Botany & Plant Ecology

Michigan Academician, Spring 2001 | Go to article overview

Botany & Plant Ecology


Natural Areas Inventory of the Greater Grand Rapids Region: Prioritizing Sites for Conservation Value. Emily Hollender, Jonathon Schramm, Randall Van Dragr, and David Warners, Calvin College, Department of Biology, 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

We organized the information that was gathered during the inventory phase of this project into a prioritizing tool to allow for a quantitative ranking of sites with respect to their conservation value. A major component of this inventory work was the Florsitic Quality Assessment, a tool developed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. We found this measure helpful but not sufficient in itself for ranking sites. Therefore we developed a quantitative tool that used FQI as one criterion, but also included other factors such as presence and extent of non-native species, size of parcel, proximity to other protected areas (potential for corridor development), rarity of habitat type, evidence of physical disturbance, and ownership. We ranked a total of 68 sites using these criteria to generate a prioritized list of sites that are deserving of focused conservation efforts. All information gathered in the study was shared with landowners and with the Land Conservancy of West Michigan.

Leaves and Rhizomes of Later Tertiary Water Lily and Water Lily-Like Plants in the Western United States. Patrick F. Fields, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1312; fieldspa@msu.edu

The form genus "Nymphaeites" is traditionally used to describe Neogene western North American megafossil leaves, petioles, rhizomes, and roots of water lily and water lily-like plants. Recent paleobotanical studies suggest that much of this leaf and rhizome material can be reliably assigned to extant Nymphaealean genera, namely: Nelumbo, Nuphar, or Nymphaea. Nelumbo is known from nearly complete remains in Reynolds Basin, Idaho, and as rhizomes in Stinking Water, Oregon. It is distinguished by swollen root-bearing nodes along the rhizomes, and the centrally peltate large orbicular leaves. Nuphar is known from leaves in Trout Creek, Oregon, and possibly from Eastgate, Nevada. It is distinguished by biconvex leaf scars on the rhizomes, and deeply cordare, ovate to oblong leaves with a prominent midrib and pinnate venation. While Nymphaea is known from leaves and rhizomes from Sonoma, California; Trapper Creek and Weiser, Idaho; Buffalo Canyon, Eastgate, Esmeralda, and Middlegare, Nevada; and Mascall, Stinking W ater, Succor Creek, and Trout Creek, Oregon It is distinguished by oval leaf scars along the rhizomes and cordate or offcentered peltare, orbicular to ovate leaves, with a faint midrib and weakly pinnate to radial venation.

Climate Reconstruction from Stable Isotope Ratios in Pleistocene Pocket Gopher Teeth. Karel Rogers, Biology Department, Grand Valley State University, 218 Padnos, Allendale, MI 49401-9403; and Yang Wang, 108 Carroway Building, Department of Geological Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4100

Previous work in the San Luis Valley of south-central Colorado and northern New Mexico at the Hansen Bluff and Sam Cave localities has reconstructed paleoclimate in the region during the interval from -0.69 Ma to -2.6 Ma. The fossil localities are at 2,300 and 2,680 m elevation, respectively, in the southern Rocky Mountains and are about 20km apart. Surface exposures at Hansen Bluff have been correlated to deep sea oxygen isotope core stages 18-23 and one of the glacial periods contained therein to the oldest "Nebraskan" till in southwestern Iowa. Deposits in Sam Cave correlate to Hansen Bluff on the basis of paleomagnetics, climate interpretation, and stage of microtine rodent evolution. In this paper, we present carbon and oxygen stable isotope data of herbivorous rodent teeth as indicators of change in the predominance of C3, C4, and CAM plants and extrapolate that change to changes in temperature and precipitation. …

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