Pollinator Party

Pollinators are essential for humans’ way of life and for the stability of nearly our entire ecosystem. They perform an essential portion of the reproduction cycle of modern flowering plants. While pollen-producing plants have been around for approximately 250 million years, flowering plants and their co-evolved pollinators have only been around for the last 100 million. Beginning with just a few plants species adapting to rouge beetles, there now more than 300,000 known species of pollinator-dependent plants. Pollinators themselves have also exploded with diversity over the past 100 million years. There are an estimated 16,000 species of bees alone, and each one participates in pollination.

Invasive Plants

Invasive species pose a serious threat to the ecosystem balance of Pennsylvania. Invasives usually out-compete native plants in the same environmental conditions. This is mostly because the natural controls that keep the invasive species in check in their native ranges are not present in our environment. Secondarily, they often have wide-ranging effects over simply crowding out native plants. Invasive species “green up“ earlier than native species and also hold leaves and fruit longer in the growing season, making them highly competitive to natives. Many invasive plants are also unpalatable to native species that need to eat plants, notably white-tailed deer. For example in areas where Japan

Marvelous Mammals

Mammals represent a fun clade of organisms. You and I belong to this group mostly due to our fur and babies, though scientifically it has more to do with the shape of our skulls. This, among a litany of other reasons, is why a coconut is not a mammal despite its fur and milk. We belong to a group of animals called synapsids, a linage dating back to over 300 million years when the first members of this group evolved holes in their skulls behind their eyes, letting all of our relatives bite down with a good deal of force. Mammals are tremendously good at just about everything, a key factor to why they are the dominant terrestrial group in many ecosystems today. There are the highly successful

Flower Power

Spring time is synonymous with flowers. The smaller spring-time plants produce a tremendous variety of colors, shapes, and textures within the span of a few weeks. These plants thrive in the period after things begin to warm up, protecting the plants from frost damage, and before the forest canopy fully develops, shading them out. Often seeds have been waiting since the prior spring for the right conditions to sprout and continue their life-cycles. Native varieties of flowers offer an impressive portfolio of benefits to the native pollinators that have co-evolved with them. These native plants often bloom in succession, allowing for food to remain plentiful for the pollinators that depend on

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The mission of ClearWater Conservancy is to conserve and restore our natural resources through land conservation, water resources stewardship, and environmental outreach across central Pennsylvania.

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State College, PA 16803

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ClearWater Conservancy is a nonprofit organization. All material on this website is © ClearWater Conservancy.
 

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