Part 1: Battelle Creek Darby Metro Park
  1. The geology of Ohio can be divided into two parts; the limestone of the west and the sandstone of the east. Limestone is a nonresistant type of rock and in the humid climate in Ohio it has resulted in the flat plains of the west. It has been eroding slowly for the last two hundred million years. Sandstone is a resistant rock and therefore erodes much slower, resulting in the much more varied landscape in the east. The only erosion that has occurred in the east has led to deep valleys with steep hill sides.  
  2. The original sequence of sedimentary rock strata consisted of sandstones at the top over shales that were over limestone. These were tilted in an arch with the erosion cutting deepest at the crest exposing the limestone in western Ohio, along the east away from the crest the erosion has acted on the strata but has not eroded all of it away resulting in the hills and valleys of the east. The Teays River, which flowed for two hundred million years, was the cause for much of the erosion of the western limestone and eastern shale and sandstone. The Teays River was only stopped by the arrival of the glaciers.  
  3. The hills of sandstone in the east slowed the advance of the glaciers resulting in the glacial boundary. The flat plains of limestone in the west were no obstacle for the glaciers  advanced.
  4. Till is unsorted accumulation of sand, silt, and clay it is deposited by the melting glacial waters. In western Ohio the glacial till contains lime and clay from the bedrock material it collected, it is also covering this side of the state in a blanket of till. The eastern side has less clay and lime and more of gravel deposits and glacial sand. They were accumulated by outwash, or material washed out beyond the glacial margin. 
  5. The plains of western Ohio have very limey and clay till substrate resulting an impermeable soil the pH is considered limey; it is poorly drained and not well aerated. It is high in available nutrients though the soil tends to be shallow in some areas. The eastern substrate in Ohio is permeable, very acidic, and a low nutrient. Tend to be dry on the hilltops but the moisture will seep through the sandstone and end up in the valleys and provide moisture for those areas.  

6. Distribution limited to limestone:

Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana 

This smaller tree has alternate, simple leaves, with toothed margins. The bark looks like cat scratches. It does well in the understory and it is named after its fruits that look like hops used in the production of beer.  

  

Blue Ash( Fraxinus quadrangulata

Blue ash has opposite pinnately compound leaves that are composed of five to eleven leaflets. The twigs and stems distinguish it from other ashes because they are square shaped. It is called blue ash because of the blue dye produce when the inner bark is placed in water.  

  

Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) 

The leaf arrangement is alternate with simple leaf complexity, the leaves are also slightly toothed with a rough texture. The bark looks like a melted candle making it distinctive among other trees.  Hackberry fruit is an important food source for much of the wildlife and humans can also consume the fruit as jam, seasoning for meat, or in bread. 

Fragrant Sumac (Rhus aromatica)

Fragrant sumac has alternate compound leaves, in leaflets of three with the margins toothed. When the leaves are crushed, they have strong odor. It is a small shrub that reaches eight feet high. Fragrant sumac is used for nesting and shelter by the wildlife, it provides quality ground cover. The fruit is not the first choice for many animals and persists into winter in many cases for winter browsing.  

 

Chinquapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii) 

This tree has alternate, simple leaves, with lobed margins. It is in the white oak group. It is hard to differentiate between the bark at this sapling age. It can grow as wide as it can tall and has a very round crown. The tree produces acorns that are highly desired by the wildlife. It is does not have serious insect or disease problems that affect it. 

 

  1. Distribution limited to high lime substrate:

 

  • Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) 
  • Red oak (Quercus rubra) 
  • White oak (Quercus alba) 
  • Beech ( Fagnus grandifolia) 
  • Shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) 

 

8. Distribution limited to sandstone:

  • Chestnut oak (Quercus montana) 
  • Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) 
  • Scrub pine (Pinus virginiana) 
  • Pitch pine (Pinus rigida) 
  • Hemlock (Tsuga canadenis) 

 

9.

Both sweet buckeye and hemlock are located in the unglaciated parts of Ohio. However, they have different factors that limit their distribution across the area. For sweet buckeye climate could play apart for why it is not found in the northern section of the unglaciated area because no geology boundary is causing the obstacle. For hemlock it actually extends out of the unglaciated area to the north and thrives in the moist valleys. It is able to overcome the differing substrate conditions by growing in the north facing cool, moist valleys. The rhododendron’s location matches with the ancient valleys alongside the Teays River, it would migrate from the highland Appalachians in the north and head into southern Ohio through the preglacial Teays River. While the river is gone due to the glaciers the rhododendron still likes to live near its path.  

 Part 2: Cedar Bog 
  1. Cedar Bog is the way it is today due to the glacial activity that happened in Ohio thousands of years ago. The glaciers folded around the highest point in the state creating the division of substrate between west and east Ohio, forming end moraines and leaving Cedar Bog in a valley. The material left by the glaciers move water readily, and the Mad River Valley around Cedar Bog is an aquifer holding the water, this water is forced up at a low spot in the valley and runs across the surface. fen will flush this water through streamswhereas a bog will hold the water on the surface only losing it due to evaporation.  

 

2. Plants with Distinctive Scents

  • Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) 

Spicebush is a shrub with alternate simple leaves with a smooth margin. The bark is speckled with light colored lenticels. The fruit is red and matures in the fall. The leaves and twigs have a strong scent especially when crushed. The spicebush was used as an indicator of good agricultural land by early settlers according to the Peterson Field Guide. The berries when dried have been used a spice and the leaves and twigs used to make tea. 

 

  • Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)

Winterberry is a tree that could reach up to fifteen feet but more likely appears as a shrub in the wild. It has alternate simple leaves with toothed margins and sometimes hairy on the underside. There are tiny transparent dots on the leaves that can sometimes be seen. It has red fruits that appear in September and October and sometimes later. It has a wintergreen or pine sort of scent when crushed. Winterberries are dioecious having both male and female plants. The female plants actually have false anthers around the berry in order to fool pollinating insects.  

  • Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica)

Fragrant sumac has alternate compound leaves, in leaflets of three with the margins toothed. When the leaves are crushed, they have strong odor. It is a small shrub that reaches eight feet high. Fragrant sumac is used for nesting and shelter by the wildlife, it provides quality ground cover. The fruit is not the first choice for many animals and persists into winter in many cases for winter browsing.