Michigan Botanical Club
Spring Foray 2007
Nordhouse dunes, Ludington, MI
The MBC Spring Foray will be held at Ludington, MI on May 25-28, 2007. The Arisaema (Mar-April) issue will provide all the details on field trips and room reservations at the Ludington Ramada Inn.
Our focal area is about halfway up the Lake Michigan shoreline between Indiana and Mackinaw City. It will make an interesting contrast to the Indiana dunes area that we visited at the south end of Lake Michigan in May, 2006. It is, of course, much cooler. While this area is basically shoreline and glacial deposits, it is very complex geologically with very diverse habitats ranging from high and dry dunes to glacial kettles, which can be very wet. Likewise, this region is very complex biologically. It is heavily forested and is particularly interesting, because it lies in the transition between more southern deciduous and northern coniferous forests. However, this transition is largely overridden by well-drained soils supporting pine-oak forests, thereby adding to the complexity. Not only will we see a lot of interesting plants and natural communities, but we will learn about their ecology, conservation and management. A list of references is cited later to help those who are want to get more information. The Michigan Natural Features Inventory website also offers a lot of information.
Following tradition, we have arranged a series of evening speakers who will give us overviews and insights into this area starting with Dr. Mary Jane Dockeray to tell us about the geology of this region. Alix Cleveland, Botanist, Manistee National Forest, and Dr. Brian Hazlett (who did his Ph. D. thesis here [see references]) will inform us about many interesting facets of the Huron-Manistee, Hiawatha, Ottawa National Forests and the Nordhouse Dunes respectively.