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Archive for June, 2012

Araluen Park and Hunger


raluen Botanic Park bears ambivalent feelings in a plant ecologist. It is a beautiful place but it is also a place which is poor in botanic knowledge. It is well equipped with BBQ plates and benches and different types of seats:

Unfortunately I was not equipped with a pork loin. I headed toward the restaurant just to realize it is a low-traffic season. The amenities like these are closed.

I decided to have a hike in search for labels – the ones with plant latin names on them. No such information is available at any corner of the park. After a longer  hike I started to feel like I evolve into one of the Australopithecus sediba described in one of the current Nature magazine: “The diet of A. sediba”

“…Phytolith, stable carbon isotope, and dental microwear texture data for two individuals of Au. sediba, 2-million-year-old hominins from South Africa, show that they consumed a mostly C3 diet that probably included harder foods, and both dicotyledons (for example, tree leaves, fruits, and wood or bark) and monocotyledons (for example, grasses and sedges)…”

Before I started to chew on some of the fibrous individuals I took a picture of a yummie-looking thing:

and drove back home.

Boronic point of view

B orons is needed for the growth of the pollen tube during flower pollination and is therefore important for good seed set and fruit development (factsheet).

I spent much time looking at the  recalcitrant plants and it is hard not to ask yourself a question: Why to produce such nice flowers if you stay infertile? I have not found any literature on native plants but there is a big pile of evidence for agricultural crops in respect to boron deficiency. It is a micronutrient much-needed in the process of seed production.

Add to it  the fact that Boron is easily leached from the sandy soil in region of high rainfall and we can be on the way to discover a way to make south-western plants “have sex” again.