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

11 de mayo de 2021

City Nature Challenge Local Winners and Wrap Up!

We have tallied up the winners for the City Nature Challenge 2021 in Sarasota and Manatee Counties below! We are also proud to say we have come in 3rd place in Florida with 4,333 observations, of over 1,175 species and helped support numerous projects including our EpiFlora of the US and Canada. The Alachua County and South Florida projects were ahead in the 10,000 observation level and neck and neck with Alachua winning by 100 observations. We had 153 observers and 273 identifiers support this achievement and we are very proud of everyone. If you have any photos you would like to show off please submit the observation link to ecoflora@selby so we can spotlight them on the Sarasota Manatee EcoFlora Page!

The top six observers and three identifiers have won some prizes ranging from Selby membership to native plant pots including species seen during the challenge. Future ecoquests and CNC's will also offer prizes from time to time so stay tuned at the Sarasota Manatee EcoFlora Project for details! Selby Staff who participated are not eligible for prizes but for the joy of winning against other staff members.

The winners are:

crowleynaturecenter with 598 observations and 297 species!
lazynaturalist with 555 observations and 224 species!
ceherzog with 227 observations and 193 species!
Sandrae34242 with 160 observations and 119 species!
carol418 with 160 observations and 102 species!
jwilli with 112 observations and 56 species!

jayhorn with 270 identified observations!
aliandbrice with 248 identified observations!
antoniw with 104 identified observations!

Thanks for participating everyone! We will see you again next year!

Photo from Z7nikon of a Dutchman's Pipevine.

Anotado en mayo 11, martes 04:19 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

02 de mayo de 2021

May Ecoquest Monarch's and Milkweeds

Hello Everyone,

We are currently in third place in Florida for the City Nature Challenge with over 2,000+ observations at the time of writing this so keep up the good work! While you are out there recording so many plants and animals maybe give it a try finding our next ecoquest species, Monarchs and Milkweeds!

The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is an easily recognizable and beloved butterfly species in North America. Monarchs are one of only a few migratory insects. They embark upon a 3,000 mile migration each fall, heading to the cool, high mountains of central Mexico, where they overwinter. They pass through Florida on their long journeys. Like all butterflies, monarchs have a different diet as larval caterpillars than as adult butterflies. In the caterpillar stage, they feed exclusively on plants from the milkweeds group of the Apocynaceae family. In the butterfly stage, monarchs feed on nectar from a variety of flowering plants, including milkweed. Find more on this Month's Ecoquest, Monarch's and Milkweeds! Any observations by May 3rd will be included in the City Nature Challenge as well.

The Monarch Butterfly perched on a host milkweed and the focus of this month's ecoquest! Photo by z7nikon

Anotado en mayo 02, domingo 22:29 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

30 de abril de 2021

City Nature Challenge is On!

The City Nature Challenge is starting today and going until May 3rd! See the April 16th journal entry for a list of bioblitz dates, times, and locations and we hope to see everyone out there!

There will be prizes ranging from Selby Garden Memberships to native plant pots for the top observers, identifiers, most species, and more so get out there and start finding all the wonders nature has to offer.

You can join the City Nature Challenge here but know all photos are automatically uploaded during the time period of April 30th to May 3rd. https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2021-sarasota-and-manatee-counties

You can also get the latest updates, photos and blog postings here: https://selby.org/dsc/youth-family-programs/sarasota-manatee-ecoflora-project/

Anotado en abril 30, viernes 18:55 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

16 de abril de 2021

City Nature Challenge 2021 General Information and Bioblitz Dates and Locations

The City Nature Challenge (CNC) is an international effort to get people outside to document their local biodiversity. Over the course of four days, citizen scientists around the world will log as many observations of the natural world as they can. Then experts will help to identify those observations to see how many different species were documented.

CNC takes place in two parts:
April 30 - May 3: Taking pictures of wild plants and animals
May 4 - May 9: Identifying what was found

CNC was started in 2016 by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences as a competition between LA and San Francisco. Since then, it’s grown to include more than 400 cities, in more than 40 countries, across six continents! This is the first year that Sarasota and Manatee counties are participating in CNC, through Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Sarasota Manatee EcoFlora Project. We are partnering with The Nature Conservancy in Orlando to host a friendly competition among several Florida metro areas and we’re calling on everyone to participate!

Who should participate?

YOU! You don’t need to be a professional photographer, botanist, or naturalist to be a helpful citizen scientist. All you need is a smartphone or GPS-enabled camera, a free iNaturalist account, and a willingness to get out and explore! Our team, and the iNaturalist community, will help you with troubleshooting, photo tips, and species identification. Anyone can participate but only observations made in Sarasota or Manatee counties will contribute to this challenge!

Why should you participate?

There is nature all around us, even in our cities! Let’s get to know the plants and animals living around us in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Through documenting the species we have, we’ll discover what we need to protect. When you participate in in the CNC, you will learn more about nature in your area AND make our cities a better place for all species. And let’s not forget, it’s FUN and EASY to participate!

How to Participate

Join the project on iNaturalist, by creating a free account and searching for the City Nature Challenge Sarasota and Manatee Counties project. From April 30 to May 3, log as many observations as you can. Spread the word and encourage others to participate as well. It’s as easy as finding wildlife, taking a picture, and sharing!

Bioblitzes During the Challenge:

Friday April 30th

  • Phillipi Estate Park Bioblitz 9AM-12PM hosted by Sarasota County Parks and Services
  • South Lido Beach Bioblitz 9AM-12PM hosted by Sarasota County Parks and Services
Saturday May 1st
  • Potter Park Bioblitz 9AM-12PM hosted by Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and the Sarasota Manatee EcoFlora Project
  • Johnson Preserve Bioblitz 9AM-11AM hosted by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast and Manatee County Parks and Recreation
Sunday May 2nd
  • To Be Announced!
Monday May 3rd
  • Rye Preserve Bioblitz 9AM-12PM hosted by Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and the Sarasota Manatee EcoFlora Project

Note we will be updating this list daily as more bioblitzes are added so check back soon! Be sure to dress for the weather, and bring water, sunscreen, bug repellant, and any other gear you may need for hiking in nature.

Anotado en abril 16, viernes 19:56 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de abril de 2021

Plants that Pop! - Sarasota Manatee April Ecoquest Challenge

In a nod to the Roy Lichtenstein exhibit at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Downtown Campus, April’s EcoQuest Challenge is Plants that Pop! We are focusing on plants that spread their seeds through ballistichory. This is the sudden rapid ejection of seed from a fruit by explosive dehiscence. Dehiscence is the process whereby a fruit naturally opens at maturity to disperse its seeds. This may happen slowly, taking hours or days, or may happen in the blink of an eye. The explosive or ballistic “shooting” out of seed gives this mechanism its name. The result of ballistichory is that seeds are flung far from the parent plant, greatly improving seed dispersal. Who will get the most observations or species? Only time will tell with this month's ecoquest as we feature this amazing mechanism in Plants that Pop!

The Beach Croton Croton punctatus is a common beach plant in Sarasota and Manatee growing as a low shrub on back dunes and using ballistichory to launch seeds helping build dunes.

Last Month Ecoquest Winners
We would like to give a big shout out to our top observers and identifiers last month's Check Your Boots Ecoquest with a very heated contest for most species found differing by only one species! Who will find the most popping plants and blow everyone away? We'll announce April's winners on May 1st!

Top Three Observers by Number included: phaynes at 223, Ceherzog at 146, and Carol418 at 57.
Top Three Observers by Species included: Ceherzog at 50, Phaynes at 49, and Carol418 at 21.
Top Three Identifiers included: Jeff 1962 at 201, Jayhorn at 106, and barbaraparris at 37.

Ready for an explosive ecoquest? Join here at Plants that Pop! and upload your dynamite pictures today!

Anotado en abril 01, jueves 21:56 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

10 de marzo de 2021

While posting an observation on iNaturalist, what does captive/cultivated mean? Noting It is important!

While posting an observation you may have noticed that you can indicate if the observation is captive/cultivated. Checking captive/cultivated indicates that the organism exists where it was observed because humans intended it to be there. An example might be a shrub you planted in your garden, or a tree planted in a median strip. Wild/naturalized organisms exist in a particular place because they intended to be there, or because of the action of another wild organism. An example might be a strangler fig found in the boot of a cabbage palm. Most likely, that strangler fig is the result of a bird dropping a seed. In iNaturalist, it is important to indicate if the observation is captive/cultivated, because iNat is primarily interested in documenting wild organisms. Scientists using the data generated by iNat are often more interested in wild/naturalized organisms, and it can be problematic when captivated/cultivated organisms are not indicated as such. As citizen scientists, it’s our goal to collect as much useful data as we can.

Sometimes it can be hard to know if a plant is wild/naturalized or captive/cultivated, so we often have to do a little detective work. Think about where the plant is located--is it in a city/county/state preserve? Is it in your backyard? Whenever you’re making an observation, look at the plants around it--are there many of the same species? Are they uniformly organized? When in doubt, you can always do a little research to find out if the plant is native/naturalized to the area or if it’s more likely been planted. If you are ever unsure, you can always make a note of your best guess in the notes section of the observation.

Since this can be confusing, here are some examples from iNaturalist’s FAQS:
-Zebra in a zoo
-Rose bush in a garden
-Tree planted 1, 10, or 100 years ago by humans
-Your pet cat
-Plants that grew from seeds that were planted in the ground or scattered intentionally by humans

This Monstera deliciosa was planted by a homeowner in a yard and is considered cultivated.

-Zebra in the Serengeti (assuming it's not in a zoo in the Serengeti)
-Fly on a zebra in a zoo
-Weed or other unintended plant growing in a garden (it may be helpful to make note that the weed is a “volunteer”)
-Feral cat
-Garden plant that is reproducing on its own and spreading outside of the intended gardening area
-Living organisms dispersed by the wind, water, and other forces apart from humans
-A species that had been introduced to a new region and has established a population outside of human care

This Tillandsia utriculata is growing on a cultivated tree, but the plant itself is wild. Therefore it is not cultivated or captive.

*Many thanks to iNaturalist and their FAQs (https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/help#captive). This is an adaptation of their Captive / Cultivated FAQ.

Written by Anastasia Sallen

Anotado en marzo 10, miércoles 00:29 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de marzo de 2021

Check Your Boots - March Sarasota Manatee Ecoflora Ecoquest

Cabbage palm bootjacks, which are leftover from fallen fronds, are an excellent habitat for epiphytic plants. For this month’s March EcoQuest, we’ll be checking those boots for the various plant species growing in them. We can see almost anything growing from and around the bootjacks. While we might expect to see native epiphytic species such as the Florida strangler fig or shoestring fern, we can also find non-epiphytic woody plants growing in the boots- even Brazillian pepper and magnolias. Birds and squirrels help disperse the seeds in the bootjacks, making these boots quite the plant nursery! So be sure to join the Check Your Boots Ecoquest and start finding those wonderful epiphytes and hemiepiphytes today!

Image of Golden Polypody ferns Phlebodium aureum, and a Florida Strangler Fig Ficus aurea, on cabbage palm boots. Not all cabbage palms may have these boots with many having smooth trunks. Want to learn why those boots on the trunk are called "bootjacks"? Join the ecoquest to find out!

Anotado en marzo 01, lunes 22:51 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

19 de febrero de 2021

Habit Highlight-Parasitism in Plants

When we hear the word “parasite,” often the first things that come to mind are very undesirable critters like bed bugs, roundworms, or my personal favorite, bot flies. Actually, plants can also be parasites, with about 4,500 species of parasitic plants found around the world, making up about 1% of all known flowering plants. A parasitic plant is one that acquires all or a portion of its growth needs from another plant host. These are not to be confused with epiphytes, which are plants that live upon other plants but do not remove nutrients from their hosts. Parasitic plants typically have specialized suction-cup like structures called haustoria (Photo 1) that penetrate the vascular system of their host and allow for siphoning off water and nutrients.

Photo 1: The Haustoria of the Love Vine.

In some cases, parasitic plants can be easy to recognize because they are the wrong color! We all know that plants are supposed to be green, right? That green color comes from the presence of chlorophyll, the pigment that facilitates the absorption of sunlight on its way into the photosynthetic pathway. A plant that does not have chlorophyll lacks the ability to produce its own food via photosynthesis. These are called holoparasites, plants that lack any ability to photosynthesize and are totally reliant on a host. One example in Florida are the dodders (Cuscuta spp.), twining vines in the Convolvulaceae or morning glory family with yellow or orange stems (Photo 2). As the vines contact the stems of their hosts, haustoria form and attach to the host. Indian pipes (Monotropa uniflora) are a non-green terrestrial herb in the Ericaceae or blueberry family found in temperate forests (Photo 3). These herbs emerge from the soil in a small group of thin, nodding, off-white stems that terminate in a single flower. These plants are actually myco-parasites, or parasites of fungi which themselves have a mycorrhizal association with the roots of trees. Through this complex association, Indian pipes are parasitic on the roots of woody trees via a “middle man.”

Photo 2: Left is the Cuscuta spp. Photo 3: is right is the Monotropa uniflora.

Some parasitic plants are green some or all of the time and can be harder to identify as being parasitic. Some examples in Florida include mistletoe (Phoradendron spp.) (See blog post https://selby.org/botanical-spotlight-mistletoe/), hog plum (Ximenia americana) and the subject of this month’s EcoQuest, love vine (Cassytha filiformis). All of these plants are classified as hemi-parasites because they have the ability to photosynthesize and can produce some of their own food. Mistletoe, an herbaceous stem parasite that can be found primarily but not exclusively in the canopy of oak trees, and hog plum, a common, shrubby root parasite on a number of woody host species, are always green and only supplement their nutrient needs from their hosts. Love vine on the other hand is almost always yellow, being fully parasitic on its hosts (Photo 4). However, when the vine is young, having not yet developed its host-penetrating haustoria, or if the host plants die, go dormant, or are otherwise unhealthy, love vine will begin to photosynthesize and take on a greener color.

Photo 4: of Love Vine Cassytha filiformes.

One famous parasitic plant is best known as the plant with the largest single flower in the world, the corpse flower (Rafflesia arnoldii) of Sumatra and Borneo. This parasitic plant not only lacks chlorophyll, it lacks any discernible stems, leaves, or roots, existing completely embedded within its host, the liana Tetrastigma. The only visible evidence of the presence of this plant is when the flower buds emerge and open to reveal flowers that can be a meter wide and smell of rotting flesh. The total abandonment of a free-standing physical form seems the ultimate evolution of the parasitic habit!
As you embark on this month’s EcoQuest, Looking for Love Vine, please take some time to appreciate the parasitism of plants as just one of the many complex adaptations and associations that exist between living organisms. When you find a love vine, follow the stem until you find the haustoria and you will be rewarded by witnessing an interaction that is often overlooked but more common than we realize! Love vine favors dry, sunny habitats so can be found in scrub and scrubby flatwoods, the open edges of dry hammocks, and in dry coastal areas on shrubs, trees, and even herbs and grasses. Be sure to look for the presence of oak galls on the undersides of leaves of live and sand live oaks and see if you can document the incredible interaction of the love vine seeking out and parasitizing these galls!

Written by Elizabeth Gandy

Anotado en febrero 19, viernes 21:45 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de febrero de 2021

Public Bioblitz Lemon Bay Preserve February 23rd

Marie Selby Botanical Garden's EcoFlora Team and Botany Department will be leading a public bioblitz to Lemon Bay Preserve on Tuesday, February 23rd, from 9AM-12PM at 6125 Osprey Rd, Venice, FL 34293. You must RSVP at ecoflora@selby.org space is limited.

This will be the first of a series of monthly bioblitzes to promote conservation and plant identification in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. If you are interested in attending this or future bioblitzes please email us at ecoflora@selby.org to attend. Bring a facemask, food, water, sunscreen/bug repellant, and a camera or smartphone to take photos for iNaturalist plus anything else needed for hiking. Feel free to bring family or friends but let us know how many and to be sure everyone has joined this project page.

The main goal of a bioblitz is to record as many plants and animals in this area as possible. Side goals for this bioblitz are to support the monthly eco quests this month being Looking for Love Vines, and the projects: Epiflora of the United States and Canada, and Mexican Bromeliad Weevils, with the latter two our continuing long term projects to support conservation.

Anotado en febrero 15, lunes 17:40 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

04 de febrero de 2021

New Invasive Plant Found in Sarasota - Wetland Nightshade Solanum tampicense

Citizen scientists and botanists have found a new invasive species Wetland Nightshade, in Sarasota County and the first time it has been recorded here on iNaturalist. This prickly invasive hails from Mexico and the West Indies and can form thick stands with a variety of growth patterns from small trees, to thick shrubs. It is listed as an invasive pest weed by the State of Florida and has hit many counties in Florida but not other states. It is important to be vigilant for new invasive species that may displace natives, are poisonous to humans or livestock, or be physically hazardous like the curved spines of the Wetland Nightshade. Also called Tropical Soda Apple like other Soda Apples it has many long curved spines on it's leaves and stems.

Check out the observation here for the plant found: Wetland Nightshade Observation.

That's all for this post. Be sure to keep joining our monthly ecoquests, searching for new and unusual plants, and always take photos of epiphytes as it's our longest running focus as a contributor to the Epiflora of the United States and Canada.

Anotado en febrero 04, jueves 01:49 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario