A group of biologists, all collaborators of Katalapi Park, led by Dr Alfredo Saldaña, just published a paper in the journal Ecological Research 25: 273–281 (2010), explaining the habitat breath with respect to light of three species of ferns of the Chilean evergreen temperate rain forest. The studied ferns are Blechnum magellanicum (Katalapi), B. mochaenum, and B. pennamarina. The adjustment and functioning of the photosynthetic apparatus appears to be an important acclimation mechanism of the Katalapi fern, which allows it to use a wide breath of light habitat. In turn, B. mochaenum and B pennamarina, that live under the canopy and sun, respectively, show little, if any, acclimation capacity of the photosynthetic apparatus. This is the first in depth study of photosynthetic properties of these ferns
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With the opportunity to apply outdoor environmental education activities designed by themselves, teachers studying the Master´s in Education program at the Universidad de la Frontera (UFRO) spent an active weekend in Parque Katalapi. The visit to the park was focused on implementing activities that were fun, hands-on, and instructive, designed by the participating teachers, in such a way as to meet high standards of educational quality and specific environmental education objectives.
With an admirably positive attitude of enjoyment in the face of pouring rain, teachers laughed and learned with games and activities such as “The Question-Asking Trail”, “Pumas and Huemules”, “Environemntal Detectives”, “In Search of Biodiversity”, “The Forest is an Erosion Barrier”(Picture), and “Let´s Plant a Tree”.
“Emerald Mushroom” found in Katalapi Park
While walking the park´s trails, the teachers discovered the “Emerald Mushroom” (Entoloma necopinatum), which caught their eye due to its green color. They felt privileged to learn that they thus become some of the select few people on Earth that have seen this elusive and scarce fungus. The species was found and described for the first time in 1977, in the outskirts of Osorno, by the renown Austrian mycologist Dr. Egon Horak. It was never collected again until the year 2007, this time in Katalapi Park by the same Dr. Horak, accompanied by Dr. Goetz Pfalmer, from the University of Concepción. Since then, it had not been seen again. The chemical structure of the compound that gives it its green color is unknown. It is an endemic fungus to the temperate rainforests of southern Chile. According to Dr. Pfalmer, E. necopinatum is the only Chilean green mushroom
As it is now traditional, the VI Colloquium on Plant Ecophysiology will take place from January 15-17, 2011 in Katalapi Park. Outstanding scientists from Chile and abroad attend to this meeting. The preliminary progran, which includes lectures, scientific presentations, round table discussions, and other scientific and social activities that promote dialoge among scientists, will be released by September 2010. The cost of registration is US$100 for researchers and US$60 for students. This amount includes food and lodging from dinner on January 15 to lunch on January 17. Those interested in attending to this Colloquium should contact Dr. Luis J. Corcuera (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Twelve teachers from nine rural schools from the nearby Alerce Andino National Park and Ll anquihue Natural Reserve participated in a training workshop on Environmental Education and validation of didactic resources. This workshop took place in Katalapi Park on March 20 2010, as part of the activities of the GEF SIRAP project, that deals with conservation of the evergreen forest of the area.. GEF SIRAP project officers and representavives from the Provincial Direction of Education were also present in tghe workshop.
During the jouney, teachers participated in educational dynamics in the classroom and outdoors. They also discussed about learning achievements, and evaluated pertinente and quality of the teaching material developed by the Katalapi team. The teachers received several educational resources such as the game Animal Recue and field guides for the identification of native trees and shrubs from Chile developed by the GEF-SIRAP project. All attendants thought that the exercises materials were easy to use and that they would be of great help for the Environmental Education and digital alfabetization of their students. They committed themselves to share their entusiasm with other teachers from their respective schools and to fully use the educational resources with their students. It was a nice and intensive workshop that ended with a typical dinner (curanto en olla) to increase their frienship and future cooperation.
The Chilean Council for Culture and Arts (FONDART) granted the funds to produce a short animated movie on huemuls during 2010. Katalapi Park Director of Environmental Education will be in charge of the production. The movie tells the story Yekal, a young male huemul. Yakal is part of a small population of huemuls that inhabit the area of Nevados de Chillán. Due to high inbreeding and habitat destruction they are likely to become extinct. Yekal must travel far away to Torres del Paine to find a young female. In addition to the difficulties imposed by nature, those derived from human activities are a formidable challenge to overcome. Yekal finally succeeds with the help of a friend condor.