1994—2010: Research Program (ongoing)

Dr. Gregory Mueller began the local mycological program with graduate student John Paul Schmit and postdoc John F. Murphy. Research was based on replicate, multi-year, 0.1 Ha plots. The first study looked at fungal diversity in successional oak woodland at Indiana Dunes. The second investigated the impacts of oak woodland restoration, via burning, on the macrofungal community in southern Cook County. We used transects at three sites as part of the multi-taxon Illinois Rapid Assessment Program by The Field Museum (1997 - 1999). This helped us tailor our fungal sampling methods for better efficiency across multiple sites. A long term study measures the response of ectomycorrhizal mushroom diversity to increased nitrogen deposition.

In all studies combined, 21 plots or transects at nine sites were sampled, two sites continuously for ten to 15 years. The defined area plots allow for quantitative comparisons between sites across the region and with similar plot studies elsewhere in the world. We follow our published methods for sampling and documenting macrofungi.