BOTANICAL EVALUATION OF THE GOAT ISLAND COMPLEX, NIAGARA FALLS, NEW YORK
BOTANICAL TYPE LOCALITIES AT NIAGARA FALLS (including Goat Island)
Frequently the original population, or an ancestor of the original population from which the type was selected, still exists. The locality in which that population exists is called the type locality.
Due to the frequency with which collectors visited Niagara Falls over the past several centuries, many specimens were collected that later became type specimens, and the localities from which the specimens derived therefore their type localities.
Day (1888) reported the visit to Niagara of Linnaeus' student Peter Kalm and speculated that Table Rock (Ontario) was the type locality of Hypericum kalmianum and Lobelia kalmii. Apparently Kalm made no mention of the place where he collected the plants he brought back to Sweden with him, and which Linnaeus described and named after him (Zenkert, 1934).
It is beyond the scope of this paper to investigate the extensive history of geological research conducted by early and later paleontologists and stratigraphers, such as Sir Charles Lyell of England, and James Hall, Geologist for New York State, in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Stratigraphers, however, use rock strata with characteristic assemblages of minerals and fossils to establish sequences of geologic events in geologic time. Individual rock strata used in this way may be given technical names (Rochester Shale, DeCew Dolostone, Gasport Formation, Eramosa Dolostone, and so on), and type localities are the exposures from which the description of the designated rock layer was taken. One such stratum is for the Goat Island Dolostone, with type locality designated as "Goat Island at the brink of Niagara Falls" (Howell and Sanford, 1947, see also Zenger, 1965). For discussion and description of these strata in the Niagara Gorge, see Tesmer, 1981.
It is highly probable that fossil types may also occur at Niagara Falls, including Goat Island.
The following is a list of some botanical types from Goat Island or the immediate vicinity.
Satureja glabella var. angustifolia (Torr.) Svenson. One of the syntypes of this variety described by Torrey (1843) (as Micromeria) was collected on Goat Island, the other on Table Rock (Ontario).
Grimmia hookeri Drumm. Type: On a stone near the falls of Niagara in Upper Canada. [exsiccat: printed label in from the Torrey Herbarium (NY)]. Now referred to Ptychomitrium incurvum (Schwaegr.) Spruce.
Didymodon diversifolius Austin - No. 115. Musci Appalachiani by Coe F. Austin, 1870 Hab. ... near Newville, Herkimer County, New York (1868). Also about Niagara Falls, S. T. Olney. Now referred to Didymodon tophaceus.
Peziza hesperidea C. & P. Goat Island is the type locality, published by Clinton and Peck ("Among fallen leaves. Goat Island, where it was first found. Clinton," Peck, 1873).
Puccinia clintonii Peck ("Leaves of Pedicularis. Goat Island. Clinton. October, Peck, 1875).
Speira velutina P. et C. "nov. sp." Goat Island. Ex Coll. G. W. Clinton, Buffalo, N.Y. Dec. 18, 1877 (BUF).
Thelephora willeyi Clinton ("Goat Island.") [Correspondence at BUF demonstrates this is the type material of what is now referred to as Stereum diaphanum]
Scytonema cataractae H. C. Wood: "This species grows abundantly in Niagara River on the rocks below the great cataract," H. C. Wood (Kellicott in Day, 1883). Niagara Falls is the type locality for this species (Wood, H.C. Prodromus Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society Vol. XI, 1871.)
Zonotrichia mollis Wood. "In saxis irroratis, "Cave of the Winds," Niagara, Wood. (H. C. Wood, 1872, "A contribution to the history of the fresh-water algae of North America" Smithsonian Contribution to Knowledge 19. 241:1-262.)
Zonotrichia parcezonata Wood. "In saxis irroratis, "Cave of the Winds," Niagara, Wood. (H. C. Wood, 1872, "A contribution to the history of the fresh-water algae of North America" Smithsonian Contribution to Knowledge 19. 241:1-262.)
[Actinocyclus niagarae Smith. The type locality of this alga could not be determined as of this writing; see Smith, H. L. 1878. "Descriptions of new species of diatoms." American Quarterly Microsco. Journal. 1:12-18]
TYPE LOCALITIES OF THE MOLLUSCAN FAUNA
Planorbis bicarinatus Say *1817-19. Nich. enc. Am. ed. pl. 1, fig. 4). "Found only in the gravel on Goat Island" (Letson, 1901). Miss Letson may be suggesting Goat Island is the type locality for this species.
Pyrgulopsis letsoni (Walker). (= Amnicola letsoni Walker). Goat Island gravels, type locality (Letson). "First found by Miss Letson in Post Pliocene deposits on Goat Island in 1901. It has been found since then living in various localities in the Great Lakes region ...." (Robertson & Blakeslee, 1949)
Goniobasis niagarensis Lea. (Goniobasis livescens niagarensis (Lea.)). "A small carinated variety found in Niagara River near the cataract and as a fossil in the Goat Island gravels." Goniobasis livescens niagarensis is now treated as an extinct subspecies (presently recognized in Oxytrema, v. Calkin & Brett, 1978). Goat Island is probably the type locality for this mollusc.