If you are joining us this weekend for one of our Saturday seminars (The Inca and Machu Picchu or War of the Roses: Cousins, Conflicts, and the Crown) or a studio arts class (Off the Wall Assemblage, Fabric Printing with Natural Materials, Palestinian Embroidery 101 or Celebrating Bob Ross's Joy of Painting), make sure to take a moment to check out this Smithsonian Gardens exhibit at the Ripley Center!
Smithsonian Gardens Habitat exhibit is not only outside in our gardens, but also extends inside the museums. Down in the Ripley Center you can find our Habitat exhibit "Biomes: Life in the Balance," all about Earth's distinct ecological regions.
The aquatic biome is the largest biome on the planet, covering nearly 75% of the earth’s surface. Plants and animals in an aquatic biome have, in general, adapted to survive in either freshwater or saltwater based on their tolerance to varying salt levels.
Smooth cordgrass, found in the Chesapeake Bay’s saltwater marshes, provides a home for many creatures, including marsh periwinkle snails. These tiny creatures climb the tall grass to escape high tide and predators such as crabs and fish.
Crabs help keep the population of Marsh Periwinkles in check. When the Blue Crab is overfished, the number of snails explodes. The snails, in turn, overfeed on the marsh grasses, disrupting the delicate ecological balance of the ecosystem.