Diario del proyecto Sarasota-Manatee EcoFlora Project (FL, USA)

Archivos de Diario para julio 2021

01 de julio de 2021

July 2021 Ecoquest - Just Dune it!

This month at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens we are opening We Dream a World: African American Landscape Painters of Mid-Century Florida, The Highwaymen. The artists featured in the exhibition capture Florida’s vibrant landscape in paint. Many of the works showcase Florida’s coast with crashing waves on wind swept beaches. For this month’s EcoQuest, Just Dune It, we are taking inspiration from these paintings to observe coastal elements and pay special attention to the grasses that help sustain Florida’s coastline. Coastal dunes are Florida’s first line of defense against storms and sea level rise: absorbing wave and wind energy and reducing damage to upland habitat and structures located on our beloved shoreline. Beaches are an integral part of Florida’s economy, supporting a diverse mix of attractions that fuel the region’s tourism and infrastructure. But, most importantly, they are crucial to the protection of marine and coastal ecology, providing essential habitat and food for many species of wildlife.

Coastal grasses can be credited as the biological engineers of our coastal dune ecology. They stabilize by effectively trapping sand in their rhizomatous roots, anchoring the dune in place. In order to thrive in such conditions, dune grasses must be tolerant of sand-blasting winds, drought, heat, low nutrients, salt-spray, and salt-water flooding.

Dunes have three general vegetation zones that are determined by soil salinity. Grasses are commonly found in the frontal zone, landward of the highest tides. The back dune zone, or scrub zone, supports less salt tolerant grasses as well as shrubs and some trees. The forest zone is farthest from the ocean, where the vegetation transitions from maritime to non-maritime species. These zones can and do integrate, resulting in a diverse combination of zones based on environmental and mechanical interference.

There are a number of native grasses on Sarasota and Manatee County beaches that play a role in shoreline erosion control. This month's bioblitz will be at Lido Beach at 8AM-11AM on July 23rd please RSVP by emailing ecoflora@selby.org Some species that we will be highlighting in our July 2020 EcoQuest include:

Distichlis spicata - Saltgrass

Muhlenbergia capillaris – Muhly grass

Panicum amarum - Bitter panicgrass

Paspalum vaginatum – Seashore paspalum

Schizachyrium spp. – Sea coast bluestem

Spartina patens - Cordgrass

Uniola paniculalta - Sea oats

Please note that sand dunes are highly protected, and the Florida Beach and Shore Preservation Act (Chapter 161, Florida Statues) was established to preserve our coastline. Walking on dunes can lead to a citation in some areas, so please remember to make responsible observations and follow designated trails when visiting the dunes – and ask others to do the same.

Publicado el 01 de julio de 2021 a las 06:34 PM por sean_patton sean_patton | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

27 de julio de 2021

Gazing at Glassworts - August Ecoquest

Inspired by the glass show currently on display at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, In Dialogue with Nature: Glass in the Gardens, we are highlighting Salicornia, a genus of plants also known as glassworts, pickleweed, samphire, and saltwort, for our EcoQuest in August 2021. Salicornia are small halophytic species in the Amaranthaceae family. These plants are found along the beaches, salt marshes, and mangrove ecosystems of North America, Europe, South Africa, and South Asia. These small annual or perennial herbs grow prostrate or erect with simple hairless and, succulent, stems that appear jointed. Their stems vary from red to green and their leaves are reduced to small fleshy scales. Flowers are small, complex, and bisexual. They produce small fleshy fruits with a single seed.

There are a variety of uses for glassworts, including glassmaking! The ashes of the dried, burnt plants contain copious amounts of potash and soda ash and were historically used to manufacture glass and soap. In addition, this salty plant is eaten raw, pickled, or cooked; the seeds are used to make oil; and the plant is used as a biofilter for marine effluent.

There are about 30 species of Salicornia and the two native species that are found in Sarasota and Manatee Counties are Salicornia ambigua and S. bigelovii. If you are interested in seeing this unique species and would like to observe it in its natural habitats, please join our upcoming BioBlitz at Terra Ceia State Park on August 27th by registering with the event link below or go on your own hunt and share your findings through the iNaturalist project site. While you are out there, please photograph other salt march species as well. Happy glass gazing!

August BioBlitz Registration:
This hike will tentatively be 3 miles from 8AM to 11AM so be prepared!

Publicado el 27 de julio de 2021 a las 02:25 PM por sean_patton sean_patton | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario