What use are Furrows ?

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Though I am not fond of the furrows on my forehead, I love the furrows on the bark of mature live oaks (Quercus virginiana). Epiphytes — plants that live non-parasitically on oner plants and things — do not usually grow on relatively smooth bark of short-lived (40 – 60 years in a landscape setting according to the University of Florida) laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), which is pictured below at the Toni Robinson Waterfront Trail in a picture taken a walk that Nancy Soucy (Class of 2010) led for our volunteer group on 3-8-2014.

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The presence of epiphytes and the texture of the bark itself can help to differentiate the long-lived, thick-limbed live oak from its short-lived, round-shaped relative. The fissures in the bark of live oaks “collect” the spores of epiphytic ferns like resurrection fern (Pleopelitis polypodioides) …

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During dry times, resurrection fern appears to be dead, but, in response to moisture, its fronds unfurl or “resurrect” …

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So, if you are an oak, furrows make you prettier …

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