Random and Surprising Snippets From Talks

Friday, August 21, 2009

I gave my oral presentation today about our introduction of crenulate leadplant to suitable habitat outside of its known historic range.  The talk went well, but I was asked perhaps the most difficult question related to any plant introduction, “How will this plant affect other members of the community?”  This is one of the biggest criticisms of any attempts to move plants for conservation – that we do not know how they will behave in novel habitats.  The answer was that I didn’t know, but rare plants struggle so much to establish any seedlings that it is unlikely that they will cause problems. 

Coming to this international meeting with so many presentations about geospatial models put our work into a new context for me.  I was able to see that our fine scale, detailed studies about what rare plants require to become established is useful for models predicting impacts of climate change. 

Random and Surprising snippets from talks….the more dismal the projection about climate change the less stringent the mitigation that was defined.  It was as if the psychology of the problem of climate change is more palatable, more within the grasp of our imagination, if the potential increase in temperature is small.  When it is predicted to be too large, it becomes too hard to imagine. 

…..Australians are the only nationals who do not feed wildlife in their backyards…

…..Sleepy lizards may move only 10 steps during their relatively inactive season (summer – winter)…and even though they are monogamous, female sleepy lizards will leave males with too many ticks.  Who could blame her?

.... Exotic grasses in dunes of New Zealand actually support greater beetle and lizard assemblages than dunes with only native vegetation.  Hmmmm.