PART ONE: FOUR HIGH CC AND FOUR LOW CC SPECIES
I. 20 species found at Whetstone Park (Columbus)
1. Acer negundo (L.). Box elder. CC=3. Native tree.
2. Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze. Poison ivy. Native vine. CC=1.
3. Sanicula odorata. Clustered sanicle. Native forb. CC=3.
4. Asarum canadense (L.). Canadian wild ginger. Native forb. CC=6.
5. Acer saccharinum. Silver maple. Native tree. CC=1.
6. Acer saccharum L. Sugar maple. Native tree. CC=3.
7. Ageratina altissima. White snakeroot. Native forb. CC=6.
8. Arcticum minus (L.). Lesser burdock. Introduced forb. CC=0.
9. Eutrochium purpureum. Sweet Joe-Pye-weed. CC=6. Native forb.
10. Polymnia canadensis (L.). White flower leafcup. CC=5. Native forb.
11. Solidago ulmifolia (Muhl. ex Willd.). Elm-leaved goldenrod. Native forb. CC=5.
12. Verbesina occidentalis (L.) Walter. Yellow crownbeard. Introduced forb. CC=5.
13. Asimina trilobal (L.) Dunal. Pawpaw. Native small tree. CC=6.
14. Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Maxim. Amur honeysuckle. Introduced shrub. CC=0.
15. Kochia scoparia (L.) Roth ex Schrad. Summer-cypress. Introduced tree. CC=0.
16. Gleditsia triacanthos (L.). Honey locust. Native tree. CC=4.
17. Lindera benzoin (L.) Blume. Northern spicebush. Native shrub. CC=5.
18. Menispermum canadense (L.). Canadian moonseed. Native vine. CC=5.
19. Broussonetia papyrfera (L.) Vent. Paper mulberry. Introduced tree. CC=4.
20. Morus alba (L.). White mulberry. Introduced tree. CC=3.
Floristic Quality Assessment:
I = ∑ (CCi )/√(Nnative)
I = 71/√14 = 71/ 3.74
I = 18.98
a. Four highest CC species:
1. Asimina trilobal (L.) Dunal. Pawpaw. Native small tree. CC=6
Pawpaw leaves are simple, alternate arrangement, and pinnately compound. The leaves are obovate, long and broad, and normally green in color. Pawpaw is the northernmost representative of a principally southern plant family. Its fruits, commonly known as “custard apples,” are difficult to harvest in their ripe state in the wild, as its fruits are avidly consumed by wildlife. I believe the CC value is high because the fruits are hard to come by in the wild, and they thrive in moist, fertile soils and produce best in full sunlight.
2. Solidago ulmifolia (Muhl. ex Willd.). Elm-leaved goldenrod. Native forb. CC=5.
This goldenrod species is a common plant that tolerates moist soil in comparison to other goldenrods. It has thin, coarsely-toothed leaves, and its flowers arch outwards and downwards, creating a vase-shaped flower cluster. It is a favorite flower of butterflies and native bees. It thrives best in full sun and dry soil. I believe the CC value of this plant is high because it attracts native bees and supports conservation biological control–meaning it attracts predatory insects that prey upon pest insects.
3. Eutrochium purpureum. Sweet Joe-Pye-weed. CC=6. Native forb.
The Eutrochium purpureum kidney-root is an herbaceous perennial plant in the sunflower family. It thrives in semi-shaded woodlands in full sun. It has large pink flowers when bloomed that are a favorite nectar source for a variety of butterflies (monarchs, swallowtails). They are coarsely-toothed and leaves are in whorls of 3 or 4 and have a pinnate vein arrangement. It most likely has a high CC value due to their ability to attract butterflies and their restriction to moist habitats–specifically near streams or in wetlands.
4. Asarum canadense (L.). Canadian wild ginger. Native forb. CC=6.
This forb is an herbaceous perennial plant that forms dense colonies in moist-soil environments. In scattered but dense patches in shady areas. Wild ginger smells similar to spice ginger, but is unrelated and is not recommended for consumption. Its solitary, foul-smelling reddish-brown flowers are located at ground level and are probably pollinated by flies. Like many forest herbs, the seeds have oil and sugar-containing elaiosomes attached and are dispersed by ants. The CC value is most likely high because it is restricted to shaded areas where there is little to no logging.
b. Four lowest CC species:
1. Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Maxim. Amur honeysuckle. Introduced shrub. CC=0.
Amur honeysuckle is an especially aggressive weed in calcareous woodland in Ohio. Its leaves have opposite and simple arrangement with an ovate shape, and varying berry colors. The plant is considered the most common and invasive bush honeysuckle in the mid-Atlantic region. The CC value of this plant is most likely low due to its abundance and invasivity in the wild. They usually are extremely fast growing and take over whatever area they are in.
2. Kochia scoparia (L.) Roth ex Schrad. Summer-cypress. Introduced tree. CC=0.
Summer-cypress is a large annual herb native to Eurasia that was introduced to many parts of North America. It is commonly found in grassland, prairie, and desert shrub ecosystems. Its leaves have alternate arrangement, are stalkless or nearly so, and its surfaces are hairless to sparsely hairy with toothed edges. The CC value of summer-cypress is most likely low due to its invasive tendencies. It spreads very quickly and becomes invasive in warm and dry climates, where it breaks off from its base and is blown by winds as a tumbleweed.
3. Arcticum minus (L.). Lesser burdock. Introduced forb. CC=0.
The lesser burdock is an introduced forb native to Europe but has been considered an invasive weed in the United States. It has alternate leaf arrangement and has clusters of purple flowerheads arranged on the short stalks on the upper ends of stems. It most likely has a low CC value due to its invasive nature, where it is a problematic invader of pastures, hay fields, and open prarier ecosystems. It acts as a secondary host for pathogens such as root rot, which affect economically important plants.
4. Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze. Poison ivy. Native vine. CC=1.
Poison ivy is a well-known plant that causes contact dermatitis caused by urushiol, a clear liquid in the plant’s sap. It is identified by the saying “leaflets of three, let it be.” It has alternate leaf arrangement, trifoliate leaf arrangement, and white fruits. It is considered and invasive and poisonous plants in many parts of North America. It most likely has a low CC value due to its abundance in wildlife and its invasive nature.
PART TWO: FOUR INVASIVE SPECIES (boo, hiss)
1. Euonymus fortunei (Turcz.) Hand.-Mazz. Fortune’s spindle. Introduced vine. This vine is commonly also known as wintercreeper and is native to east Asia. It is highly invasive and damaging in the US, where it causes death of trees and forests in urban areas. It can tolerate a broad range of environmental conditions, ranging from full sun to deep shade, and acidic to basic and low nutrient soils. It is native to east Asia and was introduced to the US in 1907. It has two to three leaves positioned on opposite ends on its vines.
2. Euonymus alatus. Winged euonymus. Introduced shrub. CC=5. This shrub is commonly known as burning bush and is a flowering plant native to Asia. This plant is poisonous through ingestion and invasive in nature. They seed prolifically and become dominant, forcing other plants out. It has two to four corky ridges formed along the length of young stems, and have opposite, dark green leaves that are smooth and tapered at the ends. In the fall, they turn a bright crimson/purple color, which is why they are also known as the “burning bush.”
3. Gleditsia triacanthos (L.). Honey locust. Native tree. CC=4. Honey locust, also known as thorny locust, is a deciduous tree in the Caesalpinaceae or Fabaceae family. It is found in the moist soil of river valleys and is highly adaptable to a variety of conditions. It is an aggressively invasive species and can dominate the land. It is fast growing and has a tendency to be an aggressive colonizer. It has long compound leaves that are divided into as many as 30 oval leaflets–some of which are doubly divided and more numerous and smaller in composition.
4. Rosa multiflora (Thunb. ex Murray). Multiflora rose. Introduced shrub. CC=0. This species of rose is commonly referred to as baby rose, and is native to Asia. They can be distinguished from other rose species by the fringed stipules at the base of each leaf. It is highly invasive and is now considered a noxious weed or invasive plant in most parts of the country. It grows aggressively and produced large numbers of rose hips that are eaten and dispersed by wildlife–mainly birds. Dense thickets of the plant exclude most native shrubs and herbs from being established, and can be detrimental to native bird nesting habits.
PART THREE: FOUR SUBSTRATE-ASSOCIATED SPECIES
Limited to limestone or limey substrates (such as Ohio’s Lake Erie Islands):
1. Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica)
Fragrant sumac has alternate, trifoliate leaves, that have a lemony scent when scratched and sniffed. It occurs on higher, drier sites where limestone is present at only very shallow depths below the ground surface. This aligns with Forsyth’s ideas, as fragrant sumac is evident in the higher, more dry areas where only limestone can be found.
2. Redbud (Ceris canadensis)
Redbud generally seems to occur on higher, dier sites where limestone is present at only very shallow depths below the ground surface. There are a few unexplained sites in southern Ohio near Pike Lake where redbud s present apart from any limestone substrate, but this is an exception. This aligns with the ideas set forth by Forsyth, as redbud occurs mostly at shallow depths in the ground.
Limited to high-lime, clay-rch substrates developed in the thick glacial till of western Ohio:
3. Sugar maple (Acer saccharum)
Sugar maple is representative of till plains, where the environment has high-lime and clay-rich substrates developed in the thick till of western Ohio plains. A sugar maple leaf is identified by its 5 shallow lobes with smooth, curved edges. This aligns with the observations made at the botanical site, as sugar maples tended to reside in the high-lime, clay-rich substrate.
Limited to sandstone hills of eastern Ohio:
4. Chestnut oak (Quercus montanta)
Chestnut oak has shallowly-lobed leaves and thrives in acidic substrate. Hachured line is a glacial boundary and solid line that separates the area of limestone to the west from the area of sandstone and shale to the east. Chestnu oak occurs on the tops of high and dry sandstone hills, which have the driest substrate. It is restricted to areas of shallow or exposed sandstone bedrock, generally outside the glacial boundary. It is predominately a plant of the unglaciated hills.