Our last attempt at hosting this “inside look” at The New York Botanical Garden‘s Science campus was rained out by a certain tropical storm (we’re looking at you Irene), so we’re trying again. And this time we’re making it even bigger and better than before!
The Science Open House weekend will be held in conjunction with the second Thain Family Forest Dedication festival weekend, which means there will be a ton of fun activities for the whole family! Start inside with a look at the beautiful Pfizer Plant Research Laboratory, then explore the fascinating William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, and finally, listen to Garden scientists talk about their forest-based research. Then head outside and enjoy the beauties of fall in the Garden’s historic, 50-acre Thain Family Forest: take an expert-led nature walk, canoe down the Bronx River and learn about its wildlife, climb a tree with an arborist, and so much more. The Garden is never the same two days in a row, so come spend a day in one of the world’s greatest urban gardens, The New York Botanical Garden!
A display of kiku, the mesmerizing art of trained Japanese chrysanthemums, will join Fall Flowers of Japan in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory on October 5! In anticipation, we’re taking an in-depth look at these fascinating flowers.
A dazzling display of kiku will join Fall Flowers of Japan in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory beginning October 5. Don’t miss these magnificent Japanese chrysanthemums trained to grow in a mesmerizing variety of shapes and styles. In anticipation, we’re taking an in-depth look at these fascinating flowers.
Beginning October 5, Fall Flowers of Japan will feature a dazzling display of kiku in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory! Don’t miss these magnificent Japanese chrysanthemums trained to grow in a mesmerizing variety of shapes and styles. In anticipation, we’re taking an in-depth look at these fascinating flowers.
Many people think of June as the month for roses. And while it’s true for many, here at The New York Botanical Garden we generally have two peak seasons for our roses. They first come into their glory in late-May, with both the repeat flowering roses and the one-time blooming old-fashioned types exploding with color and fragrance throughout June.
The repeat blooming roses take charge for the rest of the season; some of them flowering almost continuously, while others take a four to six week hiatus before re-flowering.
We expect a lot from the roses in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden so we pamper them as much as possible. They are fed multiple times during the growing season with an organic rose fertilizer in April, again in late June immediately following flower, and one more time in early August. Compost tea is used as an additional foliar feed throughout the season.
Cow manure and Epsom salts are added to soil in the spring, and compost and worm castings are added later in the season to create a fertile growing environment. A loyal troop of volunteers come to the Garden every week, and under the careful supervision of the Rose Garden Curator, Peter Kukielski, they weed, deadhead, mulch, water, and fertilize the flowers in this beautiful, historical garden.
Manisha Sashital, a student in Environmental Engineering and Environmental Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, worked on a botanical glossary under the supervision of Dr. Mori at the Garden this summer. As part of her internship she prepared a cartoon illustrating the relationship between photosynthesis and respiration.
Scott A. Mori has been studying New World rain forest plants for The New York Botanical Garden for over 35 years. His interest in tropical forests as carbon sinks have been stimulated by his studies of trees in old growth tropical forests.
Global warming has become one of the planet’s deadliest threats. Since the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide concentrations have risen from 280 ppm to nearly 390 ppm, with the potential to reach 550 ppm by 2050 if carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion are not controlled. The earth has experienced major warming three times; but the Cretaceous warming period took place over millions of years and the Paleocene/Eocene warming happened over thousands of years. In contrast, today’s temperature changes are happening over decades. As a result, many species, perhaps even humans, may not be able to adapt to such rapid and high increases in temperature. One concern that is generally unknown to the public is that photosynthesis, the source of energy for nearly all organisms on the planet, shuts down at around 104° F. Mankind’s extreme disruption of the carbon cycle is causing and will continue to cause serious consequences for life on earth.
Carbon dioxide levels contribute to global warming through the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases trap radiation from the sun in the atmosphere, which causes global temperatures to rise because the radiation is not reflected back out of the atmosphere. The reason for today’s increased atmospheric carbon levels can be attributed to the combustion of fuels used for the production of electricity and in transportation, both of which are essential to modern societies; as well as to cutting and burning forests throughout the world. Since there is no precedent for the rapidity of current temperature increases, it is impossible for humans to predict which areas of the world will be affected and at what magnitude. The unpredictability of global warming makes it an especially serious environmental problem.
Rain forests as well as other vegetation types play an important role in reducing the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Annually, plants in tropical rain forests around the world take in millions of tons of carbon dioxide and release millions of tons of oxygen through photosynthesis, and this balances the respiration of microbes, plants, and animals, which take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. As seen in the accompanying cartoon, plants take in carbon dioxide and water and use the energy of the sun to create carbohydrates that are, in turn, oxidized to produce the energy needed for plants to sustain themselves. The carbohydrates are also the building blocks plants use to make leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits. Oxygen, the byproduct of respiration, is used by organisms to break down ingested carbohydrates to produce the energy needed for them to grow and reproduce. Mankind’s extreme disruption of the carbon cycle is and will continue to have serious consequences for life on earth.