Field of Science

An Ecotourism Vacation

The end of the school year has me thinking about summer vacations and I have just added a new location to my vacation wish list. The Cape Horn region of southern Chile and Argentina sounds like an amazing place to visit! The area has high levels of bryophyte diversity and a beautiful landscape of waterways and islands. Unfortunately my summer vacation plans do not include the Cape Horn this year. Instead I have been reading a book all about ecotourism of the miniature forests and imagining myself there. 

Miniature Forests of Cape Horn: Ecotourism with a Hand Lens (2012) by Bernard Goffinet, Ricardo Rozzi, Lily Lewis, William Buck, and Francisca Massardo.

This book makes it easy to imagine you are far away in the Cape Horn. There are many full color photos of the landscape and a up close photos of the plants. They also identify the many species of mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichen that live in the Cape Horn region. The book has text in both English and Spanish, as you can tell from the cover. 

For some of the species they describe interesting structures, such as the lamellae on the leaves of the Polytrichaceae.

For others, cool interactions, such as the flies that are attracted to moss capsules and disperse the sticky spores are featured.

Overall I think that it is a great book. I may be a little biased since I know two of the authors quite well (Goffinet was my PhD advisor and Lewis was my labmate at the University of Connecticut). I think that the book is a great outreach tool and I hope that many people will take them up on visiting the area to see the amazing miniature plants.