Battelle Darby Field Trip

Location #1: Teal Harrier Trail

The most dominant plant group in this area were grasses. It was everywhere! Grass galore! The only tree we could really find in this area was the Eastern Cottonwood.

Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)

Canada Wild Rye (Elymus canadensis)

Narrowleaf Cattail (Typha angustifolia)

Woolgrass (Scirpus cyperinus)

Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)


Location #2: Cedar Ridge Picnic Area

This area was a beautiful area to walk through! I found a smooth Blackhaw, Chinkapin Oak, Witch Hazel, and 1/2 phyllotaxy on an Elm.

Smooth Black Haw (Viburnum prunifolium)

Chinquapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra)


Location #3: Indian Ridge Area

In this area I found New England Asters and plenty of golden rods!

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

Goldenrod (Solidago altissima)

Linking Geology and Botany

1. The geology of Ohio (if not regarded too closely) may be divided neatly into two parts. Contrast these two parts in terms of their geographic location, types of underlying rocks and their physical properties, and the landscape/topography that characterizes each.

The western part of Ohio is limestone and dolomite. This rock type is nonresistant and, due to erosion, has led to a flat landscape. The eastern part of Ohio is sandstone with shale underneath. Sandstone is resistant, but shale not as much. As a result much of the land has been carved into valleys by erosion.

2. The reason for the difference in kinds of rocks is not difficult to understand. Describe the original sequence of sedimentary rock strata (three types in order from top to bottom), an arch that formed 200 million years ago noting where the crest of the arch was located compared with the low-lying toe of the arch, and an important river system that occupied OH for a long time. (Be sure to give the name of the river, state about how many years it flowed and what effect it had upon the landscape. What curtailed the activities of the river?)

The sequence of sedimentary rock is limestone, shale, then sandstone. An arch that formed was the Appalachian Mountains. The crest runs north to south through western Ohio. A river system that occupied Ohio for a long time was the Teays River. This river flowed for 200 million years and eroded the land before glaciers did the same.

3. Pleistocene glaciers invaded OH a few hundred thousand years ago or less. What feature of the landscape slowed the glaciers and so caused there to be a glacial boundary cutting across OH? Sketch a map of Ohio and on it place the glacial boundary.

Steep sandstone hills in eastern Ohio stopped the glaciers from moving more south than around Canton, Ohio (near my hometown!)

4. Describe “glacial till” in terms of its general composition (a definition of till), and how it differs in eastern and western OH.

Glacial till is composed of sand, silt, clay, and boulders. Western Ohio has till rich in lime and clay, while eastern Ohio has till with little of either.

5. Contrast the basic substrate for plants in western and eastern OH in terms of drainage, aeration, pH (limey versus acid) nutrient availability.

The substrate in western Ohio is till with lime and clay. It has poor drainage and aeration but has abundant nutrients. The substrate in eastern Ohio is very acidic and nutrient-deficient. It has excellent drainage and aeration.

6. Name 5 species of trees/shrubs that have a distribution generally limited to limestone or limey substrates (such as Ohio’s Lake Erie islands). Include photos of any you saw.

Some species of trees and shrubs that have a distribution limited to limey substrate are redbud, red-cedar, hawthorn (see above), chinquapin oak (see above), and blue ash.

7. Name 5 species of trees/shrubs that have a distribution generally limited to high-lime, clay-rich substrates developed in the thick glacial till of western Ohio

Some species of trees and shrubs that have a distribution limited to lime and clay rich substrate are sugar maple, beech, red oak, shagbark hickory, and and white ash.

8. Name 5 species of trees/shrubs that have a distribution generally limited to sandstone hill of eastern OH   

Some species of trees and shrubs that have a distribution limited to sandstone substrate are hemlock, scrub pine, sour wood, mountain maple, and chestnut oak.

9. What is the major determinant of the distribution of each of these species: a) sweet buckeye (contrast with hemlock), b)  hemlock (contrast with sweet buckeye, c) rhododendron?

Sweet buckeye: problems with repopulation after glaciers, Hemlock: restriction to cool and moist environments, Rhododendron: previous migration along the Teays River.


Bonus Picture!

A field mouse!