Vegetation, Productivity, and Nutrients
Wayne Zipperer , USDA Forest Service
The survey of remnant forest patches (> 5 ha) was completed this past summer. A total 39 patches were sampled across the Gwynns Falls Watershed. This work complements the riparian vegetation survey. Canopy, shrub/sapling, and woody seedling/herbaceous strata were sampled in two 400 m2 plots, one located on the edge and the other in the interior. In addition, each tree > 10.4 cm dbh was cored. All cores from riparian and remnant patches have been aged and the last five years of growth measured. Analysis of vegetation and core data will be conducted this winter. In addition, a nutrient use analysis was initiated for two species red maple (Acer rubrum) and tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera). Three sampled specimens of each species were located adjacent to each forest permanent plot. Final foliar samples were taken last week and tissue analyses will be conducted this winter. In addition to foliar analyses, litter samples will be collected and analyzed for base cations, nitrogen and carbon. Last year a nutrient budget analysis was initiated. Litter samples were collected and these samples were ground this past summer. Analysis of samples should be completed by Thanksgiving. From the litter analysis, I will be able to complete a nutrient budget for the permanent forest plots. Because of year-to-year variation, litter collection will be repeated this fall.