Massif des monts Sutton BioKit: plant diversity

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At first, as you make your way up, the landscape will mostly consist of sugar maples, yellow birches and American beeches. As you climb higher, you will see white birches and balsam firs. At the very top, conifers such as fir and red spruce will be more abundant. Pay attention to the vegetation and you will see these changes!

1, 2, 3, discover nature's elders. Try to find the following trees and shrubs during your outing and check them off as you see them. Touch the bark and describe its colour and texture so that you can recognize the trees even in winter!

Sugar maple, Yellow birch, Hobblebush, American beech (Photos: © Isabelle Grégoire), Black cherry (Photo: © Bill Cook, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org), Striped maple (Photo: © Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org)

A Closer Look at Nature

Continue exploring by observing the underbrush plants. Crouch down and take out your magnifying glass to find:

  • a plant with small hairs that help it stay moist
  • a plant with thorns that repel hungry visitors
  • a tiny plant that forms a carpet

Have you made a strange or intriguing discovery?

Draw or describe it.

Sensitive fern and a spore-bearing frond (Photo: © Claude Joyal)

Observe the ferns around you. These non-flowering plants are believed to have appeared close to 360 million years ago. Back then, they measured more than 20 m high, as tall as a tree! Today, we still find tree ferns in tropical regions.

Have a look at two different ferns. Using your magnifying glass, look under the leaves (called fronds). Do you see small brown or yellow clusters? These structures contain spores, which are used for reproduction.

The spores can also develop on other parts of the frond or on fronds that are not leafy, as in the case of the sensitive fern.

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