Month: July 2012

Knowing America

The following is a quote by notable botanist Gerould Wilhelm, in the book A Natural History of the Chicago Region by Joel Greenburg. He is recounting an early experience from his time with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, assessing whether different areas were suitable (low-quality enough) to dump dredge materials. We visited thirteen sites …

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Glaucous Boxelder

Above demonstrates the glaucous/waxy bloom on a boxelder sapling (Acer negundo). This epicuticular wax functions as a hydrophobic barrier, preventing excess water loss in the new green growth of many plants. The slippery surface of a waxy bloom can both defend against and attract tiny herbivores (e.g. insects). In some cases there is a mutualistic …

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