Saturday, November 27, 2010

Vernal Pool Project 2010

Two vernal pools in Connecticut were study during the month of April for macroinvertebrate populations. The first pools was located at Flanders Nature Center in Woodbury and the second pool was located at Web Mountain in Monroe.
All the macroinveterbates were collected using a dip net, preserved in alcohol and identified later to the farther possible taxa. Both pools were populated by spring pipers and wood frogs.

Pool locations
Pool at Flanders is a latitude of 41.60010 decimal degrees and a longitude of - 73. 20289 decimal degrees. The pool at Web mountain is located at a latitude of 41.36488 decimal degrees and a longitude of - 73. 17296 decimal degrees. This pool was 3 times larger that the pool at Flanders.



Number Group Taxa
39 Crustacea Caedidotea Communis
17 Gastropoda Physa heterostropha
2 Insecta Chaulionidae spp. (Megaloptera)
2 Insecta Leptophobia spp. (Ephemeroptera)
6 Insecta Cromagrion spp. (Odonata)
1 Insecta Limnephilidae (Platycentropus ?) (Tricoptera)
4 Gastropoda Veneroida spp.
1 Insecta Pyralidae (Lepidoptera)

Web Mountain

31 Crustacea Caecidotea Communis (Isopods)
1 Gastropoda Fingernail Clam (sphaerium spp.)
1 Insecta Megaloptera (Corydalus spp.)
21 Insect Beetles (Coleoptera) Prionocyphon spp.
8 Insecta Midges (Chironomidae)
2 Insecta Phanton midges (Chaoboridae)
1 Insecta Adult Cadisfly (Trichoptera)
7 Insecta Primitive minnow mayflies (siphlonuridae)
1 Arachnida Spider
1 Insecta Dult beetle (Coleoptera)
1 Insecta Damselfly (Coenagrionidae)
1 Insecta Coleoptera (Elmidae)

In both pools the community was composed mainly of crustaceans, gastropods and insects. Isopod crustaceans were intensely abundant, Fingernail Clams appeared in both pools. There was a broader variety of insect orders between both pools. The size of the pool may have been the limiting factor for the insect population at Flanders. Diptera was much more abundant in the larger pool.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bog at its best

In one of my recent vacations I traveled to West Quoddy Head State Park in Lubec, Maine. This beautiful seashore park is the eastern most point in the Continental United States. A wonderful shore location along steep hills and cliffs that grab the attention of most travelers.
Inside the park and along the mayor trail is a black spruce bog where I took some of these pictures. Here anyone can find unbelievable pitchers plants, sundew, Labrador tea, and many more typical artic or tundra plants. These 10 acre bog is a classroom at its best. Lovely to see when the fog comes in from the shore and lightens its mystic character for everyone there to see. Enjoy the pictures and if you need information on how to get there write me a note!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Web Mountain Park is a small preserved located in Monroe. Last week some of my high School kids spotted this female Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) seating on its eggs.
It was amazing to me the ability of this bird to hide in the woods next to a large tree and close to a small stream. Go out there! Open your eyes! And you will discover the wonders of nature.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A word on Invasive Japanese Knotweed

Invasive plants are an alarming problem, and especially when a patch of these plants are found on a central area within a nature sanctuary. Two days ago as I was hiking inside the white trail in the Whittemore Sanctuary in Middlebury, CT. I found an impressive Japanese Knotweed patch within a forested clearing. This growth will expand to new areas if not carefully eradicated.
Japanese Knotweed or Polygonum cuspidatum also known with the names of Mexican bamboo, Japanese’s fleece flower or crimson beauty is a persistent plant that is very difficult to eradicate. It requires annual and consistent cut or pull sometimes 2 or 3 times during the growing season. Some herbicides will also help.
This plant can change the ecosystem by quickly spreading to form dense patches that will exclude native plant populations. It can survive floods, high salinities, and can cause structural damage to foundations.Walk you favorite nature area and look for invasive plants that if eradicated soon will keep the nature area pristine. Alberto F. Mimo