Revisiting the Mire: Floristic Explorations at McLean Bogs Preserve


Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 7:00pm to Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 6:45pm




Unitarian Church Annex, Buffalo St., 2nd floor


Torben Russo and Robert Dirig


At Cornell University's celebrated McLean Bogs Preserve, alkaline fens, stream corridors, and shrubby swamps are interfingered with acidic forested uplands and quaking bogs. This matrix of special habitats supports a rich biota that was documented in a landmark biological survey conducted by 22 Cornell specialists in the 1920s. Therein, K. M. Wiegand and A. J. Eames provided an annotated list of 553 species of vascular plants that had been recorded in and near the 84-acre Preserve from the 1870s to 1926. Eighty years later, in 2006, we re-surveyed McLean's flora, exploring all habitats and pressing vouchers of about 450 species. We did not find a number of historically recorded plants (including Rose Pogonia, Grass Pink, and Cardinal Flower), but did notice newcomers like Purple Loosestrife, Common Reed, Japanese Barberry, and Garlic Mustard, as well as additional overlooked natives (Wood Horsetail, Ditch Stonecrop, and Dwarf Ginseng are examples). This presentation will review the results of our survey, showcasing images of McLean's gorgeous habitats and fascinating wild flora.