“It was surprising to find so much diversity in a small area,” Little said.
Two of the moss species hadn’t previously been identified in Dunn County, a heavily logged and farmed region, Little said. Each of the species “only had one individual clinging to untrampled cliff faces in the preserve, indicating that conservation may be needed.”
They received support with moss identification from Joe Rohrer, UW-Eau Claire faculty emeritus.
Plants at the site represent at least eight ecological community types found in the state.
"I was interested in doing this study because of my growing fascination in plant studies. Once quarantine started in 2020, I found that my true passion lies with plant identification,” said Serafina, an environmental science major from Baldwin.
New stairs installed this summer lead from 410th Street — Paradise Valley Road — to the floor of the circular-shaped Devil’s Punchbowl.
Future surveys will be done to document species change over time at the preserve, Little said.
Devil’s Punchbowl also is home to rare land snails.
Along with the environmental science major, UW-Stout has undergraduate programs in applied science, with a concentration available in biology, and in applied biochemistry and molecular biology.