The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 17, 2009


Counting of Species

On July 4, 1998 an attempt was made to catalog the biodversity of Concord and Lincoln. It resulted in a tally of 1905 species. Another attempt was made this July 4, and in these enlightened times Carlisle was included in the area being surveyed. The goal for the whole event was to find 2009 species of any life form larger than one millimeter. The final tallies are not yet available but a small group of amateur biologists and naturalists organized by Ken Harte contributed several hundred species from Carlisle. Here are just a few examples.

Representing the mammals, we have a field mouse which just happened to be crossing our path as we walked through one of the meadows on the Valentine property on Acton Street. (Photo by Tom Brownrigg) Representing the birds, we have a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher spotted at the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. It is a small bird – smaller than a Black-capped Chickadee. This photo, by Alan Ankers, was taken earlier in the year but the species is the same as the one seen on July 4.
We know that Carlisle has a variety of salamanders most of which you can’t count on finding in July. We got lucky and found a yellow-spotted salamander at the Cranberry Bog. (Photo by Leslie Thomas) In the category of spore-producing plants, I have selected the rare Climbing Fern. It does not look like a typical fern nor does it have the same growth habit. The leaves are somewhat ivy-like and the fern can climb up other vegetation. (Photo by Susan Emmons)
The Swamp Rose is one of our less common roses and a nice example of a flowering plant. This one was in the Greenough land. (Photo by Tom Brownrigg) There are more than 400 species of dragonflies and damselflies in North America – more diversity than most people are aware of. We don’t have that many species in Carlisle but this Calico Pennant from Foss Farm is a striking example of one of the colorful ones. (Photo by Alan Ankers)
Representing the 700 species of butterflies that are found in North America, we have the American Copper from the family called Gossamer-wings. This one was at Foss Farm. (Photo by Alan Ankers) We found around 150 species of fungi about 40 of which form symbiotic relationships with algae and exist as lichens, while the remainder were the more traditional mushroom-producing type. This Elfin Cup is a mushroom from the Green Cemetery. (Photo by Kay Fairweather)
Diversity can be found in a small space. There are at least seven species of Lichen on this one section of branch. (Photo by Kay Fairweather)






© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito