Monday, September 15, 2014

Pine Rocklands project and field work

A few weeks ago I went on the first field trip for a new project I'm involved in with a colleague here at UF, Ben Baiser, looking at phylogenetic relationships of plants in a unique, endangered habitat in South Florida. The pine rocklands is a highly fragmented habitat that is only found on the Miami Rock Ridge, the area in and around Miami and its surrounding metro area. The pine rocklands exist in patchy fragments throughout this area, and in one large patch in the Everglades. Our project is focused on understanding food web dynamics within and between separate pine rockland fragments, and the first step is to identify and DNA barcode all of the plant species.

While we intend to collect all 500+ species found in the pine rocklands, my main interest is of course the ferns. Here are photos of the fern species we've found there so far, with more still to come!

Anemia adiantifolia
Anemia adiantifolia
Anemia adiantifolia
Vittaria lineata 
Pteris bahamensis
Pteris vittata
Psilotum nudum, the first time I've seen it in the wild!
Pleopeltis polypodioides 
A tree-load of epiphytic ferns and bromeliads 
Florida blue and orange! Asclepias and Sisyrinchium.