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Forest Plot



Vascular Flora of Wisconsin - Botany 401
Spring 2020

Class Information (syllabus/schedule as pdf)

Lecture: T R 9:30-10:20 p.m. Birge 346

Ken Sytsma, 250 Birge Hall, 262-4490


    office hour - Tues / Thur 10:30-11:30 or by appointment


301 M W 1:30-3:30 p.m. Birge 243

TA - Valerie Gehn, Birge 301


office hour - Mon / Wed 12:30-1:30

302 T Th 1:30-3:30 p.m. Birge 243

TA - Tabitha Faber, Birge 319


office hour - Tues / Thur 12:00-1:00


Black, M.R. and E.J. Judziewicz. 2009. Wildflowers of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes Region - A Comprehensive Field Guide. University of Wisconsin Press. Madison - field guide specific to Wisconsin; nicely illustrated with descriptions, diagnostic features, and biogeographical distributions. ISBN 9780299230

Purchase a hand lens and dissecting kit for use in the lab - all are available at the University Bookstore.

Recommended books (all available in lab; * will be used extensively in lab):

*Voss, E.G. & Reznicek, A.A. 2012. Field Manual of Michigan Flora. University of Michigan Press. Ann Arbor. ISBN 9780472118 - this book is great and only $25 from University of Michigan Press online

Cobb, B., E. Farnsworth, and C. Lowe. 2005. Ferns of Northeastern and Central North America. 2nd edition. [Peterson Field Guides]. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA. – the best up-to-date guide to ferns and their relatives. ISBN 0618394960-0

Harris, J. G. and M. W. Harris. 1994. Plant Identification Terminology. An Illustrated Glossary. Spring Lake Publ. Spring Lake, Utah.

Barnes, B.V. and W.H. Wagner, Jr. 2003. Michigan Trees: A Guide to the Trees of the Great Lakes Region. University of Michigan Press - authoratative book on trees (and some shrubs) of this area

Barnes, B.V., C.W. Dick, and M.E. Gunn. 2016. Michigan Shrubs and Vines: A Guide to the Species of the Great Lakes Region. University of Michigan Press. Ann Arbor.

Petrides, G. A. 1986. Peterson Field Guides: Trees and Shrubs. Houghton Mifflin Co. - superb guide to all woody plants (trees, shrubs, vines) in NE and N Central USA and adjacent parts of Canada.

Notes and handouts:

Powerpoint slides are available at the "Lecture" link. Color pdfs (1 slide per page) should be useful for viewing. Black and white pdfs (4 slides per page) can be printed out if wanted. Lecture outlines may be helpful in class and these will be handed out each class as 3-hole punched sheets.

Lab handouts will be provided in each lab session.

Grading: 400 points

Class participation (20 points). You will be graded based on attendance in both lecture and lab! The nature of the course and the material covered necessitate keeping up with the topically linked lectures and labs. Talk to the instructor or TA in advance of missing class or need to attend a different section of lab.

1 written report (30 points) on a vascular species in Wisconsin considered Endangered, Threatened, or Special Concern due on April 14. See handout more information.

2 lecture/lab examinations (180 points total, 90 points each) on March 2-3 and April 15-16. The examinations will be during the laboratory session.

1 field final examination (90 points) during exam week (May 3-8). Scheduling to be done later.

Forest site plant collection and report (80 points) due during exam week (May 3-8). See handout on forest plots for more information — but site should be chosen no later than March 16-17 before Spring Break.

A 368-400 C 280-303
AB 352-367 D 240-279
B 320-351 F less than 240 pts
BC 304-319    


Field Trips:

One or more local field trips will be scheduled during lab periods after the 2nd exam.

An optional half to full day field trip to a mesic forest and dry prairie in southern Wisconsin will be given on Saturday, April 25. We will see plants and communities that will have been discussed during class.