Wetland ecology at Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology – Day 6
Adaptations to a Wet and Peaty Existence. The morning of Day 6 in wetland ecology at Pymatuning Lab was spent investigating adaptations that allow hydrophytic vegetation to survive in wetland environments. Students observed, dissected, and drew examples of a range of adaptations including aerenchyma tissue, floating leaves, gas-exchange mechanisms, carnivory, and carbohydrate-rich rhizomes. This included some observations on Wolffia (watermeal), which has the honor of being the smallest flowering plant.
Wetland Delineation. In the afternoon, Brian Pilarcek of the Soil Conservation District (Crawford County) led us through the details of wetland delineation, with a particular emphasis on the identification and description of hydric soils. The students learned firsthand about the sorts of challenges that are faced when doing a delineation, and observed very clear changes in soils over a short distance along the edge of a wetland.
Tomorrow, we head up to Presque Isle State Park to observe coastal processes, and examine how these processes destroy and create wetlands in this dynamic environment.
PLE Day 6, a set on Flickr.