Floristic Inventory of the Cooper Woods-Skinner Woods Complex, Ball State University, Delaware County, Indiana

  • Ahmed Mousa H. Hubini Department of Biology, Ball State University
  • Donald G. Ruch Department of Biology, Ball State University
  • Megan E. Crecelius Department of Biology, Ball State University
  • John E. Taylor Department of Biology, Ball State University
  • Paul E. Rothrock Deam Herbarium, Smith Research Center, Indiana University
Keywords: floristic quality index (FQI), county records, vascular plants, flora-Indiana, physiognomic analysis, Delaware County IN


Owned by Ball State University, both Cooper Woods (CW) and Skinner Woods (SK) are located in northwest Muncie, Indiana. Together the two woodlands are ~19 ha. A floristic survey of both sites revealed 356 taxa representing 225 genera in 90 families. The 12 families with the highest number of taxa in decending order were Poaceae, Asteraceae, Cyperaceae, Rosaceae, Fabaceae, Brassicaceae, Fagaceae, Lamiaceae, Apiaceae, Asparagaceae, Polygonaceae, and Ranunculaceae; these 12 families included 197 (55.3%) of the species documented. Of the 356 documented species, 276 (77.5%) were native and 80 (22.5%) were non-native. A physiognomic analysis for the combined sites revealed the flora consisted of 77 (21.6%) woody species, 202 (56.8%) herbaceous forbs and vine species, 74 (20.8%) graminoid species (grasses and sedges), and three (0.8%) ferns and allies. The FQI and mean C for the native flora were 55.0 and 3.4, respectively, and for all species were 48.6 and 2.6, respectively. The native FQI and mean C imply that the complex is of nature preserve quality, thus possessing sufficient conservatism and species richness to be of importance from a regional perspective. However, the difference between the mean C values (native vs. all species) suggests that exotics are having a negative impact on the native flora, an observation especially true for CW. No state endangered, threatened or rare species were reported, but two species, Rudbeckia fulgida var. fulgida and Spiranthes ovalis var. erostellata, are on the state watch list. Five Delaware County records were reported, three native species (Cardamine parviflora var. arenicola, Carex squarrosa, Rudbeckia fulgida var. fulgida) and two non-native species (Chaiturus marrubiastrum and Lathyrus latifolius).

Plant Systematics and Biodiversity