Oliver Lintott - Day Two

Day Two - What an amazing day, vascular plants, Mosses, Lichen and something called a Liverwort!

DAY TWO

Day two was all about vascular plants…

Day two of this expedition could have been forgiven for being a bit of a letdown after such a phenomenal day one but it certainly was not!

After focusing on bugs and spiders yesterday, the botanical focus today was a really interesting change, and provided a great opportunity to learn some more survey techniques. Unlike with fauna where you have to capture a specimen, the process of surveying plants was a little more relaxed and straightforward.

I started my day with Dave Albretch, who is a vascular plant expert. He explained to me in our initial briefing that it was highly unlikely that I would be discovering any new species today but valuable results could be achieved if we worked hard and smart. We were at Smokers Flat in Namadginational park so Dave and I set out with a slightly different brief, we decided that the next best thing would be to try and locate native species that had not been seen in our location for the past 30/40 years. We were looking for 7 different plants and I am pleased to announce that we found 3!

   Gratiola Nana

   Ronunculus millani

  Miriophyllum peclunculatum

 

 

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These are such beautfilu plants but also extremely useful from a scientific point of view! 

 

Teachable moment: Why is this significant? …

 I think that for me today it was extremely significant to understand that these native plants are not simply something pretty and exciting to look at, which they are, but perhaps one of the most important sings that an area is a healthy ecosystem. I was absolutely determined to find Dave a native dandelion as he said they should have been in the area we were working. This was in theory a very simple task, I set out with a photo of a dandelion and one easily observed difference between native and invasive species in mind. The green section underneath the petals go up on a native and not on an invasive, I think that something like this could be easily transferred to other localized plants. I did not end up finding a native dandelion but it gave me a very simple goal to strive for during the day and made me feel like I could contribute to the scientific process even though I had far less experience and knowledge. 

 

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Such an amazing day.

 

Apparently I discovered and interesting site for investigation! 

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The drying process for the vascular plants was fascinating:

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Taking a well earned rest before going back out into the heat to see what we can discover!  

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This magnification just blew my mind, such beauty on such a small scale. 

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