I have to admit, I greatly struggled in classifying my spot in Centennial. My initial thoughts led me to a Northern Hardwood forest because of its composition. The location has some Sugar Maple, Beech, and Birch, all of which are species indicative of Northern Hardwood Forests. However, being that Centennial Brook runs directly through the center of my location, I began to think it could be classified as a forested wetland. More specifically, a floodplain forest because Centennial is certainly not a swamp or a seep. The first indicator that it may be a floodplain forest is the Brook. Secondly, the “hill” that i have been referring to along the Southeastern boundary is not so much a hill but rather a levee. Additionally, on the other side of the brook is a backswap, or low-lying wet areas on the floodplain away from the active channel. This backswap continues for a brief time towards the southwest and then deep into the Northeastern stretch of centennial. Although this area is not constantly filled with water, there were often shallow puddles and deep mud earlier in the year. Today, when i ventured N.E. out of my location a bit I noticed places with partially frozen over water. Therefore, I think it is safe to classify this land as a backswamp thereby confirming my suspicion that is area may be a floodplain forest.

Further classifying this Floodplain forest into a subcategory also presented some challenges. There are four subcategories of floodplain forests, with two being dominated by silver maple and one being adjacent to a lake, leaving only one option for my floodplain forest; Sugar Maple- Ostrich Fern Floodplain Forest. These forests are typically dominated by sugar maple, basswood, and boxelder. Being that all three of these species are present in (and maybe slightly outside) my location this would be a good classification. However, the presence of Ostrich Fern is also a crucial aspect to these ecosystems and being that it is winter with snow covering everything, there are not many ferns present. I do remember there being a considerable number of ferns earlier in the year, but I do not remember what they look like well enough to say if they were Ostrich Ferns. Therefore, I am going to say that my Centennial Location is most likely, but not definitely a Sugar Maple- Ostrich Fern Floodplain Forest.

Although I couldn’t find any picutres of the levee during the fall face on, it can be seen on the left.

In terms of phenological changes, I am starting to see signs of a coming spring. During my last visit, I noted the complete silence throughout the forest. This time, though definitely quieter then autumn time, I began hearing some of the usual sounds of the forest especially some bird calls. Additionally, the brook was entirely frozen over upon my last visit while I could hear the sounds of running water this time around (though I could still cross without fear of falling in). Another interesting change i noticed was a heavier presence of cone bearing evergreens although I do not know if this has any correlation with the impending spring. However, winter is still here and snow is still covering just about every inch of Centennial making any observation of substrate/hydrology interaction virtually impossible for the time being.

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