Woods Habitat

Site Description:

This plot is located along the old ski lift, just past the former Sugar Slope ski trail. It's located at a bearing of S 66 degrees W from the VAST trail. The plot slopes about 15% in the southerly direction (refer to Figure 3). The plot itself was very moist and shaded, with most plant life persisting through a thick layer of rich leaf litter, or growing out of decaying logs.  

This plot is 100% shaded by the canopy of several Red Maples located outside the plot. The groundcover consists of about 20% sapling growth, 10% grass, 10% ferns, and 10% dead logs. The other 50% of the plot is decomposing leaf litter from the canopy trees. 

Soil Analysis:

Figure 3- Woods Plot from the trail

For this test, I attempted to dig a hole at least two foot deep to create my representative soil pit. However, after three attempts in three different spots within the plot, the deepest hole I was able to dig was 8 inches. My best guess for this odd occurence, is that this site was competely or largely located on a expansive bedrock outcropping. I was able to reinforce this hypothesis, by the observation of bedrock on the trail, only 3+ feet away.

 

Within this 8 inch hole, I found two representative soil horizons. The first horizon was a 1" layer of leaf litter and duff. This level tested at a pH of 6.0, which can be defined as an "acid environment." The second horizon occured for 7", until I hit a thick rock ledge. This second horizon consisted of dark brown soil that had a "clayey" texture between my fingers.

 

 

Plant Inventory:

Figure 4- Soil horizons

All of the plants that I documented in this plot, had to be very well adapted to a moist, and cool growing climate. Mosses and ferns generally tend to be the front runners for this climate type, but I also found a good amount of established seedlings and small herbaceous plants. In total, I documented occurences of: Hayscented Fern, Northern Red Oak, Trout Lily, Red Maple, Wild Rapsberry, Canada Mayflower, and Sphagnum Moss (All of which can be observed through the slideshow to the right).

visits since Sept. 2016

webmasters:  Bob Anderson and Diana Todd