[OGD] Re: orchids Digest V5 #93

  • From: "Charles M. Ufford" <cmulists@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ogd OFL <orchids@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2012 12:31:59 -0400

I think from what I've seen around upstate ny and other areas, the  
edge of a trail may mimic the forest edge where many orchids grow  
tropically and 'seasonally' dormant/active (sorry my brain isn't  
coming up with the right word or phrase, I worked too many days in a  
row). There is a bit more light, more air movement, and in places up  
in the adirondacks and nearby, trail-side often has a cut into a  
slope. This area often has friable soil, doesn't have standing water  
and other animals besides people may be using a trail to move seeds.  
Also like one trail in the adks where an orchid that is usually  
ephemeral, is fairly persistent and with very nice specimens and  
population, people trim the plants along the trail, keeping the  
'early succession' stage around longer than normal. In this last spot  
the maple seedlings are kept in their place and not too large, so  
that the moisture air movement compaction and light are stable. If  
the trail stays open, the trees are trimmed, then conditions should  
be optimal for a long time. Platantheras hookeri are very often seen  
right on the slope of a trail edge or right in the trail if lightly  
used. Trails do also sort of make wind tunnels which can pull seed in  
both directions which can increase the perception that the plants  
'prefer' the trail, when that is where the seed are most currently  
being dispersed. I'm sure there's more to it than that! Spiranthes  
here are often along roads, which between trees have excellent wind  
tunnels, and vehicles can collect and disperse seeds along maintained  
grassy areas.

On Apr 1, 2012, at 1:07 AM, julia wrote:
> The only possible benefit I can see to living near a compacted trail
> (beyond possible seed dispersal) is the reduction of competition, but
> even that may be a stretch.  Thoughts?
> -- 
> Julia Redman

Charles M. Ufford
Whitesboro, NY

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