Wilfrid Laurier Herbarium (Biology)
Field work in Sierra of Manantlan, Jalisco, Mexico
I had the chance to visit and explore this incredible place through the field excursion offered at the end of the Mexican Congress of Botany held in Guadalajara in November 2010. It was one of the best I have ever had! The trip was impeccably organized and everything went on without a hitch. Food and accommodations were great considering the inaccessibility and remoteness of the place. My special thanks go to Francisco Javier Santana Michel, who accompanied us, and to his collaborators who put up together a great excursion guide:
Santana Michel, F.J., Solís Magallanes, J.A., Hernández, L.G., Núñez Lopez, N.M., Sánchez Rodríguez, E.V., Cuevas Guzmán, R. 2010. Guía de excursion botánica a Sierra de Mananantlán. Autlán-Estación Científica Las Joyas. Pp. 144-168 in Guías de las excurciones botánicas en Jalisco. XVIII Congreso Mexicano de Botanica.
I will not dwell on data about the biosphere reserve and the station because there is already a lot of information available about these (please go here for more info). It is suffice to mention that the area boasts an extraordinary variety of plant communities, ranging from cloud forests to temperate (sierra) grasslands. There are ca. 3000 species of plants with a high incidence of endemisms. Sierra of Manantlan is famous for the wild relatives of maize - the "teosintes" Zea diploperennis and Z. mays subsp. parviglumis, and of beans - Phaseolus coccineus and P. vulgaris. Even during such a short visit, I discovered there Cuscuta ortegana, a very rare species species that is new record for the state of Jalisco.
I enjoyed my role as the “only gringo” in our small colorful group composed of professors and students, all plants and nature enthusiasts. Thank you everyone for a wonderful time and a great memory!