place every year since 1974 in honor of the late Dr. Alexander H. Smith, a highly renowned mycologist from the University of Michigan who made extensive contributions to the field. This year marked the 41st annual A. H. Smith Foray, and Purdue Botany and Plant Pathology’s Aime Lab which had the privilege of hosting the event.John S. Wright Forestry Center

Staying in Tippecanoe County’s Ross Camp, 40 mycologists from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana visited several nearby nature preserves, forests, and state parks and collected over 1000 specimens of more than 200 species over three days. One of the notable stops on the foray included Purdue’s Martell Forest.

Martell Forest is one of Purdue FNR’s biggest research and teaching resources, spanning 477 acres and containing 398 acres of forest. 8.5 miles from the main campus, this area contains the research, teaching and conference facility John S. Wright Forestry Center, as well as the John L. Van Camp Arboretum, a collection of 100 trees native to Indiana. The forest provided a perfect opportunity for mycologists to explore the region’s fungi.

The 41st A. H. Smith Great Lakes States Foray was a great success. Of the 200 species identified, a quarter of them were not previously known to exist in Indiana. The data gathered during this event will be shared with managers of Indiana state parks and land trusts, and they will help to document the changes observed in fungal floras over time as land usage changes.

Resources:
Aime Lab – Purdue University Department of Botany and Plant Pathology
The 2015 A. H. Smith Foray – Aime Lab
Martell Forest – Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
Mushroom ‘Tree of Life’ Unlocked Using Purdue Fungi Collections – Got Nature?
Fungi – In a Kingdom All By Themselves – Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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