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:
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.
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.
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.
Shrub 2- Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)
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.
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.
|Northern red oak||Quercus||rubra||Fagaceae||Tree||6||0.95|
|Great blue lobeila||Lobeila||siphilitica||Campanulaceae||Forb||3||0.47|
|Eastern daisy fleabane||Erigeron||annuus||Asteraceae||Forb||0||0.00|
|False Soloman’s Seal||Maianthemum||racemosum||Asparagaceae||Forb||4||0.63|
|Canadian Wild Ginger||Asarum||canadense||Aristolochiaceae||Forb||6||0.95|
|Early meadow rue||Thalictrum||dioicum||Ranunculaceae||Forb||5||0.79|
|Giant foxtail sedge||Carex||vulpinoidea||Cyperaceae||Sedge||1||0.16|
|Queen Anne’s Lace||Daucus||carota||Apiaceae||Forb||*||–|
|Canada wild rye||Elymus||canadensis||Poaceae||Forb||6||0.95|
|Common Greenshield Lichen||Flavoparmelia||caperata||Parmeliaceae||Lichen||–||–|
Sources for CC/FQAI:
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.
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.
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.
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.