The autumn leaf changing is just hitting Atlanta, but was clearly well underway in Ohio by this time. This was taken on 22 October of last year at Jennings’ Woods.
Scott, Joe and I retrieved a single Peromyscus sp. (probably leucopus) mouse during a mammal trapping trial early this summer. Joe had a position in Missouri trapping out mammals of all sorts from areas that they were not wanted, and he advised Scott in setting and baiting the Sherman traps. Here, Joe weighs the mouse; soon after, it escaped…
Tuesday and Thursday of this past week, the two Vertebrate Zoology sections sampled fish assemblages at Jennings’ Woods. Although Tuesday’s weather was less than ideal, raining and cold, the class caught a new fish that we’ve never managed to catch with seining – a Least Brook Lamprey. Unfortunately, the rain and sampling prevented me from taking too many photographs of students in action, seining and giving the-all-too-important fish call. Here’s a few of folks presenting and observing the classes’ catches.
Last week’s intense rain-on-snow precipitation event caused bank overflow at Jennings’ Woods, destroying some riparian zone experimental plots. Another large rain event occurred/is occurring this weekend, and I was able to snap some photographs of the river at bank height. This corresponds with a gauge height of approximately 5 ft at the USGS West Branch of the Mahoning Station near Ravenna, Ohio. Below are a few panoramas: (1) just upstream from the McCormick Rd bridge, (2) at the second major bend, and (3) a decent way into the property, where the last of Peter’s plot were.
Peter has been continuing his monitoring and manipulating of snow cover in his plots this winter, and he has periodically collected samples. Today, sampling didn’t quite go as expected; an off-the-chart flooding event washed through three of his five plots, effectively destroying them by altering organic matter and leaf distribution within the flooded plots. Regardless, Peter salvaged samples from two un-scathed plots and we sample the others just in case there’s something interesting to be found.
Some photos showing riparian flooding:
A non-flooded plot:
Sampling flooded plots:
Today, with the much-appreciated help of a few volunteers, Jessica’s artificial loaves of leaves were set in the stream. The next couple of weeks will include some intense sampling and processing efforts, but given the work done today, it won’t be a problem.
Nine artificial loaves were attached to stakes set into the stream bed in five different riffles. The nine include two leaf treatments, previously conditioned in the stream and unconditioned. Jessica will be sampling them to examine winter invertebrate colonization and FPOM deposition.
Or artificial loaves of leaves, Jessica, another undergraduate student working in my lab, is investigating leaf pack dynamics in an Ohio stream. She has characterized leaf accumulation in the field, and, unfortunately, seen the rapid washing of her samples during a mild flooding event. The next step is to characterize a few variables that may be important in leaf packs within streams (i.e., invertebrate community succession and FPOM accumulation) using artificially constructed leaf packs… or loaves. Below, leaves where pierced onto a kabob with the help of a couple of volunteers.