The Abundance of Coarse Woody Debris at Hueston Woods' Community

At first glance, they all pretty much look the same, millions of trees that look to go on forever in all directions. These places have many names: forests, woods, etc. But after some investigation, it is plain to see there are all kinds of forests with different species, organisms and ecosystems. Hueston Woods’s community has an abundance of American beech and Sugar maple trees, which has actually given it the nickname of a “Beech Maple” forest. Those two trees are the indicator species for Hueston Wood’s, which help researchers have a gauge on how the forest is doing.

In the Bachelor Preserve, there were five different layers of the forest: Flood Plane, Upland, Closed Juniper, Open Juniper, and Pond Community. In my opinion, there seemed to be more coarse woody debris (CWD) at the Bachelor Preserve as oppose to Hueston Wood’s. More CWD in a forest means that there are more nutrients in the soil, thus creating a better opportunity for plants to grow.

Hueston Woods seemed to have more pits and mounds throughout our hike. Bachelor Preserve seemed more heterogeneous because there was much more of a variety when it came to the type of species in the forest.

Hueston Wood’s was predominately American beech and Sugar maple, with the occasional Tulip poplar. Not only that, but Hueston Wood’s did not have any drastic changes throughout the woods. Unlike Bachelor Preserve, we experienced five different types of layers on our hike. These different layers can have a large impact on the types of organisms that live in these ecosystems.

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A forest that is diverse in its plants can enable a range of organisms to thrive. With more variety in life, forests like Bachelor Preserve will more likely thrive in the future. The composition in these two forests will rely heavily on the types of organisms that live there and the amount of CWD it has. A forest with more CWD and organisms is more likely to have richer soil and diversity, which positively reflects the composition of the forest. Our class trips to Hueston Wood’s and Bachelor Preserve taught me some crazy facts I never knew about forests.

For example, I was not aware that, on average, 30% of a forests wood by mass should be dead. I thought that was a really high number, until I learned that if a forest has any less, it could not have a favorable amount of nutrients that are needed for it to thrive. Pit and mounds are very common around forests, especially by hiking trails and river beds. These are seen all the time when you travel through a forest; however, I never knew what they were called. Now I know what those turned over trees are called and how important the pit that is left for the future of the forest. This is a characteristic of growth that is in all forests. When our class had our five minutes of silence, it was fascinating to hear so little, while at the same time hearing things you would not normally hear. It was a unique experience that one would not do normally. I am glad that we were able to participate in the activity and spend so much of our class time in nature.

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The Abundance of Coarse Woody Debris at Hueston Woods' Community. (2022, Sep 28). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/the-abundance-of-coarse-woody-debris-at-hueston-woods-community/

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