Philippe Namour. Conference Organizer.
David Ahrens chatting with Tina and Colin
Clayton in the Orangerie.
The conference continued at the Salle Rameau, a 25minute
walk and subway ride from the Parc de la Tête d’Or.
The Salle Rameau is a quaint theatre a few blocks from place Terreaux, one
of the main public squares of Lyon.
The Friday afternoon session of the first day focused on Heliamphora.
Andreas Wistuba and Gert Hoogenstrijd gave travel logs of their
explorations of the tepuis of southern Venezuela and northern
Brazil. Andreas helicoptered to mountains that can't be visited
any other way. At some tepuis it is extremely
difficult to get around because of the extreme topography--one
sandstone plateau looked like a heavily crevassed glacier with
the plants at the bottom of the crevasses. Gert concentrated
on the local ecology and human impacts. Philippe Namour gave
a talk on the functional ecology of the Guyana Highlands and
Romauld Anfraix showed 3-D slides from Auyan Tepui.
The banquet was held Friday evening at the Lyon town hall
off place Terreaux. The Hôtel de Ville is a magnificent
building and tourist destination. The room we were in was
right out of pre-revolution France--very ornate. The dinner
was very elaborate finger food like the lunch. It made for
an interesting group dynamics. If you stood and talked too
long you could starve to death. So people would dive into the
crowd around the food tables, grab what food they could hold
(no plates), then find someone else to talk to until the tummy
alarm said to dive in and try the new batch of treats on the
tables. Excellent food. Excellent wine. Excellent deserts.
The second day of the conference kicked off with a keynote
lecture by Lebomir Adamec on his Aldrovanda introduction
projects in the Czech Republic. It was very interesting seeing
the year-to-year variation in the bog and plants. John Brittnacher
gave a talk on conservation of endangered Sarracenia species
in the south eastern USA. The talk was characterized as depressing
because the biggest issue for these species at the moment is
theft of plants. Romauld Anfraix showed slides from his trip
to see Nepenthes edwardsiana. Terre Golembiewski gave
us an update on her Weird, Wild, Wacky, and Wonderful World
of Carnivorous Plants workshop for children. The class is very
hands on with lots of activities to keep the children interested
and learning about the natural world. Francis Muller talked
about French bogs and Collette Vintejoux gave a very interesting
presentation of the ultrastructure and function of Utricularia digestive
After lunch on the second day, the conference continued with
a presentation by Siggi Hartmeyer of selections from his carnivorous
plant DVDs. Oliver Gluch gave a presentation on the Pinguicula of
the south eastern USA. Bartosz Plachno and Aline Raynal each
had fantastic photos and movies of Utricularia and Genlisea traps.
Some were scanning electron micrographs showing fine details,
others were movies attempting to show Utricularia traps
working. Even for the high speed cameras, the traps were too
fast, amazingly fast. Fabio D'Alessi's presentation was on
carnivorous plants growing on serpentine mountains in Newfoundland.
The rocky soil was too toxic for "normal" plants
but the carnivores looked extremely happy!
On Sunday the conference started out with Joachim Nerz giving
a presentation on the Nepenthes of Sumatra followed by
Heiko Rischer on the Asian mainland species. The variety was
amazing as well as the differences within the same species between
different locations. I was struck by the number of different Nepenthes species
that look like toilets. Joachim could have given a whole talk
on them in comparison with the various toilet styles used around
the world. Hua Yuejin showed a cute video produced by his
school in China of local Nepenthes and insects being trapped.
Laurence Gaume-Vail talked about the physical aspects of how
Nepenthes traps work. This included pictures showing how
wax in the traps works to keep insects from climbing out--it
gums up the hairs on their feet that allow them to walk on vertical
surfaces. Without any traction they fall into the trap. Hongqi
Li talked about fossils from Liaoning, China, that look like
squashed Heliamphora or Sarracenia.
In the afternoon Jan Schlauer talked about using "secondary"
plant compounds (quinones, terpenes, etc.) to aid in the classification
of carnivorous plants. Generally related plants produce similar
profiles of secondary compounds. Doug Darnowski talked about
tuberous Drosera forming tubers on their leaves and
other project he and his students are working on. Fabio D'Alessi
gave an impassioned talk about keeping detailed records and
labels of our species plants so that genetic variation can
be maintained. The conference at the Salle Rameau ended with
Romauld Anfraix again showing this 3D slides from 3-D slides
from Auyan Tepui.