19 September 2010

Posidonia Oceanica

It's amazing how time can fly by on the road. It seems that one minute I was still trying to gain more intimate access to the Castagno dei 100 Cavalli (which I did, albeit in the rain), and in the blink of an eye it's already my last day in Spain. 

In the past week I made four dives to different sites where the Posidonia Oceanica grows, the image here a rather shallow shot, showing off the beautiful color of the grass, and hinting at the expansive meadow. The grass extends all the way from Ibiza to Formentera, and was designated as a UNESCO world heritage site, even before its exceptional age was discovered. 

It was really interesting to watch the biologists at work, hear about the accidental discovery of the clone grass (analysis of the genome of shoots from well-separated plots proved identical), and to hear about the vital role of the meadow in the ecosystem - as well as the invasive species of algae that now endanger it. More details on all of this to come, and in the mean time, see them below, counting shoots of grass in special plots which they've been returning to for the past 10 years.

Tomorrow it's off to Crete, in search of what very well might be the world's oldest Olive tree.

1 comment:

S. Frederick said...

Very cool & interesting!