Meadow Habitat

Figure 1- Meadow Plot from the trail

Plant Inventory:

Red Maple
Red Maple

Acer rubrum Red Maples are native to the New England Area. They are browsed by White-tailed Deer and Moose. In addition, they serve as cover for Screech Owls, Pileated Woodpecker, Common Flicker and Wood Duck.

Red Maple2
Red Maple2

Acer rubrum This tree in the meadow plot appears to be affected by Maple Eyespot Gall Midges, a type of immobile maggot that feeds off the nutrients in the leaf. The vibrant reds and yellows are results of the maggots breaking down the chlorophyll (green pigment) in the leaf, allowing the carotenoid and anthocyanin pigments to "shine through."

Steeplebush
Steeplebush

Spiraea tomentosa This flowering shrub is native to parts of eastern North America, Washington, Oregon, and parts of the Midwest. Steeplebush is generally classified by pink or rose colored clusters of flowers that resemble the towering steeples of England. These clusters of flowers attract many different species of small birds and butterflies.

Red Maple
Red Maple

Acer rubrum Red Maples are native to the New England Area. They are browsed by White-tailed Deer and Moose. In addition, they serve as cover for Screech Owls, Pileated Woodpecker, Common Flicker and Wood Duck.

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Within my three visits, I documented eight species of plants within the plot. Specifically, I found: Red Maple, Wild Raspberry, Virginia Creeper, Hayscented Fern, White Avens,  Interrupted Fern, Fringed-Black Bindweed and Steeplebush (all of which, may be seen in the slideshow above). 

 

 

The Meadow plot is located just past the sign that marks the junction between the meadow slope and the tower trail. It is oriented at a bearing of S 46 W degrees from the vast trail. It's about 75% exposed to sunlight, with some of the large bordering trees shading the north western edge of the plot. The plot is 100% covered with floral groundcover, with little to no exposed "bare" soil. Approximately 25% of the cover is due to Red Maple growth, and 75% of the groundcover is composed of fern and small shrub growth, (refer to Figure 1).

Site Description:

Soil Analysis:

Figure 2- Soil pit analysis

In this plot, I found four representative soil horizons within my 18 inch soil pit. The first horizon was a 1/2 inch deep leaf litter layer, followed by a second 7 inch deep light-colored layer interspersed with a layer of fist-sized rocks, followed by a third 10 1/2 inch deep muddy layer before I hit a large bedrock shelf (refer to Figure 2).

 

The first level (leaf litter) tested at a pH of 5.5, which can be interpreted as an "acid environment." The second level (interspersed with rocks) tested at a pH of 6.0, which also translated into an "acid environment." The last layer (dark and muddy) tested at a pH of 6.5, which translated into a slight acid environment.