Plants and Their Neighbors: a Community Context

posted Dec 10, 2012, 2:04 PM by Marty Nielsen   [ updated Dec 17, 2012, 7:41 PM ]
The Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society announces its
2013 year-long program - "Celebrating the Natural Communities of Virginia".

Save the date for the first lecture of 2013:  "Plants and Their Neighbors: a Community Context"

Charles Smith, Manager of the Natural Resources Management and Protection
Branch of the Fairfax County Park Authority, will inaugurate the year-long
program with an exploration of the ecological role of plant communities.

When: January 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Where: Green Spring Gardens

Virginia possesses an extraordinary wealth of ecological communities--from
maritime forests of the coast to spruce forests and shale barrens in the
mountains. In 2013, we will celebrate and explore this unique ecological
diversity through a series of lectures and field trips.

Following is some background to highlight the inspiration for this year's
program, excerpted from the recently published Flora of Virginia, p. 24.
"The Nature of the Virginia Flora", by Gary Fleming:

The flora treated in the book is the product of geological, climatic, and
biological factors interacting over time on Virginia's landscape. . . . A
basic understanding of [these influences] is essential to developing a
deeper appreciation of the diverse plant habitats., vegetation, and species
distributions in the state. Why certain plants grow where they do and how
they came to occupy those habitats are topics of great interest . . .
[Virginia's] flora contains substantial groups of species with affiliations
to northern regions, the Southeast, the Midwest, and endemic habitats of the
Appalachians, as well as many distinctive within-state distribution

Stretching east to west from the Atlantic Ocean well into the Appalachian
Mountains, Virginia spans 5 of the more than 20 major physiographic
provinces defined for North America (Fenneman 1938)-Coastal Plain, Piedmont,
Blue Ridge, Ridge and Valley, and Appalachian Plateaus-making it one of the
most topographically diverse states in the East. Virginia's considerable
latitudinal range (36°30' N-39°30' N), vertical relief (sea level to 1746 m
[5279 ft]), and variety of geological settings contribute to a significantly
wide range of landforms, soils, and microclimates supporting correspondingly
diverse vegetation and flora.