Ecology and Physiology of Plants in Winter
January 10 & 11 (Friday & Saturday)
Instructor: Dr. James Reinartz , Director, UWM Field Station is a plant ecologist and evolutionary biologist.
The Course: The plants of temperate and boreal regions have several anatomical and physiological adaptations that allow them to survive low temperatures. Minimum temperatures set the range limits for many species, and snow and ice loading can be important constraints on the morphology of northern trees. Some woody plants can photosynthesize in the winter, which is also an important time for seed dispersal. This workshop will explore all of the aspects of plant life in the winter, especially what is known about the special adaptations that allow northern plants to survive the freezing and drought associated with extreme cold. We also spend some time learning the basic characteristics used to identify woody plants in the winter. This class includes a balance of indoor and outdoor study, lecture and hands-on activity.
Recommended materials: Hands lens and field clothing; we will spend some time outside. If you have, or want to make, any collections of native woody plants in the winter, bring them along and we will try to learn to identify them in winter condition. If you are staying overnight and there is a chance that ice will be smooth, bring your ice skates; bring skis or snowshoes if there is nice snow. The workshop fee includes a winter fruit and twig key and we will spend some of our time learning winter plant identification, although that is not the main focus of the course.