Sandstone Substrate Plants
The first example of a plant that grows well in sandstone substrate would be Quercus prinus, or the chestnut oak. The chestnut oak can also be called basket oak since its wood strips can be used for basket material
Oxydendrum arboreum, or the sourwood tree is another acidophile that was found on the sandstone substrate in eastern Ohio. The sourwood stays true to its name, as its leaves actually have a distinct sour taste to them.
Tsuga canadensis, or the Eastern Hemlock is a third example of a tree associated with acid sandstone areas. Eastern hemlocks used to be prized for their tannin-rich bark which was harvested for use in the leather-tanning industry.
Rhododendron is a fourth plant that is typically found in acidic substrates, but unfortunately pictures were not taken.
Biotic Threats to Forest Health
One tree that has been greatly affected a fungal disease is the butternut tree. The fungus is called the butternut canker. It’s caused by the fungus called Sirococcus clavigignenti-juglandacearum, and it first occurred in Wisconsin in 1967. There is no cure for this, but if branch cankers are caught early, removal of the fungus can prevent it from spreading to other trees.
A second tree that has been greatly affected by a tree disease is Quercus prinus, or the chestnut oak. This tree has been affected by the chestnut blight, which is a canker disease caused by a fungus. It was first found in New York in 1904, but likely arrived earlier due to the arrival of Asian chestnuts. The tree used to be incredibly abundant and valuable to the eastern forests of the United States. There is no cure for chestnut blight, but research has been done to attempt to find a blight resistant chestnut. However, Chinese and Japanese chestnuts are in fact resistant to the blight.
Vittaria appalachiana, or the Appalachian gametophyte, is a fern-like species that spends its entire life cycle exclusively as a gametophyte. This means that it reproduces asexually via gemmae that separate and disperse short distances and mature into genetically identical individuals. This dispersal can be through wind, water, or animals. Additionally, these distances can be much smaller than those of spore dispersal.
This species is typically found in the Appalachian mountains on porous rock outcrops, usually adjacent to water. (Pinson and Schuettpelz, 2016).
The possibility that the current populations of the Appalachian gametophyte are being sustained by long-distance dispersal from some tropical sporophyte source can be rejected based on past allozyme studies (Farrar, 1990).
For my personal scavenger hunt, I decided to find two examples of common glade species. Common species for glades are often lichens, fungi, and mosses. The first species I found was Cladonia subtenuis, or Dixie Reindeer lichen. Lichens are particularly interesting due to the fact that they are a symbiotic relationship between multiple fungi species. This specific species is shown below in the white carpet-like areas.
A second example of a common glade species that was found was Polytrichum commune, or the haircap moss. This acrocarpous species is widely spread throughout North America. It is an evergreen perennial plant that will grow to about 1.5′ tall, although sometimes the leaves will be tinted brown or red. It is shown below surrounding some previously mentioned Dixie reindeer lichen.