This lab involved field work in Hammond Woods, Newton, MA. Here, we observed trees in two sites: an exterior and interior site. These two sites possessed different distributions of trees and their species. The exterior, or edge site, consisted of four different species of plants: the White Pine (Pinus strobes), the Red Maple (Acer rubrum), the Red Oak (Quercus rubra), and the Sweet Birch (Betula lenta). The interior site consisted of the Red Oak (Quercus rubra) and the Sweet Birch (Betula lenta). Table 1 displays the exact number of each species that was found in the exterior site, as well as the percent cover of each individual tree.
[...] AXIS IS THE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUAL TREES WITHIN THE SITE] Figure 2. Frequency of tree sizes at interior site AXIS IS THE DBH RANGE the Y AXIS IS THE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUAL TREES WITHIN THE SITE] Within both sites, the species' diversity varied. The exterior site consisted of four different species. Each of these species was present in two trees each. However, the interior site consisted of only two different species. There were eight trees that were Red Oaks (Quercus rubra), while there were four that were Sweet Birches (Betula lenta). [...]
[...] The interior site was covered with dead leaves. Very large rocks/boulders made up a majority of this area. There actually were not large amounts of soil here. Little or no litter was found. A large amount of moss covered the ground. With large rocks presents, the size of the trees is stunted in certain areas of the interior site from moisture levels, thus giving the varied sizes In order to make this experiment more accurate, I would have done a few things differently. [...]
[...] DISCUSSION The main objectives of this lab were to “learn ecological census techniques” and to “test hypothesis regarding the impact of edge effects on plant community composition in a local nature reserve” (Delissio, 33). By observing an exterior and an interior site, we could compare and contrast the two and determine the extent of influence the edge had on the environment. My hypothesis was that the exterior site would display much more edge effects than the interior site: the exterior site would have more invasive plants, more litter, and a deeper layer of “filler soil” due to humans. [...]
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