“Deep Woods, the Appalachian Gametophyte, and Ohio Geobotany.”

My assignment that I need to do is about find two species of lichen which has different growth form stages. I found those lichens from rocks, trees, cave, ground of mountain in southeastern Ohio in Deep Woods Preserve which is located in Hocking Hills, Ohio. Lichens are high mountain dwellers and arctic survivors. They can survive in cold spots such as mountains or such as the arctic area. According to the wikipedia about lichens, lichen’s shapes are usually determined by fungal filaments organization. Lichens occur from sea level to high elevations with many environmental conditions and can grow almost everywhere surface. Most interesting one of lichens, they have different growth forms; I found shrubby, leafy and crusty! Simplest lichens are crusts of loosely mixed fungal hyphae and algae. Others are complex than simple one which are leafy and shrubby forms like miniature trees also having specialized structures to attach them to the surface.


These leafy lichens are founded on a tree during hiking deep woods.

Below three photos are for Lichens which grows crust coating the rock so growth form is crustose. I found in the cave in the deep woods. But few of lichens seems leafy.

Below those 4 photos were taken during hiking for lichens. Found in the wet ground. Those lichens are shrubby lichen.

Those below photos are acidic sandstone plants that I was able to observe in Deep woods preserve in Hocking hills in eastern Ohio. Those plants are unique due to geologically characteristics.

Appalachian gametophyte
(Vittaria appalachiana)

According to the journal by Donald R, this fern was first recognized as the gametophyte of a fern. It’s a common and conspicuous though often unrecognized component of vegetation of cool, moist, heavily shaded outcroppings of rock. This fern stays in the gametophyte phase during its’ life cycle. As i mentioned above, it was found in surface of a cave in Deep Woods of hocking hills which locates southeastern Ohio. It was in moist areas where sandstone is prominent. Leaves are colored green and flat.


Fan clubmoss (Diphasiastrum digitatum)

This plants is most common clubmoss species which has common name as “ground cedar”. They have horizontal stems run above the ground in the leaf litter. Habitats include upland woodlands, sandstone cliffs, bluffs and abandoned sandy fields.


Sourwood (Oxydendrum Arboreum)

Sourwood is a native, deciduous tree that grows about 50-60 ft. Leaves are alternately arranged and simple. Sourwood was found in Deep Wood also and interesting thing is it tastes acidic taste like its name. They bloom white colored from June to July. They grow in acidic, moist, well-drained soils and commonly found on rocky wooded slopes.


Lady’s Thumb <Polygonaceae>

This plant was called “Persicaria maculosa” as a scientific name and was found during hiking of deep woods. Leaves are alternate, smaller than other plants and each leaf has a short petiole. Flowers are clustered with pink to deep purple color.


Tribute to Jane Forsyth’s “Linking Geology and Botany: a new approach”

Geological aspects of Ohio can be divided into two parts; western side and eastern side. Eastern side of Ohio is consists of steep-sloping hills, deep valleys. However Western side was opposite of Eastern side characteristics which is flat. Eastern side is very flat landscape with limestone rocks. Those different substrate compositions characteristics are due to glacier in the past. Eastern side is flat and western side is hilly. Eastern side of Ohio have low acidity, high aeration, dry substrate however on the other land Western side of Ohio have poor drainage, low PH, limey substrate. Those characteristics lead unique landscape and botanical characteristics. The reason why is for example, in eastern Ohio part, you are able to see trees and shrubs such as hemlocks, sourwood, chestnut oak. In western part of Ohio you are able to see hawthorn, redbud and etc.




Marsh, Prairie and Fen


The marsh that I visited along Darby Creek Drive. After I arrived there i walked along that area which has soft, dry ground with full of sunshine. That place was consisted of broad plain fields with sedges, grasses several flowers and etc. Common plants are willows, cattail (Typha), cottonwood, American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) and etc.

The picture below are American Sycamore and cattail found in the marsh. American sycamore has massive trunk, huge branches. Leaves looks broad, maple-shaped with colored darkish green, alternate leaf arrangement and blade often wider than long. I could found several American sycamore edge of marsh path. Below American sycamore photo, i found cattails also. Cattails have flat blade like leaves that reach heights around 4-10 ft. They have unique flowering spike and leaves are flat, linear. I could see those plants in large marshes that i visited along the Darby creek drive. It was one of common plants of that marsh. 

Photo 1. American Sycamore

Photo 2. Cattail



Prairie I visited was at Battelle Darby Metro Park. Actually I didn’t know what is prairie previously, due to this assignment I became to know what is prairie; considered part of temperate, large open area of grassland, savannahs and shrublands that are based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall. It was first time for me to visit this Battelle Darby metro park. It was quite huge to look around but it seems similar as marsh to me. But I could see that this place was much drier than the marsh. This place was full of tall grasses and trees.I saw many big bluestem in here, also stiff golden rod, switch grass and etc.

Below picture is big bluestem that I found in the prairie. It was one of dominant plants that i could find in that place. Big bluestem also called as Andropogon gerardi. As it’s name it has bluish-green stems. Also seed head is usually branched into three parts. Has alternate leaf arrangement and simple leaf complexity.

Photo 3. Big Bluestem



Yes, cedar bog that isn’t a bog the reason why is it is actually a fen.

My assignment was to find two poisonous plants such as poison ivy, oak or sumac. It was quite difficult for me to find it, however there are several distinctive characteristics to distinguish. They usually have berry-like fruits, stems of the leaf are reddish. And i can feel little bit itchy rash after i contact it with skin. Poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac can grow in wooded or marshy areas. Poison ivy and poison oak grows as shrubs or vines however poison sumac is a shrub or tree. Poison ivy is the only one that always has 3 leaves. Poison oak looks similar however leaves are more larger and rounded like an oak leaf. Poison sumac leaves are growing in clusters of around 8-13 leaves with one by itself at the end. I found poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) in cedar bog. It is normally found along edge areas where the tree line breaks, also exposed rocky areas, open fields in cedar bog.

Photo 4. Poison ivy

CEDAR BOG THAT ISN’T A BOG. Give a detailed description of the Cedar Bog hydrology and explain the differences between bogs and fens, and why Cedar Bog is perhaps misnamed. Describe the unique ecological conditions there and what causes them (geology). Below, see some of the interpretive material that on display at the nature center. Set forth the most important part: the discoveries you made fulfilling the “scavenger hunt” assignment (in most cases two plants that met certain criteria). For the two plants, include your PHOTOS of the plants, how to recognize them, and at least one additional outside reference natural history fact about each plant.


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