Natural Communities- Tucker Diveley

The combination of all factors in a natural community including organisms, physical characteristics (soil, water and climate), and the effect on the environment. Traits that are key when determining the natural community are species composition, vegetation structure, and environmental conditions in which they exist. These often repeat with enough similarity across the landscape so that it can recognized and classified as different natural community types. My land plot from the help of Wetland, Woodland, and Wildland I was able to determine it is a limestone bluff cedar-pine forest. Looking first at the plant life there is quite a few Northern White Cedars that clump together ever 10 meters or so, along with other species common in this community are red oak, sugar maple, basswood, and Eastern White Pine. The under story is harder to identify due to my limited knowledge on this type of plant id, however there is several buckthorns present and are common to limestone bluff cedar pine forests. The geological makeup of the park certainly contains an abundance of limestone and munkton quartzite where I usually sit to take notes in this area. The munkton quartzite is slightly furth inland than the limestone which is right against the waterfront.

The phenological changes that I noticed this week were expansive. First, there was significantly less snow than 2 weeks ago, probably about 5in less. In those 2 weeks we has a very warm couple of days where the frozen ground thawed and melted all of the snow. Yesterday there was another snow storm that put about 4in on the ground and melted to about 1in today. The absence of the frozen ground all the melting snow can drain through the soil and leaves well drained soil and a wet landscape. The moss, ferns, and lichen are loving this wet weather and can be seen through patches in the melting snow. One significant change was the absence of ice on the lake. There was absolutely none and the sound of water hitting the cliffs along the shore was deafening. This cold spell would mean great sap collecting for large enough sugar maples in warmer weather and I can even see some red maple buds that look good and are enjoying this slightly warmer weather. Cedars and pines have not changed and the ground is still covered in pine cones, but the oaks and basswoods are still devoid of leaves (still too early in the season). No wildlife in the area that I saw and the bird calls that I normally hear were drowned out by the raging water against the rocks. Concluding that Spring is on the way with warmer weather, soil drainage, no ice, and less snow that stays around. There seems to be a less bleak aurora surrounding Oakledge.

My biofinder portion of the blog led me to find that oakledge park has 3 main areas of interest. The yellow area show rare plant and animal species, the yellow is plant and orange would be animal if there was any. The blue obviously is the lake community which takes up the majority of the landscape and gives the green area its purpose, riperian zone. This zone is the area that separates the mainland from water communities and has tall trees with deep roots that help prevent floods.

~ by tdiveley on March 5, 2018.

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