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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).

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