Site Location:

Battelle- Darby Creek Metro Park contains approximately 7,000 of mixed habitats making it the largest metro park in Columbus. Battelle-Darby was originally a farmland purchased in the 1950s, additional land was purchased in 2003 and 2004. The farm was known as the Dan Darby farm and was owned by  John W. Galbreath. A majority of the landscape was used as pastureland and agriculture and was converted to a variety of habitats by the metro parks. The portion of the park that I surveyed was an approximately 10 acre floodplain and steep hillside area directly west of the visitor center west of the winter bison pasture. This land has steep topography along a ridge that leads down to the floodplain of the Battelle-Darby Creek. The silt loam soils present in the floodplain allow for species that like water to thrive, whereas species present on the  slope and ridge are accustomed to the well-drained soils that leads down to the creek. The maps below show the location of the survey area:

For more information about the history of Battelle-Darby Creek Metro Park visit: https://www.friendsoftheravines.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/FW2011.pdf

Location- Approximate 10 acre plot:

Soil map- The survey area contains mainly Thackery silt loam, Hennepin and Miamian silt loams, and Ockley silt loams:

Aerial of area in 1995 (note: the visitor center was not created yet and the land use was different):

Location of plot in relation to park services:

Topography map of location with 10 foot contours:

Pictures of the site:

Trees

Tree 1- Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoids)- Eastern cottonwood was used by early pioneers on their treck out west. Not only were the leaves used as food for traveling livestock, but it was also used for shade and timber for short-term dwellings.

Source: https://www.arborday.org/programs/nationaltree/cottonwood.cfm

Tree 2- American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)- This tree, although not tall, is known as the most massive tree in the eastern United States. It can reach heights of 80 feet tall and 60 feet wide but can grow much larger.

Source: http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/sycamore

Shrubs

Shrub 1- Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii)- Japanese barberry was originally used as a landscaped plant that was used in homes and commercial landscapes. This plant is now considered invasive that tolerates a multitude of site conditions.

Source: https://www.ecolandscaping.org/11/landscape-challenges/invasive-plants/japanese-barberry-exotic-invasive-plant-fact-sheet/

Shrub 2- Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)

Flowers/Fruiting Plants

Flower – Phlox (Phlox divaricate)

Fruiting Plant- American bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia) –  American bladdernut is known for their unique capsule fruits. They work as small flotation devices since the fruits trap in air. This species is a common floodplain plant and the fruits disperse through water.  The friuts eventually break open to release the seeds.

Source:  http://www.annarbor.com/home-garden/american-bladdernut-pods-are-a-native-flotation-device/

Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) and I have a close relationship since I am extremely susceptible to getting rashes from it. Learning how to distinguish this woody vine from others can be very important for your wildnerness survival (or at least how itchy you become in the wilderness). This specimen was found in the Battelle-Darby Creek floodplain. The leaves are trifoliate and sometimes look shiny. The fruits are white, and vines have small tendrils that help it attach to trees. Please see the pictues below to help you identify this devil of a plant:

Mosses and Lichens:

Poodle moss- Anomodon attenuatus

Common Greenshield Lichen- Flavoparmelia caperata

Botanical Survey Update:

Coefficient of Conservation Values/ Floristic Quality Assessment Index

The list below contains all CC values for native tree, shrub, vine, forb, and sedge species found on the site. The Floristic Quality Assessment Index is 25.46 for the site surveyed.

Common Name Genus Species Family Type CC  FQAI
Honeysuckle Lonicera maackii Caprifoliaceae Shrub *
Grape vine Vitis riparia Vitaceae Vine 3 0.47
Multiflora rose Rosa multiflora Rosaceae Shrub *
American bladdernut Staphylea trifolia Staphyleaceae Shrub 6 0.95
Spicebush Lindera benzoin Lauraceae Shrub 5 0.79
Poison ivy Toxicodendron radicans Anacardiaceae Vine 1 0.16
Virginia creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia Vitaceaae Vine 2 0.32
American elm Ulmus americana Ulmaceae Tree 2 0.32
Boxelder maple Acer negundo Aceraceae Tree 3 0.47
Bitternut hickory Carya cordiformis Juglandaceae Tree 5 0.79
Eastern redbud Cercis canadensis Fabaceae Tree 3 0.47
Pawpaw Asimina triloba Annonaceae Tree 6 0.95
Ohio buckeye Aesculus glabra Hippocastanaceae Tree 6 0.95
Chinkapin oak Quercus muehlenbergii Fagaceae Tree 7 1.11
Black walnut Juglans nigra Juglandaceae Tree 5 0.79
Sugar maple Acer saccharum Aceraceae Tree 5 0.79
Northern red oak Quercus rubra Fagaceae Tree 6 0.95
Silver maple Acer saccharinum Aceraceae Tree 3 0.47
Cottonwood Populus deltoides Salicaceae Tree 3 0.47
Shagbark hickory Carya ovata Juglandaceae Tree 6 0.95
Woodland stonecrop Sedum ternatum Crassulaceae Forb 5 0.79
Phlox Phlox paniculata Polemoniaceae Forb 2 0.32
Great blue lobeila Lobeila siphilitica Campanulaceae Forb 3 0.47
Japanese knotweed Reynoutria japonica Polygonaceae Forb *
Eastern daisy fleabane Erigeron annuus Asteraceae Forb 0 0.00
Cutleaf coneflower Rudbeckia laciniata Asteraceae Forb 6 0.95
White Snakeroot Eupatorium rugosum Asteraceae Forb 3 0.47
False Soloman’s Seal Maianthemum racemosum Asparagaceae Forb 4 0.63
Canadian Wild Ginger Asarum canadense Aristolochiaceae Forb 6 0.95
Broad-leaved Goldenrod Solidago flexicaulis Asteraceae Forb 5 0.79
Bluestem Goldenrod Solidago caesia Asteraceae Forb 5 0.79
Water willow Justicia americana Acanthaceae Forb 9 1.42
Chicory Cichorium intybus Asteraceae Forb *
White Turtlehead Chelone glabra Plantaginaceae Forb 6 0.95
Early meadow rue Thalictrum dioicum Ranunculaceae Forb 5 0.79
Stinging nettle Urtica dioica Urticaceae Forb 1 0.16
Giant foxtail sedge Carex vulpinoidea Cyperaceae Sedge 1 0.16
Queen Anne’s Lace Daucus carota Apiaceae Forb *
Lady’s thumb Persicaria maculosa Polygonaceae Forb 0 0.00
Purple violet Viola sororia Violaceae Forb 1 0.16
Beaked snakeroot Sanicula trifoliata Asteraceae Forb 3 0.47
Canada clearweed Pilea pumila Urticaceae Forb 2 0.32
Broadleaf plantain Plantago major Plantaginaceae Forb *
Cup plant Silphium perfoliatum Asteraceae Forb 6 0.95
Wingstem Verbesina alternifolia Asteraceae Forb 5 0.79
Red clover Trifolium pratense Fabaceae Forb *
Canada wild rye Elymus canadensis Poaceae Forb 6 0.95
Poodle moss Anomodon attenuatus Anomodontaceae Bryophyte
Common Greenshield Lichen Flavoparmelia caperata Parmeliaceae Lichen
Total 161 25.46

 

Sources for CC/FQAI:

https://ohioplants.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Ohio_FQAI.pdf

https://www.epa.ohio.gov/Portals/35/401/LU_Veg_Species.html

High/Low CC Species:

Highest CC Species: Plants with a narrow range of ecological tolerances that exhibit relatively high degrees of fidelity to a narrow range of habitat requirements.These are listed below: 

CC Value: 9

Water willow- Justicia americana

Water willow is a plant that is part of the Justicia genus. Most members of htis genus are tropical, yet some are found in the United states. This species grows in and around shallow water and is not extremely common. However, when these plants establish a community they form colonies that can be a few square meters wide. These plants resemble willow leaves, hence the name water willow. 

Source: https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/justicia_americana.shtml

CC Value: 7 

Chinkapin oak- Quercus muehlnenbergii

Chinkapin oak is a member of the white oak family with rounded lobed leaves. Chinkapin oak wood is strong and durable which makes it quality sawtimber. Chinkapin oak was traditionally used for railroad ties, but can now be used for cabinets or furniture. The fruits of this species provide quality mast for wildlife and livestock. 

Source: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/quemue/all.html

Lowest CC Species: Although there were multiple invasive species on the site, they were not included or considered for a CC value. The lowest CC Species include the following:  plants with a wide range of ecological tolerances. Often these are opportunistic invaders of natural areas. These are listed below:

CC Value: 0 

Eastern daisy fleabane- Erigeron annus

This species is considered a weed due to its wide distribution; however, eastern daisy fleabane can serve as a pioneer species in areas with less favorable conditions, thus reducing soil erosion. This plant also serves as habitat for many small insects that play important roles in the ecological system. This plant can be identified as a member of the Asteraceae family that resembles a daisy with many small ray and disk florets. 

Source: https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/prairie/plantx/ds_fleabanex.html

CC Value: 0

Lady’s thumb smartweed- Persicaria maculosa

Lady’s thumb is considered a weed that grows in almost any condition (including streams, roadside canals, vacant lots, and can invade higher quality wetlands). This species is highly adaptable. Lady’s thumb is easily identifiable due to its pinkish small bundled flowers and a triangular shaped smudge in the center of the leaf. 

Sources:

https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/lady_thumb.htm