Journal archives for March 2021

March 01, 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!

Posted on March 01, 2021 10:51 PM by sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 3 comments | Leave a comment

March 10, 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:
Captive/cultivated
-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.

Wild/Naturalized
-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

Posted on March 10, 2021 12:29 AM by sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comments | Leave a comment