News & Insights

Cardno botanist re-discovers plant in Michigan

During a recent threatened and endangered species survey in southwestern Michigan, Cardno Assistant Staff Scientist Erin Vander Stelt and Staff Ecologist Becky Norris discovered a population of Dichanthelium microcarpon, small-fruited panic-grass, a state special concern species. D. microcarpon occurs in mesic woods and thickets near wetlands.

This species was presumed extirpated from the state, and the last known record from Berrien County was in 1913. It is more wide-spread farther south, and southern Michigan is the northern edge of its range.

“We were both excited to make this observation. It’s such treat to find a species that hasn’t been seen in so long,” said Erin.

“As a biologist, it’s rewarding to know that just because something hasn’t been documented in a certain area, doesn’t mean it isn’t persisting. We just need to find it.”