Stephen P. Broker
Slide Set #1 Olympic Peninsula, Washington
This slide set is intended for showing during one class period. For each slide, a question is posed to the students. The question should generate student discussion about issues of climate and ecology, and about those characteristics of plants and animals which make them well adapted to their surroundings. A worksheet based on information presented below is to be completed by students as they view and discuss the slides.
Slide 1. Glacier-covered peaks of Mount Olympus, Olympic Peninsula, Washington. Mount Olympus is 7965 feet above sea level, four times higher than any Connecticut mountain. What conditions of climate would you expect here?
Slide 2. Pacific coast of the Olympic Peninsula; driftwood logs piled on beach. Why are there so many logs on this beach, and from where did they come? (old-growth logs, washed here.)
Slide 3. Olympic National Park stream bed with fallen logs. Fallen logs are abundant (and important) on the Olympic forest floor and in rivers. What value do these logs have for the animals that live in the river?
Slide 4. Old-growth forest of the Pacific Northwest. What does an old-growth forest have that makes it “old-growth”?
Slide 5. The Hoh River, blue with transported glacial polish. The waters of this river are cloudy and blue-colored. What causes the water to appear this way? (suspended particles of glacial mill.)
Slide 6. Hoh River Valley—glacially carved valley. Notice the deep, U-shaped valley. How could such a valley have formed?
Slide 7. Arctic-alpine meadows of the Olympic Mountains; alpine wildflowers. What conditions are needed by wildflowers in order for them to grow? What adaptations must these alpine plants have to succeed high in the Olympic Mountains? (Ultraviolet light tolerance, extreme cold and wind tolerance, snowpack tolerance, short growing and flowering season.)
Slide 8. Olympic timberline—krummholz trees. What is unusual about the appearance of these trees? Why are the branches growing only on one side of the trunks? (protection from extreme winds.)
Slide 9. Interpretive sign—What Are Temperate Rain Forests? Make a list of the climatic factors that are required for the development of a temperate rain forest.
Slide 10. Fog bank rolling in from the Pacific Ocean. Fog can increase the level of precipitation in a temperate rain forest by 40” a year. How do plants (trees) get water from fog?
Slide 11. World’s largest Sitka Spruce (
)—detail of trunk with person in front for scale; Lake Quinault area, Olympic National Forest. What competitive advantage must this tree species have over other species in the rain forest? (It grows best in fog and moist air, outgrowing in height all other trees.)
Slide 12. World’s large Sitka Spruce—full tree with person at base for scale. Describe the overall appearance of this tree.
Slide 13. Western Red cedars (
), with person to show scale. This unusual shaped tree is three trees fused together, producing a growth that is wider 30 feet up in the air than it is at ground level. Western Redder is the co-dominant tree species of the rain forest. How tolerant do you think it is of shade?
Slide 14. Old-growth forest. Describe the forest floor. Why do you think there are few plants of any size growing on the ground?
Slide 15. Several hundred year old trees germinated on nurse log. Notice that these trees are all large, and they all grow in a row. Explain how this might have come about.
Slide 16. Nurse log with conifer saplings. Estimate how many young trees are growing out of this log. One hundred years from now, how many do you think there will be still alive? Five hundred years?
Slide 17. Big-leaf Maple (
) in Hall of Mosses, Hoh Rain Forest. This maple is usually covered by epiphytes, plants that grow up in the air and have no roots reaching the ground. What problems do epiphytes face in making a living?
Slide 18. Club mosses (
) hanging from Big-leaf Maple. How might this plant obtain water in the rain forest?
Slide 19. Club mosses and other old-growth forest epiphytes. In addition to club moss, what other plants grow up in these trees?
Slide 20. Detail of club mosses. Describe the club moss.
Slide 21. Ancient hollow snag. Many animals live in the old-growth forest. What types of animals might be found to live here?
Slide 22. Forest floor, with 200 foot fallen log. This tree might take 300-500 years to decay completely. What does that tell you about the nutrients of the forest?
Slide 23. Ancient hollow stump. Estimate the age of this stump.
Slide 24. Hoh River gravel beds. What observations can you make about this scene? (water-transported gravel, periodic flooding, unstable environment for growth of trees)
Slide 25. Red Alder (
) and Black Cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) flood plain forest. How are these trees adapted to life near the river? (high tolerance of periodic and regular flooding, ability to grow in oxygen-poor soil)
Slide 26. Bracket fungi on large snag. What is a decomposer?
Slide 27. Old-growth lichen,
. Lichens consist of an alga and a fungus living together in a symbiotic relationship (perhaps not purely symbiotic). How might they help each other to survive up in trees?
Slide 28. Devil’s Club,
. Why do you think the species name of this plant is “horridum”?
Slide 29. Ground cover plant, sorrel (
.) One of the few abundant forest floor plants. What allows it to grow here?
Slide 30. An endemic Olympic mammal, the Olympic Marmot (
). Why might the Olympic Marmot be different from marmots living in other parts of Washington State and the Northwest? (geographic isolation and evolution; consider isolation of the Olympic Peninsula from the rest of the state, especially in light of glaciation—different environmental conditions over time.)
Slide 31. Columbian Black-tailed deer (
Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
). What close relative lives in the east?
Slide 32. Roosevelt Elk (
Cervus elaphus roosevelti
). Unlike most elk of other parts of the west, Roosevelt elk are sociable animals. What advantages are there to sociability in deer family members?
Slide 33. Olympic Peninsula forest clearcut. How do people make a living in the Olympic Peninsula? What effect does the industry of the peninsula have on the old-growth forest?
Slide 34. Olympic Peninsula lumber mill operation. How do we use trees after they are cut down?
Slide 35. Fifty year harvesting rotation of former old-growth forest. Can old-growth forest develop here in the future? (Not with the current management plan for this tract of land.)
Slide 36. Old-growth forest of the Pacific Northwest. Old-growth forests are being managed for multiple use—by different people for different purposes. Of what value is this forest? How do we balance competing interests in old-growth forest?
Slide Set #2 Florida Everglades.
This slide set is intended for use in one class period. It is best spaced several days before or after the use of slides from the Olympic Rain Forest. Inquiry questions and worksheet questions are suggested below.
Slide 1. Map—Everglades National Park, Florida. When you hear the word “Florida, “ what does it mean to you? What do you know about the State of Florida?
Slide 2. Everglades National Park, Royal Palms entrance. The rock shown here is the bedrock underlying all of South Florida. What type of rock is it, and how did it form? (Limestone deposited on former sea floor.)
Slide 3. Shallow limestone bedrock. Describe one or more ways in which this land could have previously been sea floor. (Discussion should lead to consideration of changes in sea level through time. )
Slide 4. Ancient coral reef inland at Everglades National Park. This “fossil” reef is several feet higher than surrounding land. How does the vegetation here differ from plants nearby?
Slide 5. The Anhinga Trail, Everglades. The Anhinga Trail is a popular spot for viewing Everglades wildlife. What conditions are available here for different types of animals?
Slide 6. Taylor Slough Boardwalk. Two “sloughs”, or slow-moving, shallow rivers, are found in the Everglades, Shark River Slough and Taylor Slough. How are these sloughs different from rivers you are used to seeing? (Average depth is 6-12”, greatest width of river is many miles, speed of flow is measured in feet per day.)
Slide 7. Taylor Slough water depth gauge. Measuring the depth of water in the Everglades is a regular activity. What does this suggest about the climate in South Florida?
Slide 8. Everglades dam, canal, and levee system. All water flow through the Everglades is controlled by man. Why has our activity of the past has led to such control of water flow?
Slide 9. “River of Grass”—the sawgrass marsh community. What would be the effect of hurricanes, flooding, drought, and fire on this community?
Slide 10. Periphyton beds in sawgrass marsh. Explain how this mixture of more than 200 species of algae can serve as the base of the food chain.
Slide 11. Hardwood hammock community. Tree islands inhabited by mahogany, gumbo-limbo, live oak, mastic, and other broad-leaved trees are called hardwood hammocks. Suggest a way in which a hammock might develop in an otherwise flat, marshy environment. (from a lodged piece of peat, wind throw, or other bump in the landscape.)
Slide 12. Largest Mahogany tree in United States. This tree, though hurricane damaged, is the largest mahogany in the U. S. Most Florida mahogany trees have been cut down. Why? (For their extremely valuable, beautiful wood—furniture making.)
Slide 13. The Gumbo Limbo Trail. Describe the bark of the Gumbo Limbo tree. This is a tropical species, found commonly in the West Indies/Caribbean area.
Slide 14. Pinelands forest. How might these Florida Slash Pine trees be resistant to fire? Their continued existence in the Everglades is dependent on periodic fires.
Slide 15. Pinelands pitted limestone bedrock. Walking across the pinelands is very difficult and hazardous, as the limestone bedrock is pitted everywhere with small to large holes. How do holes get eaten in limestone rock? What does this tell you about the effect of acid materials on limestone?
Slide 16. Everglades willowhead. Large holes developing in limestone bedrock are called solution holes. Where they fill up with water during the wet season, willowheads develop. Willow trees get sufficient water to grow here. When the dry season comes, surrounding land becomes dry but willowheads continue to hold pools of water. What animals might be attracted to willowheads in the dry season?
Slide 17. Cypress Dome. Depressions in limestone bedrock collect water and allow the growth of water-loving Bald Cypress trees. The resulting dome-shaped structures are called cypress domes or cypress heads. Why are the trees taller in the center of the head? (The water is deeper here, and peat deposits are thicker.)
Slide 18. Dwarf Cypress forest. These Bald Cypress trees are stunted forms of the cypress that grows in domes or heads. Why do they not gain greater height where they are growing here? (They are stunted by a shortage of water.)
Slide 19. Big Cypress National Preserve—Bald Cypress trees. Northwest of the Everglades is Big Cypress. Here, the trees grow the tallest. What can you predict about water level in Big Cypress? (It is deeper than Everglades water.)
Slide 20. Bald Cypress knees. Trees which grow in standing water face a hazard—soggy, oxygen-poor soil. How might these cypress “knees” assist the trees in getting oxygen for root and stem growth? (Absorption of oxygen from the air.)
Slide 21. Coastal Prairie. Inland from Florida Bay (south of the Everglades) but along the coast is a plant community called the coastal prairie. Consider the effects of hurricanes and severe storms on this community. With what special climatic and ecological conditions do the plants which grow here have to cope?
Slide 22. Coastal Prairie plant community—glasswort (saltwort). Periodic hurricanes deposit peat (partly decayed plant matter) and marl (a muddy mixture of limestone and clay) on coastal prairies. They also force saltwater inland. What effect does this have on plants able to grow in the coastal prairie? (Must be salt-loving. )
Slide 23.. Epiphytic bromeliad. Many Everglades are adapted to life up in the air. How does this plant gain access to water and soil?
Slide 24. Red mangrove community. Mangroves have developed prop roots to enable them to live successfully in coastal and inland saltwater regions. Explain why it is that prop roots are an important ecological adaptation.
Slide 25. Hurricane Andrew damage to pinelands. Two climatic and weather occurrences are common to the pinelands: regular hurricanes, and regular fires. How do hurricanes control the appearance of the pineland forests?
Slide 26. Uprooted Florida Slash Pine—Hurricane Andrew damage. What can you say about the pineland soils? (Extremely shallow)
Slide 27. Hurricane Andrew damage to the Gumbo-Limbo Trail. What has happened to these pine trees?
Slide 28. Hurricane damage to coastal prairie. Ecologists refer to the spatial (area) and temporal (time) diversity of the Florida Everglades. With the possibility of flood, drought, hurricane damage, or fire affecting the different regions of the Everglades at different times, great variability results in the plant and animal communities which are present.
Slide 29. Fire in the pinelands. How can fire promote growth of pine trees and prevent other species from coming into this region?
Slide 30. Liguus fasciatus tree snails. 52 color forms have been identified here. The snails live on tree islands among the deciduous trees growing there. How does this illustrate evolution?
Slide 31. Zebra Butterfly. A tremendous diversity of invertebrates is found in the Florida Everglades, including this neotropical butterfly species. Butterflies usually spend part or all of their life cycles in close association with specific host plants.
Slide 32. American Alligator. In periods of drought, willowheads and bayheads remain filled with water because they are enlarged by the activities of alligators. How do you think an alligator might be able to form “alligator holes” in the Everglades?
Slide 33. Florida Garfish. This consumer eats certain foods, and it serves as food for other animals. What does the garfish eat, and what eats the garfish?
Slide 34. Mrazek Pond birders and birds. Develop a list of reasons why thousands of people visit the Everglades each year.
Slide 35. Anhinga drying wings. Why must the Anhinga, a bird which uses its long bill to spear fish for food, periodically dry its wings from a tree perch?
Slide 36. Common Ibis. What adaptations does this bird have for obtaining food?
Slide 37. Tricolored Heron. How is the bill of the Tricolored Heron different from the bill of the ibis?
Slide 38. Wood Stork. Wood Stork populations are dependent on annual drying out of Everglades habitats, so that food sources can become more concentrated in pools of water. Explain how you think Wood Storks collect their food.
Slide 39. Statue of the Florida Panther—Royal Palm Visitor Center. In which Everglades communities would you expect to find the endangered Florida Panther, and why?
Slide 40. Sunset at Flamingo, the southern tip of the Everglades.