Stalking the Blob: Slime Molds of Boston Harbor Islands
Harvard University Herbaria
22 Divinity Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
Delivered at 2008 Boston Harbor Islands Science Symposium.
Slime molds (Myxomycota) are eukaryotes in the Amoebozoa that feed on bacteria. They have several different life-form stages including amoeboid,spore-producing fruit bodies, and plasmodia (the inspiration for the 1950’s classic thriller movie “The Blob”). There had been no previous documentation of Myxomycota from the Boston Harbor Islands. A survey was conducted in August 2007 as part of the Planetary Biodiversity Inventory of the Myxomycota in conjunction with Dr. Steve Stephenson from the University of Arkansas. In this talk I will discuss the species of myxomycetes on the Boston Harbor Islands as well as basic aspects of myxomycete biology.