The Biota of the Gordon Natural Area - Slime Molds

Research into the myxomycetes (aka, slime molds) of the GNA has been relatively informal and consists of GNA staff photographing, identifying, and documenting the slime molds that they encounter at the Gordon. Most often, these activities have taken place in conjunction with the staff undertaking other tasks.

The cataloging of slime molds began in 2017 with GNA Stewardship Manager Nur Ritter and GNA Student Intern Alexandra Hodowanec. This work has continued since that time with other student interns—principally Paige Vermeulen, Maribeth Beatty, and Ariana Rivellini—being very involved in this research. Data have also been compiled from a few photos of GNA slime molds in the Gordon that were posted to Facebook and to iNaturalist.

Currently, the GNA slime mold checklist contains 38 species in 19 genera, 12 families, and 6 orders. Many slime molds are extremely small and difficult to notice. Additionally, timing (i.e., luck) plays a significant role in whether or not a particular ‘occurrence’ is observed, as the fertile form can be quite short-lived. Nevertheless, given the high level of interest in slime molds among the GNA staff, we anticipate encountering many additional species as we continue with this work.

You can explore the slime mold checklist below, or you can access a pdf copy of the checklist (without photos)