Coefficients of Conservatism

Coefficients of conservatism defines values from 0-10 which indicate the level of sensitivity to disturbance. On this scale, 10 is the highest sensitivity and 0 is the lowest.

Here is a list of a few species that I was able to find at Tucker Dr Park in Worthington, Ohio along with their CC values.

  • Northern Spicebush, Lindera benzoin: 5
  • White Oak, Quercus alba: 6
  • Bluewood Aster, Symphyotrichum cordifolium: 4
  • Black Walnut, Juglans negra: 5
  • Yellow Pimpernel, Taenidia integerrima: 6
  • Lesser Snakeroot, Agertina aromatica: 6
  • Green Ash, Fraxinus pennsylvanica: 3
  • American Silverberry, Elaeagnus commutata: 5
  • White Ash, Fraxinus americana: 6
  • Manitoba Maple, Acer negundo: 3
  • Virginia Copperleaf, Acalypha virginica: 0
  • Big-Leaved Aster, Eurybia macrophylla: 5
  • Wingstem, Verbesina alternifolia: 5
  • Freeman Maple, Acer x freemanii: 3
  • Touch-me-not, Impatiens capensis: 2
  • Summer Grape, Vitis aestivalis: 4
  • White Cedar, Thuja occidentalis: 9
  • Eastern White Pine, Pinus strobus: 0
  • Red Osier Dogwood, Cornus sericea: 3

 

Four Highest CC Plants

The highest CC plant I found is White Cedar, and its scientific name is Thuja occidentalis. This plant has a CC value of 9. Its evergreen leaves grow to be about 1/4 inch long. The bark is usually a red-brown color and the fruit are oblong shaped and upright. White cedar leaves were used for medicinal purposes in the past.

The next plant is White Oak, scientifically named Quercus alba, and has a CC value of 6. The leaf arrangement is alternate, and the leaves grow up to 8 inches long. It is interesting to note that the acorns of this tree can be anywhere between 50-100 years old.

Up next is Lesser Snakeroot whose scientific name is Agertina aromatica. Its CC value is 6. This plant can grow almost 3 feet. The stems are hairless, and the leaf arrangement is opposite. An interesting fact about Snakeroot is that fire can aid its reproduction.

Lastly, this plant is named White Ash. Its scientific name is Fraxinus americana, and its CC value is also 6. The leaf arrangement and complexity are opposite and compound respectively. Interestingly, White Ash supports the larvae of European Tiger Swallowtail.

White Cedar has a high CC value of 9 which means that it cannot not sustain disturbance. This plant needs a stable environment to survive. The other plants that have CC values of 6 can sustain a moderate amount of disturbance.

Four Lowest CC Plants

One of the lowest CC plants I found is Virginia Copperleaf. Its scientific name is Acalypha virginica. It has a CC value of 0. The leaf arrangement is alternate, and the leaf complexity is simple. The sap of this plant is mildly poisonous but can cause contact dermatitis.

The other lowest CC plant I found is Eastern White Pine, and its scientific name Pinus strobus. This plant also has a CC value of 0. The needle-like leaves appear in large quantity and can be blue, green, or white. Something interesting about this plant is that it supports Imperial Moth larvae.

The next plant with a low CC value is called Touch-me-not whose scientific name is Impatiens capensis. Touch-me-not has a CC value of 2. The leaf arrangement is alternate, and the leaves can grow up to 3 inches long. This plant has moderate resistance to deer and fire.

The last lowest CC value plant I found is Freeman Maple, and its scientific name is Acer x freemanii. This hybrid tree of Acer rubrum and Acer saccharinum has a CC value of 3. The Freeman Maple has a simple leaf complexity and an opposite leaf arrangement. It’s leaves can grow up to 6 inches. It’s flowers bloom in April, but tend to go unnoticed. When they do so they are located at the ends of one year old branches in red clusters.

These plants with a CC value ranging from 0-3 can ecologically tolerate a wide range and are usually the first settlers in a disturbed area.

Invasive Plants

The first invasive plant that I found is called Horse Chestnut. Its scientific name is Aesculus hippocastanum. This plant can grow up 40 meters tall and has palmately compound leaves. The flowers of Horse Chestnut provide a nectar for bees and insects.

The next invasive plant is Redshank, and its scientific name is Persicaria maculosa. The leaves of a Redshank grow in an alternate leaf arrangement. They can grow to be 6 inches. The purple spot located in the middle of the leaves provided the plant with an alternate name of lady’s thumb.

Next up is Tree of Heaven, scientifically known as Ailanthus altissima. The leaf arrangement is alternate, and the leaf complexity is pinnately compound. This tree can grow very rapidly and harm or even kill the surrounding native plants.

Lastly, this plant is called Goldenrod. Its scientific name is Solidago canadensis. The Goldenrod has a simple leaf complexity, and the leaf arrangement is alternate. The leaves can grow to be 6 inches long. The clusters of flowers contain anywhere from 100 to 1300+ flowers.

 

Substrate-Associated Species

The first plant I found is called Hackberry. Its scientific name is Celtis occidentalis. This plant is associated with the limestone and high-lime substrate. It can grow up to 60 feet. The leaf arrangement is alternate, and the leaves have a spear-headed shape.

The next plant is Sourwood, and its scientific name is Oxydendrum arboreum. This tree is associated with the sandstone substrate. The leaf complexity is simple, and the leaves grow up to 8 inches. The leaves are a dark green and turn to a crimson color in the fall.

Lastly, I found Chestnut Oak. Its scientific name is Quercus montana. This tree is also associated with the sandstone substrate. The leaf arrangement and complexity are alternate and simple respectively. The bark is a grey-brown to a brown color.

Works Cited

“Acalypha Virginica.” Acalypha Virginica (Virginia Copperleaf, Virginia Threeseed Mercury) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/acalypha-virginica/. 

“Acalypha Virginica.” Acalypha Virginica (Virginia Copperleaf, Virginia Threeseed Mercury) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/acalypha-virginica/. 

“Acer x Freemanii.” Acer x Freemanii (Freeman Maple) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/acer-x-freemanii/. 

“Fraxinus Americana.” Fraxinus Americana (American Ash, White Ash) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/fraxinus-americana/. 

“Hackberryceltis Occidentalis.” Hackberry Tree on the Tree Guide at Arborday.org, https://www.arborday.org/trees/treeguide/TreeDetail.cfm?ItemID=845. 

“Impatiens Capensis.” Impatiens Capensis (Jewelweed, Jewel Weed, Orange Jewelweed, Touch-Me-Not) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/impatiens-capensis/. 

“Journey with Nature: Tree of Heaven.” The Nature Conservancy, 6 July 2020, https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/united-states/indiana/stories-in-indiana/journey-with-nature–tree-of-heaven/. 

Lesser Snakeroot Ageratina Aromatica. https://www.mass.gov/doc/lesser-snakeroot/download. 

Nix, Steve. “A Quick Study on Northern White Cedar Identification.” Treehugger, Treehugger, 15 Mar. 2018, https://www.treehugger.com/identify-manage-northern-white-cedar-4070842. 

NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. “NOAA National Center for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species (NCRAIS).” Nonindigenous Aquatic Species, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/greatlakes/FactSheet.aspx?Species_ID=2666&Potential=N&Type=0&HUCNumber=DGreatLakes. 

“Pinus Strobus.” Pinus Strobus (Eastern White Pine, White Pine) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/pinus-strobus/. 

“Solidago Canadensis.” Solidago Canadensis (Canada Goldenrod, Canadian Goldenrod, Common Goldenrod, Goldenrod, Meadow Goldenrod,, Tall Goldenrod) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/solidago-canadensis/. 

“Sourwoodoxydendrum Arboreum.” Sourwood Tree on the Tree Guide at Arborday.org, https://www.arborday.org/trees/treeguide/treedetail.cfm?itemID=921. 

“Virginia Tech Dendrology.” Virginia Tech Dendrology Fact Sheet, https://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=76. 

“White Cedar Tree Facts.” Hunker, https://www.hunker.com/12308703/white-cedar-tree-facts. 

“White Oakquercus Alba.” White Oak Tree on the Tree Guide at Arborday.org, https://www.arborday.org/trees/treeguide/TreeDetail.cfm?ItemID=883. 

Woodland Trust. “Horse Chestnut.” Woodland Trust, https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-british-trees/horse-chestnut/.