Stop 8:Plants and Fungi




Stebbins Gulch shelters a number of uncommon Ohio species, some of which are relics from an earlier time. Following the retreat of Pleistocene glaciers about 10,000 years ago, northeast Ohio progressed through a succession of ecosystems, from tundra, to boreal forest, to hemlock-hardwood forest, and finally to today’s beech-maple forest. The mountain maple, Acer spicatum, pictured above is a relic from a time when Ohio’s forests were more “northerly” in composition. Today this tree is far more common and widespread in the cool, moist regions of Canada and the high Applachians than it is in Ohio. Mountain maple leaves are distinctive and easy to identify. Look for the “wildcat ear tuft” at the ends of three coarsely-toothed lobes. The trees are small, less than 30 feet tall, and can be found along the stream banks in the middle reaches of the creek.
  Liverwort    Mushrooms growing on a decaying log  
  Fungi aid the decaying process of a dying log        
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