|Pitcherplant established on Wedholme Flow, Cumbria|
Image: Kevin Walker
In NJB 4.1, you can read a paper by Kevin Walker, BSBI's Head of Science, on Pitcherplant Sarracenia purpurea subsp. purpurea. These showy, North American carnivorous plants have been deliberately planted on lowland bogs and mires throughout Britain and Ireland since the late nineteenth century.
|Pitcherplant established on Lower Hyde Bog, Dorset|
Image: David Bird
"Where plants occur at high density, these impacts have included the displacement of Sphagnum and associated flora, most notably epiphytic liverworts. Many small populations have been successfully removed by hand but, on larger sites, significant regeneration has occurred from juveniles and the seed-bank. The relative effectiveness of other control measures (e.g. chemical treatment, turf-stripping) is currently under investigation".
Wedholme Flow, Cumbria, 2006
Image: Colin Auld
Although Kevin, as Head of Science, is at the helm on BSBI research projects, often in collaboration with partner organisations, and is also responsible for liaising with external/statutory bodies, don't assume that he spends all his time behind a desk!
Kevin has carried out field-based research on a number of species across Britain and Ireland during his seven years in post so far, and observes "I couldn’t have done any of this work without the records that BSBI recorders provide as well as their intimate knowledge of these species ‘on the ground’. Pitcherplant is a good example of where we’ve been able to call upon this expert knowledge base to build up a clear picture of what impact the species is having at a national scale."