Friday, February 02, 2007

Audubon South Carolina Advisory Board

The Audubon South Carolina (ASC) Advisory Board met today at the Francis Beidler Forest in Four Holes Swamp. The main topic of the meeting was ASC’s strategic plan, which will guide the organization over the next five years.

Prior to the meeting, ASC Executive Director Norman Brunswig took the board on a field trip to the recently planted Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) tract (see blog entry on Dec. 21, 2006 and Jan. 4, 2007). Along the edge of the property in the soggy remnants of an old road were several Red Pitcher Plants (Sarracenia rubra) shown in the image. These carnivorous plants attract insects into the rolled up leave by secreting a nectar-like substance. A waxy substance in the inner leaf makes the footing unstable and with downward pointing hairs it is nearly impossible for an insect to escape. A portion of the leaf acts as a lid to the tube-like portion, which prevents excess rain from falling into the tube and diluting the digestive secretions. Any insect falling into the digestive secretions diminishes the plant’s nutritional deficit, which is brought about by poor soils.

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