The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan
Join naturalist Robert Ayotte on a trek through one of the few remnant spruce forests, in Waterloo State Recreation Area, to observe the landforms, soil, and site conditions that generated this ecosystem. We’ll distinguish our two spruces, and learn to separate spruce, from firs and pines. Finally, we’ll determine the long term prognosis for this forest.
Black Spruce, a native evergreen conifer, is usually associated with northern bogs and boreal forest ecosystems; but there are a few remnant black spruce stands in southern Michigan. The boreal forest biome, dominated by spruce and fir, migrated through southern Michigan, some 12,000 years BP, as the glaciers of the Pleistocene epoch retreated northward. Black Spruce, tolerant of cold and wet conditions, found a home in acid bogs and other wet depressions. It’s cones are semi-serotinous (requiring fire to open) and spruce forests are perpetuated by stand replacing fires.
Jackson carpool at 9:30 from Eastside Meijer.
Meet at 10:00 AM at the parking area on Waterloo-Munith Rd. just west of Parks Rd. in Waterloo State Recreation area. GPS, 42°23'13.8"N 84°11'43.6"W
The area is relatively flat, with fairly dense underbrush.
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