Grab your shovels because today we are heading underground to talk about soils. Joining us on this adventure is my friend and labmate Ron Salemme. Ron studies soil carbon cycling in the context of invasive plants and prescribed fire. In doing so, he works at the interface between plants and the soil environment where we are only just beginning to understand some of the most important processes on our planet. From dying microbes to plant exudates, Ron's work is helping us form a more complete picture of the role soil plays in storing carbon. This episode was produced in part by Brandon, Hall, Vegreville Creek and Wetlands Fund, Kevin, Oliver, John, Johansson, Christina, Jared, Hannah, Katy Pye, Brandon, Gwen, Carly, Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, Clifton, Stephanie, Rachelle, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Plant By Design, Philip, Brent, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.
Today we are joined by botanist and orchid fanatic Adrienne Bozic to talk about how she turned a life long obsession with orchids into a career in trying to protect them. Mt Cuba Center is helping her do just that. Together with a team of citizen scientists, Mt. Cuba Center's orchid conservation efforts are serving as a model for other organizations and communities to work together to protect North America's terrestrial orchid species. This episode was produced in part by: Clifton, Stephanie, Rachelle, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Tim, Philip, Lisa, Brent, Leticia, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Mountain Misery Farms, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.
The soils beneath our feet comprise a complex ecosystem in and of themselves. Soils support literally every major ecosystem on this planet. Despite all of this, they are largely ignored. Even worse, we continually degrade them without a care in the world. Their degradation is what inspired author Paul Bogard (The End of Night) to write his latest contribution to the world of science communication. Join us for a fascinating discussion about his new book The Ground Beneath Us. Mark, Allen, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Bryan, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, Manuel, Daniel, John, Rosanna, and Mary Jane.
These plants don't worry about soil, they make their own! Because so many species in the tropics grow either epiphytically or in nutrient poor soil, some of them have turned to alternative solutions. Their anatomy is such that they collect everything from dead leaves to bird droppings. A diverse community of soil microbes and invertebrates can then go to work to create nutrient rich humus. What's more, litter trapping abilities can be found in plants as distantly related as ferns and orchids! Join me for an interesting discussion with Dr. Scott Zona, the curator of Florida International University's Werthheim Conservatory to talk about his work finding and describing litter trapping plants. This is one discussion you don't want to miss.
Music by Moneycat