Into the peat (PLE day 12)
The Pymatuning wetlanders started their time-travel project today. We visited Titus Bog and observed the floating bog mat and discussed the developmental history of this unique ecosystem. The students had read previous paleoecological research on the site, part of the dissertation research of Alex Ireland (see here and here for summaries), and so they were well prepared to examine the wetland and think about its history.
We collected a peat core, recovering over 8 meters of peat and lake sediment (a class record!), and tomorrow we will collectively analyze the macro-botanical remains to reconstruct the vegetation and developmental history at our coring location. We added a few plant species to our must-know list (bringing our total for the course to 55), including sundews (Drosera sp.), leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), cranberries (Vaccinium oxycoccos), and bog bean (Menyanthes trifoliata). We also saw two species of orchid in bloom.
After spending some time at the bog, we took another short hike at a nearby location to observe a small population of purple pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea), where we were fortunate enough to see a 4-toed salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum)!
Posted on June 18, 2014, in Teaching, Wetland Ecology & Management (PLE) and tagged Biodiversity, Ecological succession, Ecology, Ecosystems, Nature, Paleoecology, Peatlands, Plants, Science, Wetlands. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.