Substrate Associated Plants
Deep woods is located in the Eastern part of Ohio, and as seen in the Cedar Bog post eastern Ohio wasn’t plowed over by the glaciers so it remained hilly and the topography of the soil remained the same so the soil is more acidic. At the Deep Woods cite we were able to see some trees that only grow in the acidic Eastern Ohio.
Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum)
You can identify this plant by first making sure you’re in an environment that has acidic soil, the leaves are alternate, simple, and entire. Also if you are pretty sure that the plant you have is sourwood than you can take one of the leaves and chew on it and that’s where it gets it’s name from because it is sour. The tree has been used for many medicinal things but what it is most popular for is the honey that bees make from the flowers it is considered to be gourmet honey (Arbor Day Foundation (Sourwood))
Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Eastern Hemlock is a conifer that is found in acidic soils and it does a great job at creating covers to block the sun. You can identify eastern hemlock by the flat leaves, since it is not a pine the cones are produced in one year, also if you look under the leaves you’ll see two white lines on them. One interesting fact about eastern hemlock is that the bark of the tree was used to tan hides.
Biotic Threats to Forest Health
Chestnut blight only effects the American Chestnut trees there are Chinese chestnut trees that are not effected by the trees. We were able to see one of the Chinese chestnut trees at the entrance of the Deep Woods driveway with many thorny fruits. The chestnut blight has plagued and killed most of the American chestnut trees. The only remaining American chestnuts are usually just saplings that sprout from older American chestnuts that were killed by the blight. The saplings are living off of the carbon reserves of the mother tree but they also sucumb to the blight and will eventually die from the blight. The leaf pictured to the right came from such a sapling and we can see that it is already beginging to pass. Although it is all not bad news there is work being done to try to make a hybrid of the American and Chinese chestnuts to make the American chestnut live on.
Butternut Canker Disease
Butternut canker disease is a fungal disease and it was detected as early as 1967 in the United States. The disease can be seen mostly on large branches or the trunk. If many cankers are together then it will make it sunken and black with white around the edges. The cankers will cut off the supply of water and nutrients to anything above the disease and this creates die back. There isn’t a cure for the disease but if you are able to spot it early then you can cut off the infected branches. (University of Wisconsin-Madison-(Butternut Canker))
The Appalachian gametophyte is very rare because it should only be found in tropical environments, also it is one of few that reproduces asexually by gemmae. The gemmae are large and heavy so it relies on the wind to carry it over short distances and also by water; Kimmerer and Young observed a slug dispersing the gemmae. The reason why the gametophyte is so rare possibly has to do with the fact that it doesn’t spread very far. Although it is feasible that a sporophyte is responsible for the distribution of the gametophyte today, the distribution of the gametophyte in Southern New York suggests that after the Ice Age the gametophyte was no longer able to produce sporophytes. I don’t think that the gametophyte could be staying alive by a tropical fern because there would have to be a tropical fern nearby in order to reach the gametophyte and the gametophyte isn’t in a tropical environment. Also if there was a tropical sporophyte keeping the gametophyte alive then I don’t think that the gametophyte would continue to reproduce the way that it does.
Mosses with Sporophytes Scavenger Hunt
Four tooth Moss
Fern moss if called that because the leaves look like little ferns but it is actually a moss. The sporophytes are less abundant on this moss compared to the four tooth moss. The sporophytes are thin stalks that are above the rest of the moss, it also appears to be brown.