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

04 de enero de 2021

Digging Deeper - January Ecoquest

For this month’s EcoQuest, Digging Deeper , we are exploring the connection between Florida’s indigenous people and plants. Much of the ethnobotanical knowledge of American Indians is passed down through generations, as is the case with the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes. We know they rely upon plants for food and shelter, made dugout canoes of pine and cypress, and use plant fibers for textiles, crafting dolls and basket-making. Some of these traditions still exist today. However, Florida’s original inhabitants at the time of European arrival, (like the Calusa and Tocobaga) were decimated through introduced diseases, conflicts, and enslavement. Since the oral history of these cultures was also lost, we must rely upon records of European historical writings and archeology to piece together clues about Florida’s early native people and plants.

Video of Digging Deeper

Archaeobotanists work to study the plant remains from archaeological sites. The shell mounds and middens built by Native Americans provide a glimpse into daily life over time. We hope you'll join this month's EcoFlora Ecoquest: Digging Deeper

Ingresado el 04 de enero de 2021 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

14 de diciembre de 2020

iNaturalist User Find New Invasive Species in Florida

iNaturalist has many uses for conservation, bringing the environmental community together, seeing plant diversity, and simply cataloging plants and animals in an area. However it can also help find invasive species new to the USA and help prevent multi-billion dollar damages such as when one Miami teacher found the invasive Black Bean Bug Brachyplatys subaeneus near her classroom. This species is concerning because it can eat many of the hundreds of native species and crop species in the legume family! So be sure to know that your contributions to iNaturalist and your local EcoFlora projects are helping to protect and understand the wonderful diversity of plant life around you!

Brachyplatys subaeneus, the black bean bug, has characteristic yellow markings on the head. JADE S. ALLEN, FDACS-DPI

Link to the full article: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article246893437.html?fbclid=IwAR3Ub_QeFx6BtOOmVrEnA2NNINgTedZNBSE9MdacljdCtUN6F27cDq9DuuE

Ingresado el 14 de diciembre de 2020 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

02 de diciembre de 2020

Community Survey on the EcoFlora Project

Hello Everyone!

As we are now almost a year into the public outreach phase of the EcoFlora Project we want to connect with you on how the Sarasota & Manatee EcoFlora Project has impacted you. Please complete this survey to help us find out how the EcoFlora Project has impacted you! Survey ends December 15th!

Survey Link: https://forms.gle/jBJ4zuq79Zgi9paB6

The Selby EcoFlora Team

Ingresado el 02 de diciembre de 2020 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de diciembre de 2020

Home for The HollyDays - December Ecoquest

Sarasota-Manatee EcoFlora's December EcoQuest is Home for the HollyDays! Holly trees are attractive natives that have become symbols of the winter holidays. Hollies are one of the few trees found in all fifty states, with several species native to Sarasota and Manatee counties. Hollies are dioecious, meaning that trees bear either male or female flowers, but not both. The female trees bear beautiful berries. While they are toxic to humans, the berries are an excellent food source for birds and mammals in the winter. Many insects pollinate the flowers and the dense foliage of the trees is excellent for wildlife.

(Image of Ilex vomitoria in bonsai form at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens)

The leaves of some holly trees can be made into tea. The Yaupon holly is the most caffeinated plant in the United States. Native Americans used the leaves for medicinal and ceremonial purposes, making a black drink. Because these ceremonies involved vomiting (likely due to fasting and consuming large quantities of caffeine), Scottish botanist William Aiton named it Ilex vomitoria in 1789. When moderately consumed, it does not actually cause vomiting, and you can now purchase Yaupon holly tea commercially! In addition to teas, one of our native hollies, Ilex glabra, (also known as gallberry and inkberry), provides us with delicious honey from its nectar.

For more help ID'ing these holiday hollies check out our handy reference guide here!

Also be sure to check out our scientists going depth depth on the Ilex genus in our monthly Ecoquest Video, Home for the Hollydays!

Ingresado el 01 de diciembre de 2020 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

03 de noviembre de 2020

Go Fig or Go Home - November Ecoquest

Sarasota-Manatee EcoFlora's November EcoQuest is Go Fig or Go Home! One of the most tropical sights that Florida has to offer is that of a banyan, the common name for Ficus trees which often produce aerial roots. There are only two species of Ficus native to North America, and they are both native to Florida; Ficus aurea, the Florida strangler fig, and the lesser-known Ficus citrifolia or wild banyan tree. Consider leaving these trees to help support local wildlife, especially young figs that are taking over weak or dying trees which they will grow around and replace. The trees provide habitat, food, and shelter for birds, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates. Sarasota and Manatee counties also have many cultivated banyan trees, some of which are spreading on their own and even becoming invasive.

Ficus have incredibly close relationships with their pollinators. Most fig species have only one species of wasp able to pollinate it, and that wasp can only survive on that one species of fig. In order to retain and nourish their pollinating wasps, the trees must constantly bloom. This means that they are very often in fruit, which is the easiest way to tell the two native species of Ficus apart! Ficus aurea, which also usually has larger leaves, has yellow fruits when ripe that are borne close to the stem. Ficus citrifolia, which has smaller leaves and finer leaf venation, has red fruits when ripe that are borne on slender stalks. Many times young figs will start out on the sides of large trees and especially palms which they will purposely grow over and kill as they compete for sun. Often you will also see them lowering aerial roots or growing down the sides of tree trunks but many figs can also grow as free standing trees.

Interested in FIGuring out some Fickle Ficus? Join this month's Ecoquest Go Fig or Go Home! https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/sarasota-manatee-ecoflora-november-ecoquest-go-fig-or-go-home

Ingresado el 03 de noviembre de 2020 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

09 de octubre de 2020

Ongoing Project: Tracking the Invasive Mexican Bromeliad Weevil

Part of the Sarasota-Manatee EcoFlora Project is to help conserve and monitor local plant species and help protect native and threatened species. Unfortunately an invasive weevil the Mexican Bromeliad Weevil (Metamasius callizona) has made protecting our native bromeliads much more difficult. The Mexican bromeliad weevil plays a role in the ecology of its natural habitat in Mexico and Central America. However, an accidental introduction through the bromeliad trade into Florida has resulted in the decimation of certain native Florida bromeliads, particularly Tillandsia utriculata and Guzmania monostachia. The weevil has also attacked many cultivated species in Florida.

Please help to map its distribution either through direct sightings of the insect, or by mapping affected plants (usually seen on the ground broken into many pieces). Photographing the various stages of insect development is critical for observations being elevated to Research Grade. In the absence of evidence, downed bromeliad observations are welcome, though should not be elevated to Research Grade as downed specimens can be caused by several factors. This project will be ongoing in perpetuity as we track where the weevil is, where damage is most severe, and where the weevil is absent. All data will help us preserve and restore or epiphyte community.

We welcome older legacy photos if they can be geolocated with a high degree of accuracy, and Mexico/Central America sightings are also much appreciated.

If you are interested in further work with conserving epiphytes, looking at examples of the weevil and tracking the Mexican Bromeliad Weevil please follow the project here: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/mexican-bromeliad-weevil-metamasius-callizona

Ingresado el 09 de octubre de 2020 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

01 de octubre de 2020

Oakey Poakey - October's Ecoquest

October's or better said Oaktober's monthly Sarasota-Manatee Ecoquest, the Oakey Poakey! This challenge will be focusing on the 11 native oak species found in Sarasota and Manatee Counties all in the genus Quercus. These shrubs and trees are important to our local ecosystems. Their branches provide shelter, their leaves a natural mulch, their acorns a critical food source for animals, and their shade important to both forest and urban microclimates. The spanish moss that often hangs from oak trees makes excellent nesting material for birds. The threatened Florida scrub jay, Florida’s only endemic bird, thrives in areas with large quantities of oak shrubs. Oaks are also important trees in our home and urban landscapes and historically important sources of timber.

To join the Oakey Poakey Ecoquest click here: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/sarasota-manatee-ecoflora-october-ecoquest-oakey-pokey

To learn more about Oak Trees and their identification check here: https://selby.org/wp-content/uploads/ecoquest_oakey_pokey.pdf

For this month's Ecoquest video and helpful tips check out our video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJs3BMk0g9k&feature=youtu.be

Hope you do OA-K finding the Oak trees in this month's Oakey Poakey!

Ingresado el 01 de octubre de 2020 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de septiembre de 2020

Florida's Fantastic Fifteen September Ecoquest

Sarasota-Manatee EcoFlora's EcoQuest challenge for September 2020 will be based on the popular local publication, Florida's Fantastic Fifteen! With so many important keystone species in Florida this publication highlights the fifteen most fantastic. Listed below are the Fantastic Fifteen, all integral plants to our state's main ecosystems from mangroves on the coast to sand live oak and Spanish bayonet in our scrub-lands there are fantastic plants everywhere. Can you find all 15?

Join the ecoquest here if you're up for the challenge: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/florida-s-fantastic-fifteen-sarasota-manatee-ecoflora-challenge-september-2020

Florida's Fantastic Fifteen Includes:
Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)
Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus)
Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto)
Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco)
Coontie (Zamia pumila)
Dwarf Palmetto (Sabal minor)
Giant Leather Fern (Acrostichum danaeifolium)
Mangroves (All three species Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa.)
Sand Live Oak (Quercus geminata)
Seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera)
Spanish Bayonet (Yucca aloifolia)
Wild Cinnamon (Canella winterana)
Shiny Wild Coffee (Psychotria nervosa)
Wild Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum)
Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)

Ingresado el 01 de septiembre de 2020 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de agosto de 2020

August Ecoquest - Living on the Edge

Sarasota-Manatee EcoFlora's EcoQuest challenge for August 2020 will be Living on the Edge, focusing on freshwater plants along shorelines of ponds, rivers, and wetlands, both natural and man-made. Florida is a very wet state with a diversity of habitats such as swamps, marshes, lakes, and rivers - each with their own unique plant communities. Freshwater shoreline plants provide habitat and food for wildlife, reduce erosion, and improve water quality by absorbing nutrients and pollutants. They not only make our ponds and lakes more beautiful, but also contribute to a healthy Florida ecosystem. To learn more, check out the University of Florida’s information on Florida’s aquatic and wetland plants, and a guide to our native species.

August is the height of our rainy season when many of our aquatic plants are flowering, fruiting, and growing - so join us in exploring Florida’s freshwater plants that are Living on the Edge!

Some excellent areas to search are nearby lakes, detention ponds, neighborhood drainage ditches, and wetlands. Parks with abundant wetland species include Myakka River State Park, Red Bug Slough, and Rye Preserve. Whenever going into wet areas keep an eye out for snakes and gators and do not harass any wildlife nor go into areas you have poor visibility.

Be sure to join this month's project here and see your watery wonders in this month's challenge, Living on the Edge! https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/living-on-the-edge-sarasota-manatee-ecoflora-challenge-august-2020

Ingresado el 01 de agosto de 2020 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de julio de 2020

July EcoQuest Flora Under Foot

Sarasota-Manatee EcoFlora's July EcoQuest challenge is Flora UnderFoot, looking into the small plants popping up between pavement cracks and in lawns. These plants are the survivors. They must adapt to harsh environmental conditions such as heat, drought, lack of nutrients, and especially trampling and mowing! Their ability to branch at or near ground level and flower in these conditions has resulted in a select group of plants. This flora beneath our feet brings wild nature into unexpected places, provides sustenance to pollinator species, and creates microhabitats of diversity in what could otherwise be deserts of concrete or monocultures of grass.

This month we challenge you to discover the plants growing in the sidewalks, lawns, and driveways of our communities and be surprised at the fascinating plant diversity often forgotten beneath our feet. As with all our EcoQuests these last until the end of the month! For small groundcovers get up close, take pictures of leaves, stems, flowers, and most importantly the habit for this quest, where and how are these groundcovers surviving? Should your post not be showing up on our project page please tag it with #FloraUnderFoot

Follow this link to our EcoQuest Page to join this month long project, Flora Under Foot!

As always thanks for helping document and observe our local Flora with the EcoFlora Project at Selby Gardens!

Sean Patton

Ingresado el 01 de julio de 2020 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario