Day 16: Texas Beach

Environment: northbank trail of the river, south-facing slopes, medium sunlight, tall canopy, river is immediate, moist and sandy soils, flat surface

1. Bladdernut – highly abundant, moist soil, patchy sunlight, edge of trail

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2. Spicebush – abundant, moist soil, edge of trail, patchy sunlight, some bushes with berries

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3. Black Locust – young plant, rare, only one around, understory, moist soil

4. Honeysuckle Vine – common, moist soil, some with large leaves

5. Pokeweed – very tall, common, in medium sunlight, moist soil

6. Pink Knotweed – swampy area, common, medium sunlight

7. Honewort – edge of trail, common, medium to patchy sunlight, moist soil

8. Boxelder – common, edge of trail, in the canopy getting full sun

9. American Elm – abundant, edge of river bank, moist sandy soil, full sun

10. American Sycamore – abundant, edge of river bank, moist sandy soil, full sun

11. River Birch – abundant, edge of river bank, moist sandy soil, full sun

12. American Holly – edge of trail away from water, moist soil, understory, medium to patchy sunlight

13. Grape Vine – common, moist soil, away from water

14. Grape Mahonia – rare, only one around, away from water

15. Rose of Sharon – abundant

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16. American Beech – only one around, rare, in the canopy, full sun, moist soil

17. Spotted Touch Me Not – common, wet soil, shaded area, near the water

18. White Mulberry – highly abundant, young and adult trees, on the edge of the trail, away from water, moist soil, medium to full sunlight

19. Mockernut Hickory – in the understory, shaded area, young plant, moist soil

20. Saint John’s Wort – larger plant than previously seen, in the shade, partial sun, with flowers, moist soil, edge of trail near the river

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Day 15: How Plants Along the River Survive Flooding

When we experience increased precipitation, mammals will normally respond by seeking shelter from the storm. But what about the life of the immobile – what do they do? Plants have longed evolved adaptations to surmount gas┬ádeprivation by specialized root systems known as adventitious roots. These roots are produced from ┬áthe shoot cells, grow aerially to capture carbon dioxide and release oxygen above the water surface, and allow for propagation. Examples of plants with this adaptation include: black willow, american sycamore, and river birch.

A secondary method by which gas exchange occurs during a submergence or flood is known as having “cypress knees”. Cypress trees are famous for having laterally-extending woody projections from the top of the soil to access the air. These knees are also known for the structural role they play.

 

 

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