One palm, Two palm

We took a trip to Andros last week and spent some time with the folks at Forfar Field Station. Hopefully we will be getting periodic updates here on the research they are helping facilitate on Andros. Here is some information from Dale Kline on a recent project….thanks Dale!

“Sarah Edelman is the Palm and Cycad Manager of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. For her PhD dissertation, she is looking at the architectural plasticity of a rare, although native palm: Acoelorrhaphe wrightii. This particular palm is also native to Central America and parts of northern South America. It grows in clusters, with new trunks able to sprout from the radiating rhizoids of older trunks, which results in a stand that forms a full or semi-circle.  While once abundant, few individuals remain in the Caribbean, and Sarah means to find and analyze the growth patterns of all of them.

She spent a week at Forfar Field Station on Andros looking for A. wrightii and located two individuals on North Andros and only one remaining individual on New Providence. During this trip, Sarah was only able to get to one of the two remaining palms. She and the staff at Forfar would not have found the palm at all were it not for a local hog hunter, Clarence Colebrook. He took some Forfar staff and renowned palm botanist Dr. George R. Proctor to the other individual in 1977. Unfortunately, some of the logging roads back into the bush have completely overgrown and fallen into disrepair in the last 40 years, rendering the other individual palm virtually inaccessible. In the next few months, Sarah hopes to come back to Andros to find Proctor’s original palm.”

By | 2016-01-12T10:47:14-05:00 January 12th, 2016|Categories: Andros Island, botany|0 Comments

About the Author:

Craig Layman
My lab’s interdisciplinary pursuits provide for a multi-faceted understanding of environmental change in the coastal realm. We are ecologists, asking questions that span population, community, ecosystem and evolutionary sub-disciplines. We often use a food web based perspective, exploring top-down (e.g., predation) and bottom-up (e.g., nutrient excretion) mechanisms by which animals affect ecosystem processes. All of our efforts are framed within a broader outreach framework, directly integrating science and education, using approaches such as this website.

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