Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Biodiversity

Christopher H. Dietrich

 

For many Illinoisans, the term "biodiversity" invokes images of pandas, humpback whales, or exotic locales like the rainforests of Amazonia and the Serengeti Plain of Africa. This concept of biodiversity, propagated in the popular media, may cause many of us to forget the diverse assemblages of species present in our own prairies, forests, wetlands, streams, and lakes. Due largely to the efforts of Survey scientists over the past 140 years, over 53,000 species of plants and animals have been documented in Illinois, and species continue to be discovered here. Most of these species belong to inconspicuous groups like fungi or insects, whose existence within Illinois is documented by little more than the presence of specimens in the Survey's collections. For the vast majority of these species, we know next to nothing about their ecology and population dynamics, or the extent to which changes in the physical environment of Illinois have altered their distributions. Thus, biodiversity research at the Survey continues to emphasize inventories of the flora and fauna of Illinois, monitoring changes in the Illinois biota over time, and studies of the ecology of individual species and natural communities, especially those known to be in decline. The Survey's collections, databases, and research publications are the primary sources of information on the composition of the Illinois biota and trends in the species composition of Illinois ecosystems.

Research during 1999-2000 continued to focus on a wide range of issues related to the documentation and conservation of biodiversity. Individual projects varied in scale from detailed studies of the ecology of individual species or populations of special concern (e.g., the eastern massasauga rattlesnake) to statewide monitoring involving many plant and animal taxa (e.g., the Critical Trends Assessment Project). Because of their unique expertise, many Survey scientists are also involved in projects that document the biodiversity of highly diverse but poorly studied regions of the world. Examples include an inventory of grassland arthropods and vascular plants of Kyrgyzstan, surveys of vascular plants and aquatic annelids in conjunction with the All-Taxon Biotic Inventory of Smoky Mountains National Park, entomological expeditions to Chile and Madagascar, and an icthyological expedition to Guyana. Not only do these projects provide invaluable research specimens to the Survey's collections and enable Survey scientists to remain at the forefront of their fields of study, but they also help place the Illinois biota within the larger context of the Great Lakes region, the North American continent, the temperate grasslands and forests of the northern hemisphere, and Earth's biosphere as a whole. Such context will become increasingly important during this century as our global economy increases the potential for introduction of species from all over the world into Illinois [see Invasive & Exotic Species].

Biodiversity of Temperate Grasslands

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Temperate grasslands, examples of which include the North American prairies, the pampas of South America, and the steppes of Central Asia, are the most threatened of the world's ecosystems. Grasslands have been one of the dominant ecosystems on earth for at least the past 30 million years and are important reservoirs of genetic diversity for cereal grains, cultivated pasture grasses, and many other economically important species. Due to the alarming rate at which they are being lost, study of the dwindling number of native grasslands has become increasingly urgent. Because prairies are an important part of the natural heritage of Illinois, the study of grassland biodiversity and conservation has long been a focus of research at the Illinois Natural History Survey. Survey scientists are working closely with other government and private organizations to document the biota of remnant Illinois prairies and to monitor the effects of management practices, such as prescribed burning and brush removal, on native species. To gain a better understanding of the ecological factors that maintain grassland biodiversity on a global scale, this research has also been extended to grasslands in other parts of the world.

Among the most extensive remaining temperate grasslands are the steppes of central Asia. Until recently, this region has been inaccessible to western scientists and the lack of specimens in collections outside the former Soviet Union continues to impede research on the grassland biota of the Northern Hemisphere. Moreover, precarious economic conditions have increased human impacts on the native biota and central Asian scientists lack the support needed to effectively document the flora and fauna. Funding from the National Science Foundation enabled a team of scientists and students from the Survey, Nizhny Novgorod State University (Russia), and the Kyrgyz National Academy of Sciences to conduct a biotic inventory of the grasslands of Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet central Asian republic, during 1998-2000. The goals of the project were (1) to collect specimens of as many species of arthropods and vascular plants as possible and estimate the diversity of these groups in central Asian grasslands; (2) to document ecological interactions (e.g., herbivore-host plant) among plants and arthropods in this region; and (3) to provide a searchable, Internet-accessible database of the grassland flora and arthropod fauna of Kyrgyzstan as well as printed and electronic checklists and identification guides for selected taxa. In addition to providing invaluable research specimens to the Survey's collections, the project has yielded a wealth of much needed quantitative sample data on vegetation and arthropod diversity for this poorly studied grassland region. Analyses of these data will provide insights into the ecologial factors that sustain native grassland ecosystems. These insights may, in turn, lead to the development of improved strategies for the restoration and management of native grasslands, including those of Illinois.

 

INHS Biodiversity Projects

General Biodiversity

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Efficiency and sustainability of agriculture in Illinois
R. Herendeen, D. Onstad, A. Winter-Nelson

 

Ecological accounting of community agriculture systems
R. Herendeen

 

Species composition of the Lake Michigan egg bank
C. Caceres

 

Diapause termination in freshwater zooplankton
C. Caceres, M. Schwalbach

 

An experimental investigation of the dispersal ability of freshwater invertebrates
C. Caceres, D. Soluk

 

Linking life-history traits to community dynamics in freshwater ecosystems
C. Caceres, A. Tessier (Michigan State University)

 

Effects of algal quality on aquatic food webs
V. Braslau, S. Kohler

 

Implications of the introduction of D. limholtzi on fish and zooplankton assemblages
D. Wahl, C. Kolar

 

Inventory of terrestrial arthropods and vascular plants of Kyrgyz grasslands
C. Dietrich, J. Bouseman, D. Novikov, R. Phillippe, J. Taft

 

Monitoring patterns of visitor usage of four important caves in Monroe and St. Clair counties
S. Taylor, R. Toomey (Illinois State Museum), D. Tecic (IDNR, Division of Natural Heritage), D. Newman (Illinois Nature Preserves Commission), and C. Hespen (IDNR, Division of Land Management)

 

Fort Leonard Wood cave resources survey and impact assessment
S. Taylor, S. Walaszek (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

 

The biodiversity, hydrogeology, and water quality of springs in Illinois
M. Wetzel, D. Webb

 

Efficiency and sustainability of agriculture in Illinois
R. Herendeen, D. Onstad, A. Winter-Nelson

 

Ecological accounting of community agriculture systems
R. Herendeen

Annelids

Earthworms new to Illinois
E. Zaborski, L. Soeken

 

Distribution of aquatic Annelida in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
M. Wetzel

 

The diversity and density of aquatic Oligochaeta (Annelida) associated with sediments in cave streams in Illinois and Missouri
M. Wetzel, S. Taylor, D. Webb

 

The status of the genus Allonais (Annelida: Oligochaeta: Naididae) in North America
M. Wetzel , R. Kathman (Aquatic Resources, College Grove, TN)

 

The aquatic Annelida (Hirudinea and Oligochaeta) of the Colorado River and its tributaries, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
D. Blinn, J. Shannon (Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff), M. Wetzel

 

Aquatic and terrestrial Annelida (Acanthobdellae, Aphanoneura, Branchiobdellae, Hirudinea, and Oligochaeta) of North America
K. Coates (Bermuda Biological Station for Research), M. Wetzel

 

The Enchytraeidae (Annelida: Clitellata) of North America
K. Coates, J. Locke (Bermuda Biological Station for Research), B. Healy (University College, Dublin, Ireland), M. Wetzel

 

The freshwater Oligochaeta (Annelida: Oligochaeta: Enchytraeidae, Lumbriculidae, Naididae, Tubificidae) from the Lesser Antilles (Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Nevis, and St. Lucia)
D. Bass (University of Central Oklahoma), M. Wetzel

 

The distribution of Limnodrilus tortilipenis Wetzel, 1987 (Annelida: Oligochaeta: Tubificidae) in North America, with supplemental description of the species
M. Wetzel, R. Kathman (Aquatic Resources Center, College Grove, TN)

  

Ecology of the federally listed, endangered Hines emerald dragonfly, Somatachlora hineana
L. Pintor, S. Foster, D. Soluk

 

Therevid systematic NSF PEET project
M. Irwin (UIUC), G. Kampmeier, K. Holston (UIUC), M. Metz (UIUC), J. Mullett (UIUC), A. Buck (UIUC), C. Nixon, G. Venable (Smithsonian Institution), S. Gaimari (Smithsonian Institution), C. Thompson (USDA-SEL), E. Schlinger (Schlinger Foundation), C. Griswold (California Academy of Sciences), S. Goodman (Field Museum)

 

Distribution of Aedes albopictus in Illinois
R. Novak, R. Lampman

 

 Bees and pollination
J. Bouseman

 

Host relationships of Kyrghyz bees and Meloid beetles
J. Bouseman

 

Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) as indicators of stream health in Illinois
E. DeWalt

 

Comparison of historical and contemporary EPT assemblages across Illinois
E. DeWaltD. Webb

 

Reference stream characterization in the Northeastern Morainal Division of Illinois
E. DeWalt

 

Congruence of volunteer stream monitoring data (Illinois RiverWatch program) to professional monitoring data (CTAP) 
E. DeWalt, B. Barber, S. Fuller (EcoWatch)

 

Caddisfly fauna of Split Rock Brook in Pecumsaugan Creek and Blackball Mine Nature Preserve, Utica
E. DeWalt

 

Aquatic macroinvertebrates as indicators of land-use change in Upper Mackinaw River tributaries
E. DeWalt

 

Leafhopper diversity of Illinois remnant prairies
C. Dietrich

 

Long-term monitoring of insect populations in Illinois
C. Dietrich, M. Biyal

 

Secretory products of the Malpighian tubules in the biology and evolution of Cicadomorpha (Hemiptera)
R.A. Rakitov

 

Inventory of the water striders (Hemiptera: Gerridae) of the lower Illinois River basin
S. Taylor

 

Spatial and temporal analyses of the bacterial fauna and water, sediment, and amphipod tissue chemistry within the range of Gammarus acherondytes
S. Taylor, D. Webb, S. Panno (Illinois State Geological Survey)

 

Subterranean Amphipoda (Crustacea) of Illinois' Salem Plateau: spatial and temporal components of microdistribution
S. Taylor, D. Webb

 

Distribution of Illinois semiaquatic bugs
S. Taylor, J. McPherson (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale)

 

Habitat selection by migrating aphids
D. Voegtlin, C. Favret

 

 Butterflies of Illinois
J. Bouseman

 

 Morphology-based phylogeny of the leafhopper family Cicadellidae (Insecta: Hemiptera)
C. Dietrich, R. Rakitov

 

Molecular phylogeny of the major lineages of leafhoppers and treehoppers
C. Dietrich, R. Rakitov

 

Review of New World megophthalmine leafhoppers (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae)
D. Novikov, C. Dietrich

 

 Comparative morphology of leafhopper nymphs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Cicadellidae)
R. Rakitov

 

 Taxonomic revision of crayfishes in the Orconectes rusticus group
C. Taylor

 

Molecular systematics of midwestern crayfishes in the genus Orconectes
C. Taylor

 

Therevidae of the world
M. Irwin (NRES, UI), D. Webb, B. Wiegmann (affiliation), D. Yeates (affiliation), M. Metz (UIUC), K. Holston (UIUC)

  

 Molecular phylogeny of the Tabanomorpha
B. Wiegmann (affiliation), D. Yeates (affiliation), D. Webb

 

Diversity of arthropods in Madagascar
M. Irwin (UIUC), E. Schlinger (Schlinger Foundation), C. Griswold (California Academy of Sciences), S. Goodman (Field Museum)

Bacteria

Systematics and fingerprinting of Microsporidia 
L. Solter, J. Maddox, J. Bouzat (UIUC/Bowling Green University, Ohio), J. Vavra (Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)

Fungi

Populations genetics and host preference of the fungus Phialophora gregata
X Meng, W. Chen, C. Grau (University of Wisconsin)

 

Fungi associated with microsclerotia of the plant pathogen Verticillium dahliae 
E. Grunden, W. Chen, L. Crane

 

Sympatric populations of the soybean brown stem rot pathogen 
Y. Chen, W. Chen, C. Grau (University of Wisconsin)

 

Taxonomical and genetic identification of the horseradish root discoloration pathogen 
W. Chen, M. Babadoost (University of Illinois), C. Eastman

 

Illinois fungi
L. Crane, J. Schoknecht (affiliate)

 

World host index of the Meliolaceae (Fungi-Ascomycetes)
L. Crane, A. Jones (UIUC)


Biological inventory of C2000 Ecosystem Program aquatic sites
K. Cummings, C. Mayer, L. Page, C. Phillips

 

Freshwater mussels of Illinois
K. Cummings

 

 Freshwater mussels of the Mackinaw River
K. Cummings, C. Mayer

 

Mussel surveys for the IDOT program
K. Cummings

 

Status review of the endangered salamander mussel and mudpuppy
K. Cummings, C. Mayer, C. Phillips 

Plants

A biological study of the Galena and East Fork of the Galena River from the Mississippi River basin to the Wisconsin state line
W. Handel, C. Phillips

 

A site inventory of the Green River Conservation Area, Lee County, Illinois 
W. Handel, R. Phillippe

 

Herbarium specimens for the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie 
B. Molano-Flores

 

IDOT statewide botanical surveys 
W. Handel, S. Hill, J. Taft

 

Status assessment of the Illinois endangered false mallow (Malvastrum hispidum
S. Hill

 

Development of the INHS Herbarium 
W. Handel, S. Hill, G. Levin, L. Phillippe, K. Robertson, J. Taft

 

Updating the List of Organisms of Illinois database 
S. Hill

 

Vegetation of the Lower Sangamon River Assessment Area 
S. Hill

 

Vegetation of the Lake Calumet Ecosystem Partnership Assessment Area 
J. Taft

 

Vascular flora of the Vermilion River Observatory, Vermilion County, Illinois 
R. Phillippe, D. Ketzner, R. Larimore, J. Ebinger

 

Vascular flora of Momence Wetlands, Kankakee County, Illinois 
R. Phillippe, W. Handel, S. Horn (Nature Conservancy), J. Ebinger

 

A site inventory of the Green River State Conservation Area, Lee County, Illinois
R. Phillippe, W. Handel, R. Larimore, J. Ebinger

 

Vascular flora of Dean Hills, Fayette County, Illinois. 
M.A. Feist, D. Busemeyer, L. Phillippe, J. Ebinger

 

Vascular flora of the Middle Fork Woods Nature Preserve, Vermilion County, Illinois
R. Larimore, L. Phillippe, J. Ebinger

 

Botanical surveys for the All Taxa Biological Inventory of Great Smoky Mountains National Park 
L. Phillippe, M.A. Feist, D. Busemeyer, R. Larimore

 

An ecological study of the prairie and sedge meadow communities of Richardson Wildlife Foundation
W. Handel, R. Phillippe, J. Ebinger

 

Flora of North America: preparation of treatments of genera of Malvaceae: Alcea, Althaea, Malva, Malvastrum, Sidalcea, Urena 
S. Hill

 

Systematics of North American Acalypha (Euphorbiaceae) 
G. Levin

 

Systematic studies of Rosaceae
K. Robertson

 

Erythronium for the Flora of North America
K. Robertson, G. Allen (University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)

 

Systematic studies of Jacquemontia (Convolvulaceae)
K. Robertson, D. Austin (Florida Atlantic University), J. Tapia (Centro de Investigacin Cientifica de Yucatan, Mexico)

 

Systematic studies of Amaranthaceae
K. Robertson, S. Mosyakin (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine)

 

Population status of the Illinois chorus frog (Pseudacris streckeri illinoensis) in Madison County, Illinois
J. Tucker

 

Survey of Blanding's turtle
J. Tucker

 

The fishes of Illinois: 100 years of change 
L. Page, M. Retzer, B. Burr (SIUC), J. Stewart (SIUC), D. Heidinger (SIUC)

 

Egg mimics in darters: their evolution and function 
L. Page, J. Knouft

 

The spawning behavior of the harlequin darter 
R. Steinberg (affiliation), L. Page, J. Porterfield (Centre College of Kentucky)

 

Life-history of the Mississippi silvery minnow, Hybognathus nuchalis, in the Wabash River drainage, Illinois
C. Laird (affiliation), L. Page

 

Surveys for threatened and endangered fishes at future Illinois Department of Transportation project sites 
C. Taylor, K. Cummings, B. Sietman, M. Wetzel,

S. Taylor

  

 Effects of impoundment on a small southern Illinois stream fish community 
C. Taylor, J. Knouft

 

Site fidelity, return rates, and reproductive success of Grasshopper Sparrows 
D. Wenny

 

Abundance and distribution of grassland and forest birds in northwestern Illinois 
D. Wenny

 

Stomach content analysis of Illinois birds
D. Wenny, A. Caparella (ISU)

 

Spring and fall migrant bird use of river, dune, forest, and savanna 
D. Wenny

 

Breeding bird survey at Milan Bottoms
D. Wenny, S. Robinson

 

The eastern massasauga at Carlyle Lake 
C. Phillips, B. Jellen, B. Heinold, M. Dreslik, R. Junge (St. Louis Zoo)

 

Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Illinois 
C. Phillips, R. Brandon (SIU, Carbondale), E. Moll (EIU, Charleston)

 

Survey for populations of the mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus) and salamander mussel (Simpsonaias ambigua) in Illinois 
C. Phillips, K. Cummings, C. Mayer, J. Petzing

 

Biological inventories of C2000 ecosystem program grant project sites 
C. Phillips, L. Page, K. Cummings, C. Mayer

 

Does human scent bias seed predation studies? 
C. Whelan, D. Wenny, S. Duncan (University of Florida), M. Spritzer (Miami University [Ohio])

 

 Linking digestive physiology and consumer-resource theory: application to seasonal diet shifts
C. Whelan, J. Brown (UIC), K. Schmidt (University of Memphis), B. Steele (Colby-Sawyer College), M. Willson (The Nature Conservancy)

 

Foraging under gut constraints: reconciling two schools of thought 
C. Whelan, J. Brown (UIC)

 

Yellow-headed Blackbird conservation in Illinois
D. Enstrom, M. Ward, J. Herkert (affiliation)

 

The function and evolution of male and female song in the Orchard Oriole
D. Enstrom, C. Base 

 

Hormones and mate choice in the Dark-eyed Junco
D. Enstrom, E. Ketterson, V. Nolan, Jr. (affiliation)

 

Mate choice for plumage characters in the Red-winged Blackbird
D. Enstrom, K. Yasukawa (Beloit College)

 

Conservation status of the cricket frog (Acris crepitans) in northern Illinois
J. Petzing, C. Phillips

 

 Phylogenetic relations among darters inferred from molecular sequence data 
L. Page, T. Near, M. Hardman

 

A new species of the catfish genus Corymbophanes 
J. Armbruster (Auburn University), M. Sabaj, M. Hardman, L. Page, J. Knouft

 

The evolution of body size in extant groups of North American freshwater fishes: a contradiction to Copes Rule 
J. Knouft, L. Page

 

Phylogenetic relationships of species of Etheostoma using osteological data
R. Stephens (Bradley University), L. Page, M. Retzer

Computerized Databases

Freshwater mussel bibliography on the Web
K. Cummings, A. Bogan (North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences), G. Watters (Ohio Biological Survey), C. Mayer

 

Web directory of mollusk collections of the world
K. Cummings, A. Oleinik (Purdue University), J. Slapcinsky (Field Museum), T. Kompare

 

Freshwater mussel/host database
K. Cummings, G. Watters (Ohio Biological Survey), C. Mayer

 

Directory of freshwater mussel researchers
K. Cummings

 

Biographies of freshwater malacologists on the Web
K. Cummings

 

 Freshwater mussel genera on the Web
K. Cummings

 

Type catalogue of freshwater mussels (Unionoida) of the world
K. Cummings

 

Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) database: Internet access and geographic information system linking of collections at the INHS
E. DeWalt, T. Kompare, C. Favret, J. Aycrigg, D. Webb, M. Joselyn, C. Mayer

 

Illustrated database of typhlocybine leafhoppers (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae)
C. Dietrich

 

Illinois roadside prairie database 
W. Handel

 

The systematic database of Thereva names
K. Holston (UIUC), G. Kampmeier, C. Thompson (USDA-SEL), M. Irwin (UIUC)

 

Mandala: a systematics research database
G. Kampmeier, M. Irwin (UIUC), C. Thompson (USDA-SEL), K. Holston (UIUC)

 

Therevid PEET project on the World Wide Web
G. Kampmeier, M. Irwin (UIUC), A. Buck (UIUC)

Systematics (Theory/Methods)

Coding morphometric characters for phylogenetic analysis
G. Levin

 

Competitive disjunction as a new model of allopatric speciation
L. Page

 

Traditional media, traditional images
J. Mullett (UIUC), M. Metz (UIUC), S. Gaimari (Smithsonian Institution), M. Irwin (UIUC)

 

Computerizing the illustration process
J. Mullett (UIUC), G. Venable (Smithsonian Institution), M. Irwin (UIUC)



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