Tables 2 & 4: Black Hawk, Colorado Data

TABLE 2 FOR TEACHERS

Paper dots or confetti shapes coded to the Pollen Key found in Table 4
and the amounts to be used to make up each sediment sample

You will have to create your own key based on your choice of dot colors or confetti shapes. In the sediment age designations, ybp = years before present. This table is intended for teacher use only. Distributing it to students would give them the answers to the activity.

Sediment Layer
Plant Species
Color or Shape Code
Number of dots or confetti needed
1
(150 ypb to present)
  • ponderosa pine
  • aspens
  • meadow grasses and wildflowers
  • A
  • C
  • B
  • 8
  • 5
  • 12
2
(150 ybp to 650 ybp)
  • Engelmann spruce
  • limber pine
  • lodgepole pine
  • bristlecone pine
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
3
(650 to 1,500 ybp)
  • ponderosa pine
  • Douglas fir
  • meadow grasses and wildflowers
  • A
  • H
  • B
  • 10
  • 9
  • 6
4
(1,500 ybp to 3,500 ybp)
  • Engelmann spruce
  • limber pine
  • lodgepole pine
  • bristlecone pine
  • sedges & mosses
  • willows
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • I
  • K
  • 5
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 6
  • 5
5
(3,500 ybp to 8,000 ybp)
  • ponderosa pine
  • meadow grasses and wildflowers
  • aspen
  • Douglas fir
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • H
  • 6
  • 10
  • 5
  • 4
6
(8,000 ybp to 10,000 ybp)
  • alpine grasses & daisies
  • alpine sage
  • Engelmann spruce
  • sedges & mosses
  • willows
  • aspens
  • J
  • L
  • D
  • I
  • K
  • C
  • 7
  • 4
  • 4
  • 6
  • 2
  • 2

TABLE 4 FOR STUDENTS

Pollen Key and Climatic Characteristics of the Vegetation

Color or Shape
Code
Plant Species
Climatic Characteristics
A
ponderosa pine

Long-needled pines, ponderosas occupy warm, dry slopes. It is the dominant forest tree of the western North American montane zone.

B
meadow grasses and wildflowers

Growing in warm summer temperatures and summer drought, this pollen is a mixture of herbaceous plants common to warm - temperate meadowlands.

C
aspen
The most widely distributed tree in North America. It lives in many soil types and is a pioneer tree after forest fires. Short-lived, it is replaced by conifers. Aspens can live in riparian areas (water present), but cannot withstand the damage from deep snow pack.
D
Engelmann spruce
Found in cold, usually sub-alpine sites. It is an important timberline species in the Rocky Mountains.
E
limber pine

Enduring the harshest of climates, these pines live high on ridge tops, where extremes in weather are the norm - strong winds, cold temperatures, drought, and poor soils.

F
lodgepole pine

Found in areas of very cool climates typically growing in poor soils, often at high altitudes under the present climate.

G
bristlecone pine

Growing close to and in association with the lodgepole pine, these trees survive the harshest of temperatures and climates.

H
Douglas fir

Sharing a montane (mountain side forest) habitat with the south facing ponderosa open pine forests, the Douglas fir is usually found on the north slope. It prefers moderately cool to warm sites, growing best under temperate moist conditions.

I
sedges and mosses

The pollen from these low growing plants is often found in very cool alpine/subalpine meadow sites, characterized by very cool summers, harsh winters, and short growing seasons.

J
alpine grasses and daisies

These low growing plants are typically found in cool, moist, short summers and cold winters. They are usually found in higher altitudes.

K
willows

Often found in the broad glaciated areas of the subalpine and montane zones, willows grow avidly in wetland or riparian areas. Their habitat is one of transition, often being replaced by the spruce-fir forests.

L
alpine sage

A woody, low-growing shrub, related to the sagebrush on our prairies, this plant is found only at high-altitude, cold sites.

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