Tillandsia Web, Dade Chapter, Florida Native Plant Society

Online Newsletter

Excerpted from our print newsletter. See the printed newsletter for detailed Field Trip directions and reports, for phone and addresses for yard visits and additional articles. Join now to obtain the benefits of full membership!

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April 2001

In This Issue

UPCOMING MEETING IN DADE COUNTY
UPCOMING FIELD TRIPS (DADE)
ACTIVITIES IN THE KEYS
CHAPTER NEWS AND NEEDS
OTHER EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
SONGBIRD DECLINE MAY BE LINKED TO NON-NATIVE SHRUBS
2001 FNPS ANNUAL CONFERENCE
KEY CONTACTS FOR DCFNPS

UPCOMING MEETING IN DADE COUNTY

Tuesday, April 24, 7:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road.

South Florida plants and their beneficial fungi (mycorrhizae). Jack B. Fisher, Fairchild Tropical Garden

Most native plants are associated with soil fungi that form a symbiosis with the plant roots. These mycorrhizae are beneficial to the plant. Jack will describe and illustrate the various kinds of mycorrhizae. Results of greenhouse experiments show that mycorrhizae promote uptake of phosphorous from our sandy soils of pinelands and coastal dunes. Some native plants must form mycorrhizae in order to grow and reproduce under natural conditions. (Editor's note: This is not a "gardening with mycorrhizae" talk, but those involved in gardening, horticulture, tree-planting projects and restoration should start learning about the research on this topic.)

Also, the senior division winners of the chapter's George N. Avery Award at this year's science fair will make a presentation on their project "Evaluation of the Biodiversity Present within the Lichen Community of the Florida Everglades Ecosystem".

May 22 meeting: Invasive Exotic Organisms and the Ecology of Invasion. Dr. Robert Doren, Everglades Restoration Program.

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UPCOMING FIELD TRIPS (DADE)

Field trips are for the study of plants and enjoyment of nature by FNPS members (Dade and Keys) and their invited guests. Collecting is not permitted. Please join today so that you can enjoy all the benefits of membership!

Sunday, April 22: Pinecrest, Loop Road. We will explore a hammock adjacent to property owned by chapter members and after lunch visit nearby prairie, pineland or hammock areas. Meet: 8:30 a.m. at the old gas station in Pinecrest (left side of road).

Saturday, May 26: Hillsboro Pineland in northwest Broward County. This pineland was burned a year ago, so we will see the new growth of the last year, as well as the more northern species that are not found in Dade.

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ACTIVITIES IN THE KEYS

Note: All Dade Chapter members are welcome at all chapter activities. For more information about those planned by the Keys Activities Committee, please call Jim Duquesnel at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, 305-451-1202.

Upcoming meeting: Tuesday, April 24 on Big Pine Key (note the date change!). Keys Butterflies, Alana Edwards, North American Butterfly Association. Location: Methodist Church across Key Deer Boulevard from Winn Dixie.

Alana Edwards is a recent graduate of the Environmental Sciences Masters Program from Florida Atlantic University. She will discuss the plants that can be used to attract butterflies to a Florida Keys garden, emphasizing Lower Keys specialties such as the Florida Leafwing and the Florida Duskywing. The plant ID workshop begins at 7 PM and the meeting follows at 7:30.

There will be a butterfly watching walk on prior to meeting. Meet at Blue Hole at noon to see Lower Keys specialties.

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CHAPTER NEWS AND NEEDS

Spring plant sale at Fairchild Tropical Garden, April 28. Open 8- 9:30 a.m. for FTG members, 9:30 - 4:30 p.m. for the public. DCFNPS will participate.

FNPS annual conference, May 10-13, Palm Harbor (Pinellas Co.). Members should have received the conference brochure and registration in March. Besides all the usual wonderful field trips and programs (including the conference theme presentations: "Biodiversity and Development: Striking the Balance"), the conference also includes a special series for homeowners and trade show (plants, gifts and garden items, educational exhibits) on Saturday. The home landscaping sessions may also be attended under a separate registration, and the trade show is free to everyone. Tell your friends! Call 305-255-6404 or 866-356-2848 if you need registration forms for the FNPS conference or the Homeowner Conference.

Native Plant Day at Castellow Hammock on March 24 was an unqualified success, thanks to the volunteers, speakers, raffle donors, vendors, park staff, Mother Nature, and the local media which carried our publicity. Several hundred attended, coming from as far as the Keys, Naples, and Boca Raton, and compliments are still coming in.

The 2001-2001 DCFNPS board was elected at the March meeting. Returning members are Carrie Cleland (President), Carol Farber (Secretary), Sam Dawson (Treasurer), Keith Bradley (now "past president"), Tony Koop (now Vice President), Bob Mihm, and Karsten Rist. We welcome new board members Manny Pomares, Jerry Russo and Lynka Woodbury and thank retiring board members Alma Dean and Lee Massey for their service over the past two years.

New FNPS (state office) phone number: 561-562-1598. This is also the fax number. Amy Mott, the new FNPS Administrative Services contractor, will help you with whatever you need. But remember that she is not a full-time employee, so please leave a message and be patient.

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OTHER EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Native Plant Workshop. 3rd Tuesdays (April 17) at Bill Sadowski Park, 1/2 mile west of Old Cutler Road on SW 176 Street. Call Steve Woodmansee at 305-247-6547 or Roger Hammer at 305-242-7688 or more information.

Baynanza. Events, concerts, field trips and volunteer activities throughout April and early May. (or call 305-372-6760). "Bay Bash" 2001 at The Deering Estate at Cutler, April 21-22. Environmental exhibits (including DCFNPS), recreation, tropical food, arts and crafts. Regular park entrance ($7 adults, $3 children under 16). Baynanza Bay Cleanup (Apr.21) volunteers enter Bay Bash free in their official t-shirts. Also try out a trip to Elliot Key (Apr. 29), Wildlife Weekend at the Museum of Science (Apr. 28-29), Earth Day in Little Havana (Apr. 28), Field Day and Weed Toss at Cape Florida (Apr.22) and lots more. Home Chemical Collection, May 5, 8:30 - 4:00, at MDCC North, MDCC South and the collection center at 8831 NW 58 St.

Miami Blue Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association: Monday, May 7.  Social time at 7:30 p.m., program at 8 p.m.. Doc Thomas House, 5530 Sunset Dr. (Tropical Audubon Society).  Note: The April meeting was canceled. Please reconfirm the schedule and topic with Robert Kelley 305-666-9246, RKelley@math.miami.edu.

GreenSweep Volunteer Workdays in the Keys. Sponsored by The Nature Conservancy: May 5, scout camps on West Summerland Key. Call 305-289-9060 for details.

The Deering Estate at Cutler Lecture Series. Thursdays, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Admission $5. Call 305-235-1668, ext. 242 to reconfirm this schedule. April 12: Miami-Dade County's Prohibited Plant Species Ordinance (Joy Klein, DERM); April 19: Why Nature Needs a Helping Hand — the Importance of Preservation and Restoration (Sandra Vardaman, Martin Co. Env. Lands Program); April 26: Restoration of South Florida's Native Plant Heritage (George Gann, Institute for Regional Conservation).

Key West Botanical Garden restoration plan community workshop, Monday, April 23, 1-5 PM. Help develop the vision of the Garden in 2006. RSVP by April 11 to Carolann Sharkley, 305-296-1504 or kwbgs@aol.com.

Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Dept Natural Areas Management Volunteer Work Days and Walks. 9 a.m. to noon. Please call 305-257-0933 for details. Workdays: April 14-Hattie Bauer Hammock, formerly Orchid Jungle (SW 267 Street and SW 157 Avenue).

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SONGBIRD DECLINE MAY BE LINKED TO NON-NATIVE SHRUBS

From the December, 1999, issue of Conservation Biology, the Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology.

New evidence suggests that the decline of songbirds is linked to the rise of non-native plants. Birds that nest in non-native plants lose more eggs to raccoons and other predators, according to research presented in the December issue of Conservation Biology. "Here is an ecological trap if there ever was one!" says Christopher Whelan of the Illinois Natural History Survey in Wilmington, Illinois, who co-authored the study with Kenneth Schmidt of the Department of Biology at the University of Memphis. Non-native shrubs are widespread through the Midwest and East Coast. "Introduced honeysuckle and buckthorn can dominate the understories of forest preserves, particularly small, fragmented preserves surrounded by urban sprawl," says Schmidt. Schmidt and Whelan studied nest predation of American robins and wood thrushes in a 500-acre deciduous woodland preserve near Chicago for six years. There, non-native shrubs have largely replaced the native shrubs where the songbirds once nested: honeysuckle has replaced arrowwood and buckthorn has replaced hawthorn. Schmidt and Whelan found that predation of both robin and thrush nests was higher in the non-native shrubs than in the native shrubs and trees. The researchers suggest that this increase is partly due to physical differences between the native and non-native shrubs. Buckthorn lacks hawthorn's sharp thorns, which could deter mammalian predators. Honeysuckle has sturdier branches, which could both help predators climb higher and support nests closer to the ground, where they are more accessible to predators. Wood thrushes built about half their nests in exotic shrubs. During the study period, the number of robins nesting in honeysuckle increased six-fold (from 5% to more than 30%). The researchers suggest that honeysuckle is an attractive nesting site because it sometimes leafs out before the native shrubs. The good news is that solving the non-native shrub problem could also help solve the songbird problem. The bad news is that removing exotic shrubs and restoring natives will be a big job. But the longer we wait, the worse the problem will grow. For more information, contact Kenneth Schmidt (901-678-4408, Caracal7@aol.com), or Christopher Whelan (815-476-3134, virens@attglobal.net). PHOTOS in slide format of thrushes and robins nesting in exotic plants are available from Kenneth Schmidt

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2001 FNPS ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Diversity and Development: Striking a Balance
The 21st Annual Conference of the
Florida Native Plant Society

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. — Aldo Leopold

Thursday - Sunday, May 10 - 13, 2001
Westin Innisbrook Resort, Palm Harbor

Hosted by the Pinellas Chapter of FNPS
727-544-7341 /www.fnps.org /jbuhrman@aol.com

Call for papers, posters. Please respond with title and one-line description by November 14. Abstracts due by January 26. Notification of acceptance by February 15. Please contact Judith Buhrman for more information: jbuhrman@aol.com or (727)-398-3799, or 6123 113 St. #504, Seminole, FL 33772.

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KEY CONTACTS FOR DCFNPS:

General information and memberships: 305-255-6404

Contact in the Keys: Jim Duquesnel at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (305-451-1202)

President: Keith Bradley (305-247-6547)

Vice President and Dade refreshment coordinator: Carrie Cleland (305-661-9023)

DCFNPS e-mail: DadeChFNPS@juno.com

DCFNPS Web page: http://www.fnps.org/dade/

Webmaster: Greg Ballinger

FNPS Web Page: http://www.fnps.org/

Tillandsia editors: Patty Phares (305-255-6404 or pphares@mindspring.com) and Jeff Wasielewski

© 1999-2001 Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society, Inc.

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