So many plants, not a wordbank in sight (Pymatuning Wetlands 2015, Day 6)
The weather forecast called for severe thunderstorms, beginning around noon and lasting through the day, so the Pymatuning wetlanders went straight into the swamp this morning to complete their comparative vegetation project before the weather turned bad. The thunderstorms never materialized, and we successfully finished collecting the dataset before lunchtime. The swamp was quite botanically diverse, but we only added one species to the “must-know” list: royal fern (Osmuda regalis var. spectablis). I’ll bet you can’t say that scientific name three times fast.
We spent the rest of the day in the lab, observing and drawing plant adaptations to the wetland environment. Some of these students are quite artistically gifted. Aerenchyma tissue, submerged plants, anatomy of hydrophytic, mesophytic, and xerophytic leaves, carbohydrate-rich rhizomes, floating plants, and carnivorous plants. And of course, a close look at morphology and cell structure of Sphagnum moss (the “botanical beaver”).
Midterm exam on Wednesday! The second half of the test will take place in the field…25 plants…and there will not be a “wordbank.”