Very successful Botany Course
We are very grateful to Mark Wapstra and Fred Duncan for very enthusiastically delivering another Hobart series of field botany lectures and field trips. Once again the course was funded through our partnership with NRM South. A feature of the Hobart course was the wonderful hospitality from Mark, Lorelei and Emily, which was greatly appreciated by the keen group of volunteers who gathered to hear more on pattern and process in Tasmanian vegetation, and to practise applying various botanical keys both around the table and in the field.
We keyed out various eucalypts and acacias, and received valuable tips on graminoids, grasses, epacrids and other families (including filmy ferns). We also took first steps on becoming familiar with the esoteric terminology and careful interpretation of the allocasuarina key. Actually most of the keys involve becoming familiar with esoteric terminology, so it must be some measure of success that our trip to Mt Wellington saw us becoming more confident in the use of the Eucalypt key. Fred and Mark also assisted us in becoming more aware of eucalypt hybridisation groups as well as the differences and transitions in vegetation types, and the underlying geology.
The second trip, to the Waverley Flora Park in Bellerive, saw Mark helping us through the thorny issues of identifying vegetation types in smaller areas with high management inputs. This resulted in interesting discussions about succession and rates of change in intensively managed areas. We also looked at more eucalypts, sedge identification, some native grasses and geology. The Waverley Flora Park is recommended as a great place to visit for a wide diversity in a small area, and also a great place for orchid enthusiasts. We are all looking forward to our final trip to Peter Murrell in September.