Aquatic plants in Pigeon Lake

This afternoon I had the fortunate opportunity to learn about identification of aquatic plants in Pigeon Lake from one of Trent's graduate students and a contributor of the guide "Aquatic Plants Guide: Aquatic plants in the Kawartha Lakes - their growth, importance and management".

An overcast day.

B&W Scenery

PA050136-Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria)
Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria), which can be harmful to animals and humans.

PA050135-Star duckweed (Lemna trisulca)
Star duckweed (Lemna trisulca), a favourite food of ducks.

PA050140-Elephant snot (Mougeotia)
Elephant snot (Mougeotia sp.), one of the three forms of filamentous green algae that my friend studies (i.e., the effect of water chemistry on the growth of Mougeotia, Spirogyra, and Zygnema).

PA050143-Large-leaved pondweed (Potamogeton amplifolius)
Large-leaved pondweed (Potamogeton amplifolius).  This is one of the six main species of Potamogeton spp. [Potamos- and -geiton (Greek for river and neighbour, respectively)] (or pondweed) in Kawartha Lakes.  Even though they can be difficult to tell apart, they all have alternating leaves with a visible mid-vein (seen in this photo).

PA050145-Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)
Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), an invasive species that forms dense canopy on the water surface and shades out other aquatic plant species.  There is also M. sibiricum, which is the native species.  According to Newmaster et al. (1996), M. sibiricum has 5 to 12 leaf-like segments per side, while M. spicatum has 12 to 20 segments per side.

PA050146-Tape grass (Vallisneria americana)
Tape grass (Vallisneria americana)

We went ashore to a local park to check out fungi that my friend saw bioluminescenting at night.  This is the underside.

From the top. [Edit: This looks like Panellus stipticus.]

Some other kind of mushroom on the ground.

PA050184-Water Marigold (Megalodonta beckii)
Water Marigold (Megalodonta beckii).  Although the leaves (the threadlike segments) may look whorled, they are actually opposite but branched immediately from the stem.  This photo doesn't show that too well.

PA050188-Coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum)
Coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum).  A floating plant with no roots and can reproduce quickly from fragmented parts.

PA050192-Tape grass (Vallisneria americana)
More tape grass (Vallisneria americana).

Entering the "echo tunnel" to the land of garden gnomes (that's what my friend calls it).

Through the tunnel.

PA050205-Common waterweed (Elodea canadensis)
We found more plants on the other side, including the common waterweed (Elodea canadensis).  You can see that the leaves are small and crowded towards the tip.  These plants look like artificial plants found in aquariums.

Back to the other side.

Difficult to capture the fall colours because of the overcast sky.

An osprey nest.

Strange cat artwork on a small island.

PA050247-Female part of tape grass (Vallisneria americana)
Female part of tape grass (Vallisneria americana) with some ovules or eggs coming out.

Exploring Pigeon Lake
Exploring a gap between islands.

Quick review of some of the plants we saw today, from left to right: E. canadensis, calcified milfoil, C. demersum, and Muskgrass (Chara sp.).

And some more: Chara sp., E. canadensis, Megalodonta beckii, and Myriophyllum spicatum.

PA050256-Richardson's pondweed (Potamogeton richardsonii)
Another one of the pondweed plants - Potamogeton richardsonii (Richardson's pondweed or clasping pondweed).

Helped out with some leaf-raking before we leave.  Definitely learned a lot today thanks to everyone.

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