Exploring the wetlands of Lake Pymatuning (PLE day 14)
The Pymatuning wetlanders stayed close to home today. This morning we built on the “kindergarten” theme from yesterday, and discussed the restoration of Humpty Dumpty. Of course, this led to a discussion of wetland restoration and the many challenges that remain in the science of restoration ecology. We also briefly discussed treatment wetlands – the highly applied science of using created wetlands to remove wastes, pollutants, and pathogens from water. After lunch we went into Linesville to get the long-promised ice cream, and then we all loaded up in canoes and explored the wetlands of Lake Pymatuning.
The lake was once a swamp, but the swamp was inundated by damming the Shenango River in 1934. American lotus (Nelumbo lutea), an endangered plant in Pennsylvania, is extremely abundant in the lake, and we observed this striking floating-leaved species and several wetland areas along the edge of the lake. We also canoed to one of the many small islands in the lake. We ended class a bit earlier than usual to give the students some additional time to study for tomorrow’s final exam.
Hydrophobic leaves on a hydrophytic plant. How fantastic is that? American lotus….