Exploring Natural Communities of Centennial Woods

After investigating my phenology spot in Centennial Woods and reading through Wetland, Woodland, Wildland, I believe that the natural community of my area is a White Pine – Red Oak – Black Oak Forest. I came to this conclusion by noting the large numbers of both Eastern White Pines and Northern Red Oaks. Many of them are old trees that occupy the canopy, showing that there has been a stable population for some time now. Another feature of my spot that is described in Wetland, Woodland, Wildland is the fact that White Pine – Red Oak – Black Oak Forests often occupy the slopes of stream valleys. This description fits the characteristics of my spot precisely.

Although I only decided to change my phenology spot to Centennial Woods at the beginning of this semester, I have been visiting it ever since the start of the first semester back in September. A lot has changed from then. Of course, all of the deciduous trees have dropped their leaves. However, this has not had a great impact on the amount of sunlight reaching my area because it is largely inhabited by Eastern White Pines which don’t lose their needles. Additionally, on the other side of Centennial Brook is a small meadow. During my first visit, it was lush and full of tall grasses. Now, most of that has died and been matted down by all of the snow, leaving a barren open area there. Finally, the wildlife present in this area has decreased dramatically. In September, I would see and hear many different species of birds including Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadee, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and more. Now, the only birds that I hear regularly are American Crows flying over. I also see much fewer squirrels and no chipmunks which were both abundant in the early fall.

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