Friday, June 06, 2008

Hike at Roan Mountain for Appalachian Ecology

Black Berries are actually threatening the "grassy bald habitat" on top of Roan Mountain. A project is actually underway to bring in Angora Goats to help control the black berry and keep it from over growing the bald. 
A close up of Rock Tripe, it is edible but a little too spongey for my taste.
Rock Tripe growing on a rock in the understory of a Spruce-Fir Forest.  
False Hellebore is a common plant, albeit one that looks slightly out of place, on top of Roan Mountain.
Roan Mountain Bluet is a very distinctive small flower.
Patches of Blue Berry are also common, scattered throughout the "grassy bald".
Close-up of a bud on a Blue Berry bush. 
A shot of the Blue Berry leaves.
A "grassy bald" on Roan Mountain.
Round Bald, elevation 5826 feet.
The side of grandfather, showing the merger of "High Elevation Deciduous Forest" (light green) and "Spruce Fir Forest" (dark green). 
The understory of a "Spruce Fir Forest" is made up of nothing but "duff" which is a mixture of pine needle debris. 
Green Alder, a relict of ice ages. Roan Mountain supports an isolated population of this plant, which otherwise is only found in the northern most Appalachians, in and around Vermont. 
The most distinctive most of the understory, within a thinner forest, such as were the deciduous and Spruce Fir forests converge. Here, the moss is sending off spore stalks.
In this forest, moss dominates the understory and covers everything.
Three different types of lichen share residence on a rock.
Life is pretty tough at 6,000 ft.
A few shots of the view from Roan Mountain.

This was one of my favorite hikes. My Appalachian Ecology class is over now, so I will have to come up with more things to post, until then,



Christopher Consorto said...

Rock Tripe tastes good “like a tire”, ask about sweet shrub. Have fun. Tell Skeate I said hi.

Swamp Thing said...

Neat post - just found it. My wife and I attended ASU in the 90's and our old dog is named Roan, after Roan Mountain.

I'm a wildlife biologist and I can tell you that scrub management with goats is pretty popular these days!

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