Protea obtusifolia in the De Hoop Nature Reserve,Western Cape,
Photograph by Kent Holsinger
Click on the image for a high-resolution image in a new window.
#dimensionsZA is the hashtag I'll be using for posts I make to Twitter while I'm in South Africa for fieldwork on our Dimensions of Biodiversity
project. My plane leaves Bradley this afternoon, and after stops in Philadelphia and Amsterdam, I'll arrive in Johannesburg Monday night (Monday afternoon East Coast time). One post-doc will be traveling with me, and we'll meet another post-doc, her husband, and her brother when we arrive. We'll spend a couple of weeks in Mpalunga and Kwa-Zulu Natal collecting both Protea and Pelargonium before moving to Capetown for work in the experimental gardens, participation in the annual Fynbos Forum
(in Cape St. Elizabeth this year), and work in the Kogelberg
and De Hoop.1
I'll try to make a few blog posts while I'm there, but Internet access is liable to be a bit spotty, and even when it's not, I'll be spending nearly all of my computer time updating spreadsheets with data.
So if you want to see what the Protea team is up to while I'm in the field, you can either follow me on Twitter (@keholsinger
) or follow the #dimensionsZA hashtag.
Our work isn't organized the same way as it was last year. Last year we had a community team based in Baviaanskloof
, and the Protea
teams traveled and worked together the whole time we were in the field. This year the ecology team is sampling community diversity at several different sites in the western Cape, the Protea team is collecting both Protea
in Mpalunga and Kwa-Zulu Natal as well as collecting detailed trait data on some species we've studied before in the Kogelberg and De Hoop.
There will be two different Pelargonium
teams. One will collect detailed trait data similar to what we'll be collecting in the Kogelberg and De Hoop. Late in July, we'll overlap with them for a few days in Kogelberg. The other team will be traveling through parts of the Western Cape and Northern Cape collecting species of Pelargonium
that they weren't able to collect last year. Another Pelargonium team will return in late October and early November to collect taxa in the Eastern Cape, and one of the post-docs will stay in South Africa until then collecting additional data from the populations targeted for detailed trait measurements this July and August.2