The Rocky Road to Plant Diversity in Michigan

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 7:00 PM


On February 4th at 7:00pm the Mid-Michigan Rock Club in conjunction with the Mid-Mitten Wild Ones chapter will host Dr. Anton Reznicek, curator of the UM Herbarium, for his presentation about how geology influences plants in Michigan. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.Here are the details:

The Rocky Road to Plant Diversity in Michigan

Rocks form the structure on which all life on earth exists, shaping the topography and, in most areas, directly influencing the soils. Michigan, by worldwide standards is flat and recently glaciated, so this direct connection is largely broken. Lack of elevation means that rocks directly influence plant growth only where exposed, not by affecting topography (as in mountainous regions). In addition, deep

layers of glacial deposits mean outcrops are limited. However, rock exposures that do exist have a very strong influence on plants resulting in some of our most interesting natural areas. More subtle indirect influences on the flora are naturally, bedrock as sources of glacial deposits, and subtle topographic influences beside mountains – river valleys, the Great Lakes basins, etc. – shape the flora occurrences, mostly by channeling or blocking migrations of plants

into the region. We will have a look at how these direct and indirect influences shape the native flora of Michigan that we see today.


My day job is a Curator at the University of Michigan Herbarium especially working with the flora and biogeography of the Great Lakes region, with strong interests in rare plant conservation, plant migration, and related topics. In addition, I research sedge systematics and biology in the New World, particularly Latin America. I am primarily responsible for the Michigan Flora Online website,

which works to make available information about Michigan plants and their occurrence. My fieldwork has been varied, including much of the US and Canada, including a number of trips to Alaska, many trips to Mexico, plus some trips to South America and China. I am also an avid gardener with interests in rock gardening, native plants, hardy succulents, woodland plants, and more generally, any plants of evolutionary and ecological interest.

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