3/10/17

Using Wetland, Woodland, and Wildland as a reference, I concluded that my phenology spot is both a field community and a hardwood forest community. I made this conclusion from the types of organisms that make up these communities. The plants in the field community consist of wildflowers and tall grasses. This creates a solid feeding ground for several species of birds such as cardinals and sparrows. These birds feed on fruit and seeds in the field but ultimately end up nesting in the hardwood forest communities for more protection and a greater diversity of plants. In the field communities, small mammals like mice and shrews roam. This attracts larger birds like owls to the community. The hardwood community is home to early wildflowers that sprout up even before the leaves on the trees have returned after winter. These communities have richer soils and many layers of diverse vegetation. The hardwood forest is home other mammals such as deer and foxes.

The difference that was most noticeable at my spot from the last time I visited was the lack of snow. When I had visited the last time there was a couple of inches on the ground but now in the beginning of march the snow had almost all melted, leaving the barren ground. The soils were dry and frozen and not much vegetation has sprouted up. Because my phenology spot is in a field, there isn’t any body of water close by.

By looking at biofinder, I learned that my phenology spot is surrounded by the highest priority Vermont conservation design. It is also relatively close to a class 2 wetland. Lastly, it is bordered by the highest priority wildlife crossing.