Daily archives "March 21, 2016"

7 Articles

Woodland work

We began our first field day yesterday. The first day was a slow start as we all tried to get familiar with the vegetation down here in New Orleans. Today however, went a lot faster as we got more familiar with the plants.  It’s sad to think that so many people here have taken their environment for granted but especially their wetlands for granted. Wetlands and vegetation in general provide an imense ecosystem service by helping create a buffer against natural disasters such as hurricanes. The field work we are doing involves doing a vegetation inventory of native vs non-native and invasive plants in hopes of gaining a better understanding on the health of this valuable ecosystem and then determine how we can take a positive step forward in protecting these wetlands. 



Heute war die gleiche von gestern, aber heute war mehr effizient und meine Gruppe hatte einen guten (besseren) Rhythmus 🙂 Wir anfangen um 9 Uhr und wir arbeiten bis 19 Uhr… Ich bin so müde aber den Sumpf ist nicht so schlecht. Ich mag es und heute mein Job war die “Machete Hacker” und ich hatte hacken und einen Weg machen. Ich liebe mein Job, weil ich mein Frustrationen mit meiner Machete verlieren hab. Wir haben vier 100m transects beendet und wir könnte mehr beenden, aber wir arbeiten so schnell warum arbeiten mehr dann andere Gruppen? In New Orleans die Traditionelle Mahlzeit seit Montags ist rote Bohnen und Reis so für Abendessen das haben wir 🙂 es war ok… In meine Meinung war es nicht so special, aber ich hatte ganz viel Hunger, dass ich alles gegessen hätte.

Day 5: Field Day 2

Second day in the field was a success. Michaela, Sadie & I blew through 3 transects on Trail A and moved to Trail B where we did 6 more. (9 in total today!) We had quite a few invasive (Tallow & Chinaberry) in our Trail A transects and not as many on Trail B. Trail B was also not as difficult seeing also our first few transects were only 6 meters in length as opposed to 100m.


So for those of you reading our blog, we are probably using many terms that may seem foreign to our readers. I will attempt to explain what we are talking about. A transect is the line that that we run through the wetland for 100 meters. The tape we run through the forest is the “transect” tape.
For myself, being the data recorder, I have many duties. On my data sheet I am I’m charge of recording the transect stop, the natural & exotic overstory, the understory’s percent of ferns & blackberry, the amount of leaf & wood litter, and if there is or is not a fallen log on the quadrant.  Now to explain all of these concepts.  The transect stop is the length of the recording.  For example, if the transect stop is at 4 meters, we are recording everything in between the last stop (2M) and 4 meters.  Our quadrant for that stop is 1 M on each side of the quadrant.  The overstory is the amount of cover over the quadrant we are observing; native percent is the amount of native vegetation that covers the area and exotic is the amount of invasive species that cover the space.  The understory is self-explanatory in that we record the percent of ferns and blackberry we observe.  The leaf and wood litter is just the amount of leaves and sticks/branches that cover the floor; this section is measured in centimeters.  The final section I am in charge of is whether or not there is a fallen log, which is also self-explanatory because I literally circle yes or no. 
The last section of the data entry that I complete is along with the help of Sadie and Michaela.  The space calls for the identification of all plants in the quadrant we are focused on.  This calls for the name of the species, the height of the vegetation and the DBH (Diameter Breast height).  The DBH is determined only of the vegetation is larger than your breast height.  If so, we measured the diameter of the steam/trunk.  I hope these explanations were helpful!



More work at the Woodland site

Today we continued to work on collecting data at the Woodland Trail and Park site. We completed path A at 1200m and moved on to path B. We had some folks who help fund the project visit the site. We discussed two reasons why keeping this site preserved is important. One reason is that it acts as a resting site for migrating birds. They have few places to rest already and the decimation of this area could severely affect migrating bird populations. Another reason why this site is important is that it has a much higher chance of persisting through time compared to other sites that are likely to be affected by sea level rise or development. 

While working the transects we encountered a lot of blackberry just as we did yesterday. The three main invasive species we looked for included: tallow, chinaberry, and privet. All of these plants are from China and have had major impacts on the landscape. Efforts have been made to fight these plants. One way is to girdle the invasive tree and spray it with herbacides. We saw this today on some tallow trees within the site. Some of the trees haven’t bloomed yet which makes identification difficult. Our next step is to finish surveying path B and move on to the next site.  



Research day number two was today, we got a botany lesion today which was very interesting. We learned about various species identification due to some confusion yesterday which helped groups go much quicker today. 


Read more about ..

Yesterday was our first day doing vegetation surveys at the Woodlands Trail Conservancy. Holly, Hayley, and I teamed up to form the Gumbo Gang and spent the day learning the lay of the land and the different vegetation which inhabits it. We finished two transects and will be completing more today!