Printer Friendly

Redbud: rethinking plant conservation.

Redbud: Rethinking plant conservation

In the film "Citizen Kane," the word "rosebud" sums up a life gone astray. For biologist M. Kat Anderson of the University of California, Berkeley, the word "redbud" sums up a broadened concept of plant conservation.

Working in California's Sierra National Forest, Anderson has mimicked the efforts of the Southern Sierra Miwok, a native tribe, to cultivate a flowering shrub so that its branches can easily be woven into red-hued baskets. She found that the tribal practices of burning, pruning and drastically chopping back redbud plants not only stimulate the growth of younger, more pliant branches for basket weaving but also boost shrub survival. Fire, for example, can crack the tough redbud seed coat and provide the heat needed for germination, she notes.

These findings may explain the abundance of redbud growing near Miwok archaeological sites, Anderson says. She concludes that the Miwok approach exemplifies a mutually beneficial interplay between cultural practices and botanical conservation, suggesting conservationists could broaden their notion of species preservation to include such interplay.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Cowen, Ron
Publication:Science News
Date:Mar 31, 1990
Words:172
Previous Article:Amaizing gastronomy: sup on smut?
Next Article:The shocked state of superconductors.
Topics:


Related Articles
Planting some pride.
Setting priorities for conservation.
GARDENING : TROPICAL TREASURES MAKE WAY TO L.A.
T.O. OUT TO PROVE LOW-THIRST GARDEN CAN BE BEAUTIFUL.
GARDENING : EARLY SUMMER TURNS ATTENTION TO TREE TRUNKS.
IN THE GARDEN TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT THIS SPRING.
IN THE GARDEN REDBUD EQUALLY AT HOME IN CALIF., JERUSALEM.
Texas in her Own Words.
Plant a famous tree.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters