This past week wasn’t as taxing as last week, but it still required strenuous work (as all field work should). My partner Avery and I spent the better half of the week doing vegetation surveys at all 25 of our sites. Fifteen of our sites are at Martell and 10 at PWA. We hiked over an entire continent to get from point A to point B (dramatic), but overall we hiked quite far to get to our sites. Half the time we couldn’t reach all of our sites in a 7 hour day because it was physically impossible. During our vegetation surveys, we had a few extra hands on deck from the Stream and Tree groups.
Vegetation surveys generally consist of measuring out 10 m transects from north, south, east, and west so we could document whether the ground vegetation was above 12 in, below 12 in, or bare ground. Then densitometer readings were taken for percent canopy cover, and dbh was measured for the trees in the quadrants. We also moved our pitfall traps to different sites. For the pitfalls we dug 5 holes, placed cups in for insect capture, and covered them with plates so rain wouldn’t be an issue. Funnel traps were also moved after we collected bugs from the traps at each site. The latter half of the week, I spent time looking at bugs under a microscope and categorizing them in their order. Most insects we collected in the order Coleoptera (beetles, weevils, etc.) and Araneida (Spiders). All of the data we collected went into data sheets. We’ve collected camera trap data and rifled through thousands of photos. We’ve discovered deer eating on camera, raccoons, birds, squirrels, a wood chuck, and a coyote. Overall, the week was tough, but a challenge worth partaking in.