Why are plants so colorful in fall? It may be entirely accidental, or there may be some advantages. Some research suggests that the colors other than green we see in autumn plants may be related to compounds which have important functions in plant physiology in the waning sunlight; other researchers believe that the brighter colored trees may warn away egg laying insects. Although the declining day length is the overall governing factor for our autumn displays, there are other factors which can either increase or decrease the display. In each class meeting, we’ll take about a half hour to discuss one of five different aspects of fall color, from the nature of the phenomenon to the colors themselves. Weather permitting, we’ll take an hour’s walk around to observe the procession of fall colors in plants from herbaceous plants to tall trees.
GROUP LEADER: Joe Choiniere is Mass Audubon’s Central Sanctuaries Property Manager, dividing time between Worcester’s Broad Meadow Brook Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary and Princeton’s Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary. He has worked for Mass Audubon since 1975 at various sites and in different capacities, serving as Property Manager at Laughing Brook in Hampden, MA and Sanctuary Director at Wachusett Meadow. Joe is a lifelong naturalist and has a B.S. in Natural History from UMass.
NO REQUIRED BOOKS
**Please note this class is 4 sessions only starting 9/26/18
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)
Assumption College, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609