SNAGGLEPOOF MICROCLIMATE ANALYSIS

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Overview
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Western View

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Eastern View



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Southern View




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Northern View



Description of Site
Our area is located between the baseball field and the sewer area. We decided to use a five meter by five meter area because we could include our whole area, which was very diverse and different in every corner. We chose this area because of the obvious diversity: it has a tree, various bushes, and even a groundhog hole. We knew that the shade from the tree would make some parts of this area much different from others. The area is located directly between the baseball field and the sewage area. The baseball field is to the north and the containment pond is to the south.




Google Earth Map

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Microclimate Location





ORGANISMS
Hairy Vetch: plots 3, 7, and 9
· Tolerates mean annual temperatures ranging from 4.3 degrees Celsius to 21.1 degrees Celsius, which is roughly 39 degrees fahrenheit to 69 degrees Fahrenheit
· Benefits and thrives in areas where the soil has high phosphorous and sulfur levels
· PA is home to many areas where theses conditions are present, including our microclimate


Honeysuckle: plots 3, 7, and 9
· Can range from vine to shrubs; ours was a vine growing along the ground.
· Height varies from one to three feet tall
· Will grow along vine on ground for ground cover
· Grows well on slopes and bunks that have good sunlight access
· Needs moderate amount of moisture to thrive



Smartweed: plot 5
Annual species
· Thrives in regions with cold temperatures
· Commonly found in Great Britain and Ireland, and occasionally found in Scotland
· Native to most European regions, as well as Russian Asia and arctic regions.


American Bittersweet
· Mostly grow in Central and Eastern U.S.
· Can kill trees and are difficult to eradicate from the landscape
· Grow on vines; stems bear blunt horns
· Berries grow only at tip of stem


Paspalum Laeve: plots 6, 8, 10
· Found in old fields, ditches, swamp-like areas, pastures and roadsides
· Often grow with grass that form a small plant
· Thrive in moist areas with lots of cover



Strawberry Clover: plots 6, 8, 10
· Low creeping perennia, roots at stem joints, forming large clumps.
· Typically resides in crop fields, roadsides, turf and home landscapes, and most other disturbed areas that are naturally moist.
· Probaby found in our habitat because of the very moist environment and the moderate amount of disturbance due to human interaction.



Common Northeastern Grass: plots 6, 8, 10
· One type of cool weather grass, meaning that is has the ability to stay green during the winter months.
· Very resilient grass, found in the northeastern regions of the United States.
· Thrives in moist, temperate climates, but is able to survive a wide range of temperatures.



Pokeweed: plots 4 and 2
  • Pokeweed and its relatives are most common in Africa and many parts of the New World.
· Can grow up to 9 feet tall
· It is difficult to eradicate pokeweed once it has established itself.
· On track to becoming an invasive weed, particularly in California gardens.


Ground Ivy (Creeping Charlie): plots 4 and 2
· Creeping European perrenial evergreen that was naturalized in North America.
· Lives in shady, moist areas.
Ex: along paths, hedges, and roadsides
· Mostly found from Ontario to the deep southern United States. Ground Ivy can also be found in Kansas and along the Pacific Coast.
http://www.altnature.com/gallery/Ground_Ivy.htm



Common Chickweed: plots 4 and 2
· Thrives in a wide variety of habitats.
· Prefers soil with PH of 4.8 to 7.3 and a high supply of nitrogen.
· Does well in low temperatures ; and can flower/fruit in temperature as low as -16 degrees Farenheit.
· Susceptible to drought.
· Can be found in disturbed environments, cultivated fields, waste places, forests, gardens.
http://www.invasive.org/weedcd/pdfs/wow/common-chickweed.pdf




Walnut Tree: plot 1
· Deciduous trees, typically 10-40 meters tall
· Have pinnate leaves 200-900 millimeters long
· There are 21 existing species. They can be found across the northern temperate Old World in locations from Southeastern Europe to Japan.
· Are most prominently found in the New World, from South Eastern Canada to California, and south to Argentina.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walnut









Abiotic Factors
As far as abiotic factors are concerned, our plot was sprinkled with shady areas due to the large black walnut tree and other foliage. This brought down the overall temperature of the climate despite the sloped gradient of the plot towards the sun. Our dew point, relative humiditiy, and absolute humidity were higher than the "norm" because we recorded the data early in the morning and our plot was at a lower altitude than the immediately surrounding areas.


Temp. (C)
Light Intensity (Lux)
Dew Point (C)
Relative Humididty (%)
Abs. Humididty (g/m3)
Avg. of All Plots
22.95
247.62
13.73
61.25
12.04


MICROCLIMATES




Microclimate 1
  • Plots 3, 7, and 9

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  • 2010_11020122.JPG


  • Description: Our first microclimate was the most diverse microclimate we had because there were many different kinds of plants. We focused on three plots in this area. Plots 7 and 9 were surrounded by plants and then we also chose plot 5 because of the rock. We knew the rock would have different readings because there were no plants directly there. We found that this was true because the plot with the rock had a higher temperature, a lower dew point, lower relative humidity, and a lower absoulte humidity.
  • Abiotic and Biotic Factors: In Microclimate 1, we found hairy vetch which tolerates best a temperature which was very close to our average for this area. It thrives in areas where phosphorous and sulfur levels are high which might be explained by fertilizer used on the softball field. Many fertlizers contain these nutrients and so it is possible that rainwater brought these nutrients into the area of our microclimate. In addition, we also found honeysuckle which benefits from the angled lay of the area towards the sun. This area received a lot of sunlight because of the sloped nature of the microclimate.


Data Averages for the plots in Microclimate 1

Temp. (C)
Light Intensity (Lux)
Dew Point (C)
Relative Humididty (%)
Abs. Humididty (g/m3)
Plots 3, 7, 9
22.1
233.02
13.08
62.33
11.95

Vegetation in Microclimate 1:
  • Hairy Vetch
  • Honeysuckle



Microclimate 2

  • Plot 5

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Plot 5
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Plot 5 plant
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Northwest part of plot - Plot 5


  • Description: This microclimate located in the north west corner of our plot was exrtemely diverse, but we only tested one plot in this microclimate. We found that the plants in this area had, on average, were the tallest plants out of all our microclimates. As well as there being multiple different kinds of plants in this area, we found that there were multiple plants of each species here as well, including American Bittersweet and Smartweed. This area was also interesting to us because it was located right at the edge of our area, where the gas was cut and the lawn maintained.
  • Abiotic and Biotic Factors: In this microclimate, we found American Bittersweet and Smartweed. The American Bittersweet can survive well in the climate and tend to take nutrients away from the trees, which judging by the somewhat stunted growth of the Black Walnut Tree in the other Microclimate, is quite possible. The Smartweed likes the colder areas and was beginning to grow for the winter season. We also noticed that because of the more direct sunlight in this microclimate, our plants were fuller and larger in this area.

Data Average for Plot 5

Temp. (C)
Light Intensity (Lux)
Dew Point (C)
Relative Humididty (%)
Abs. Humididty (g/m3)
Plot 5
24.85
208.11
14.25
55
11.85

Vegetation in Microclimate 2
  • Smartweed
  • American Bittersweet


http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/smartw54.html


http://landscaping.about.com/cs/groundcovervines1/a/bittersweet.htm





Microclimate 3

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North side of microclimate

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Plot 10



  • Description: Microclimate 3 was where we found the least amount of plants. This area was mostly grass and some small plants, including Paspalum Laeve, Strawberry Clovers, and Common Northeastern Grass. This microclimate was located on the northeast corner of our area and was also located on the edge of where the grass is usually cut. It should also be mentioned that the grass in microclimate 3 was relatively short and pushed down, possibly because of people walking there.
  • Abiotic and Biotic Factors: Paspalym Laeve was found in Microclimate 3 because it thrives in moist climates such as our plot because of the water running through our plot to the drainage. It also thrives in abandoned fields or ditches which is similar to the nature of Microclimate 3. In addition to Paspalum Laeve, Strawberry clover was also found in this Microclimate. Strawberry clover thrive in moist areas where disturbances regularly occur. Because of the animal hole shown below, it is possible that this area would get a alot of traffic. In addition animals often come to this area to feed off the black walnuts that are nearby this microclimate. This area was also shaded and had a lower temperature which increased the moisture. Lastly we had Common Northeastern Grass in this microclimate which is most likely a result of the planting for the nearby softball field. Most likely this grass, which does well in a host of areas, was planted on the field and worked its way over to the edge of our plot and into this microclimate.
Average Data for Plots in Microclimate 2

Temp. (C)
Light Intensity (Lux)
Dew Point (C)
Relative Humididty (%)
Abs. Humididty (g/m3)
Plots 6, 8, 10
18.77
265.81
11.67
66.5
10.75

Vegetation in Microclimate 3
  • Paspalum Laeve
  • Strawberry Clover
  • Common Northeastern Grass




Microclimate 4


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Plot 2
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Plot 4

  • Description: Microclimate 4 was another diverse area because there were quite a few plants, as well as a hole in the ground, which we suspect is the home to a groundhog or a fox. One of the plots that we chose to take readings of was directly over the groundhog hole, because it seemed like a very unique and interesting spot in our area. No plants grew over the hole, but the hole was surrounded by other plants such as Pokeweed, Ground Ivy, and Common Chickweed. We also thought this area was interesting because the groundhog that we suspect lived in the hole, probably came up out of the hole and walked around or ate around this area.
  • Abiotic and Biotic Factors: Pokeweed is a new weed to the continent coming from Africa and has made it all the way to Microclimate 4. This weed benefited from the fact that this was our sunniest microclimate and grew very high in this area. However we remain unsure why ground ivy was able to live in our sunniest area despite its natural inclination to live in shady and moist areas. Our only explanation is that while it this microclimate is not moist compared to our other areas, it may be considered moist in relation to the larger surrounding areas. The final plant we found in this microclimate was the common chickweed which enjoyed this area because of the runoff water will help it refrain from being dried up, which can happen to the plant in a drought. This weed is also regularly found in abandoned places such as this where distrubances from animals may occur.
Average Data for Plots in Microclimate

Temp. (C)
Light Intensity (Lux)
Dew Point (C)
Relative Humididty (%)
Abs. Humididty (g/m3)
Plots 2 and 4
27.15
264.23
16.6
59
13.8

Vegetation in Microclimate 4

  • Pokeweed
  • Ground Ivy
  • Common Chickweed





Microclimate 5


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Plot 1


  • Description: Microclimate 5 was actually the first that we inspected. We chose he walnut tree as our first plot because we thought that this spot would be a good place to take our readings and examine how and why the only tree in our whole area grew right here. This tree was obviously a walnut tree because of the hundreds of walnuts that covered the grassy floor around the tree. As a result of the tree here, we also found many sticks and patches of dead walnuts such as the one in the photograph above.
  • Abiotic and Biotic Factors: Because of the rich, fertile soil in this microclimate a black walnut tree can survive and thrive. There are few other organisms other than the tree in this area because by its nature the black walnut tree is a very "selfish" organism. The huge cast of shade of the tree brings down both the temperature and light intensity of this microclimate. This increases the humidity because the sun can not dry out the common grass below the black walnut tree as quickly.

Average of Data in Plot 1

Temp. (C)
Light Intensity (Lux)
Dew Point (C)
Relative Humididty (%)
Abs. Humididty (g/m3)
Plot 1
27.25
243.13
15.6
53
12.85

Vegetation in Microclimate 5:
Walnut Tree


http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/cropsystems/DC6795.html




Sources

Beaulieu, By David. "American Bittersweet Plants | Berry Picture | Oriental Bittersweet Vines." Landscaping Ideas | Landscape Design | Landscaping Pictures. Web. 19 Nov. 2010. <http://landscaping.about.com/cs/groundcovervines1/a/bittersweet.htm>.
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Bergeron, Karen. "Ground-Ivy." Herbs, Herb Pictures, Medicinal Plants. Web. 19 Nov. 2010. <http://www.altnature.com/gallery/Ground_Ivy.htm>.
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Grieve. "Botanical.com - A Modern Herbal | Smartweed." Botanical.com - Herbal Information, Organic Herbs, Books, & Hydroponic Supplies. Web. 19 Nov. 2010. http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/smartw54.html.
"Invasive Plants, Forest Health Protection, USDA Forest Service." Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry - USDA Forest Service. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/invasive_plants/>.