Trees

Woodpecker Damage on Ash Trees at the Morgan Arboretum

Woodpecker Damage on Ash Trees at the Morgan Arboretum

Introduction The emerald ash borer (EAB) has killed 75 million ash trees in North America since 2002 (“Ville de Montreal”, 2015), causing Montreal to invest 15 million dollars over the next three years to deal with the infestation, and plant new trees (Laframboise, 2016). Predators of the EAB larvae include woodpeckers (Jennings et al., 2013). […]

Solving a Myth: Do Lichens Know What Direction They’re Growing In?

Solving a Myth: Do Lichens Know What Direction They’re Growing In?

Introduction Growing up in Canada, our culture has always praised the pioneers who colonized what we call home. Lichens, in the way the first settlers tell us about a community, tell us a lot about an ecosystem. They are bioindicators for air quality and perhaps even cardinal direction. Join us in our investigation as we […]

Medicinal Plants in the Morgan Arboretum

Medicinal Plants in the Morgan Arboretum

Dominant tree species within a forest have resounding effects on the developmental direction an ecosystem takes. Different types of trees can affect the soil properties, water, light availability, and in our case, understory growth. A large portion of understory plants have medicinal properties, making them of special interest to humans both historically, having been used […]

Intraspecific Competition within the Sugar Maple Species, Acer Saccharum, through the Assessment of Population Density and Size

Intraspecific Competition within the Sugar Maple Species, Acer Saccharum, through the Assessment of Population Density and Size

There are approximately 150 species of maple trees located within the Northern Hemisphere, with 10 of them native to North America (NRCAN-2015). One of the most commonly grown species of maple is the Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum). Sugar maple is a keystone species, meaning it is a significant ecological element of Northern hardwood forests, like […]

Comparative Study of Lichen Populations

Comparative Study of Lichen Populations

Lichens: they’re very common, but more often than not go unnoticed by the casual observer. What you miss seeing in these unobtrusive composite organisms is their sensitivity to air pollutants that makes them valuable bioindicators. To begin with, lichens are formed through the symbiotic association of a photosynthetic algae and a fungus (Richardson, 1992). The […]

Beechdrops at the Morgan Arboretum

Beechdrops at the Morgan Arboretum

Physical Description Beechdrops (Epifagus virginiana) are annual flowering plants which parasitize beech tree roots all over Eastern North America. They completely lack chlorophyll and have smooth, brownish stems and branches that reach a height of about 30cm (Musselman, 1982).  During our own observations, they were very easy to miss under all the autumn leaf litter, […]

Leaf Litter Invertebrates of the Morgan Arboretum

Leaf Litter Invertebrates of the Morgan Arboretum

Invertebrates, while small, play an integral role in our ecosystem in the St. Lawrence Lowlands. In leaf litter, they aid greatly in the decomposition of organic matter, as cited by Vasconcelos and Laurance in their article on soil fauna (2005). Invertebrates are animals that lack a backbone, but this is where most of the obvious […]