Sept. 26th, 2018 Lab Field Trip
We took a lab field trip to see purple flowered lupine and Mimulus cardinals. We drove to Mt. Tamalpais followed by a trip to Stinson Beach and down the coast. Mount Tamalpais was supposed to have the red flowering Mimulus cardinals along wet water ways. Stinson Beach Coastal Cliffs are the environment of the purple flowered lupines.
Unfortunately, we were not able to find a flowering plant of Mimulus cardinals (we did find the plant, just not flowering). On the hike down to the water, it was noted that it would be extremely difficult for populations to share genomic information due to the sheer cliffs and hills. As the Mimulus cardinals is pollinated by humming birds, it is hard to imagine a humming bird being able to fly such long uphill distances between the different populations. This leads to geographic isolation that may seem small, but has a large effect on the Mimulus cardinals. We also discussed one of the oak tree family trees that was severely suffering from the fungal disease “sudden oak death.” The trees have very little genomic diversity leaving their population extremely susceptible to this disease. This is an issue with losing genetic diversity within a population because individuals do not have the possibility of diversity that may be needed to fight off pathogens.
On our search for the purple flowered lupine, we traveled closer to the coast near Stinson Beach. There were many plants in the area, but less flowers. As a self pollinating population, they appeared to be thriving even in the harsh winds of the coast line. The plant had almost soft looking leaves and a green color that was different from the other foliage present. In the areas of the lupine, many fennel plants were often present giving off their strong licorice smell. Mt. Tamalpais (looking for Mimulus cardinals)
Creek where populations of Mimulus cardinals would be found