Colorado Native Plant Society will host a lecture by Lauren Bansbach on rare and endemic plants of the San Juan Basin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College.
The San Juan Basin is home to several rare and endemic plant species that occur nowhere else on Earth. Because of outstanding biodiversity and unique geology, this region is considered a priority area for conservation and study.
Bansbach will explore ecological stories of four plant species endemic to the badlands and rimrock of the San Juan Basin: Aztec gilia, Brack’s hardwall cactus, Mesa Verde cactus and Mancos milkvetch. Topics to be explored include long-term demographic trend monitoring, plant relationships with insects and soils, and conservation opportunities.
Bansbach is a rare plant botanist with the Bureau of Land Management in Santa Fe. She has a master’s degree in biology from the University of New Mexico where she studied ponderosa pine seedling physiology after severe wildfire.