Environmental Education Project
Vegetation: Identification, Frequency, and Distribution
By Nicholas Marrone & David Walker
The purpose of this study is to determine the identification, frequency, and distribution of dominant tree species within the New Island riparian zone.
Looking at aerial photos of the New Island Greenway it revealed the topographic differences in the vegetation. When sampling the vegetation, the first decision was made to do a stand identification. Stand identification is an assemblage of plants close to the same structure. Stand identification requires more than one sample. So, belt transects were taken to cover the sample areas. Then the flora were marked, identified, and counted. The beginning of spring was chosen to do this study because the most growth occurs at this time in the northeast.
When sampling large areas, or examining large tree species only, belt transects are used. A line through the stand is surveyed and all trees surrounding it, or growing within a certain distance of the line are identified and recorded. The location of the transects were kept away from roads and any other disturbances. The transects were taken on the Island from the Susquehanna River's edge to the Island's northern boundary marked by Interstate 88. Generally, the transects ran perpendicular to the river. Using a GPS, the coordinates were taken at the river and a 100 foot measuring tape was placed directly north. Then the coordinates were taken again at the 100 foot mark. These measurements continued until it reached the highway. A total of 6 transects, spanning the full width of the island were taken. After all of the locations and measurements were taken, we marked, identified, and counted the flora species found within 4 feet on each side of the transect line.
The standard recording method for the trees are based on the diagram below.
Sampling Strata: Wetland Delineation Based on the Federal Interagency (FI) Wetland Delineation Manuals. (Strata are typical trees, saplings, and shrubs)
FI Tree Woody plants >5.0 in dbh* and > 20 ft tall
Sapling Woody plants <5.0 in dbh* and > 20 ft tall
Shrub Woody plants < 20 ft tall (generally >3.0 ft)
*dbh = diameter at breast height
Click on the hyperlinks to see the locations and the vegetation
|Transect 1||Transect 1 Location||Vegetation in Transect 1|
|Transect 2||Transect 2 Location||Vegetation in Transect 2|
|Transect 3||Transect 3 Location||Vegetation in Transect 3|
|Transect 4||Transect 4 Location||Vegetation in Transect 4|
|Transect 5||Transect 5 Location||Vegetation in Transect 5|
|Transect 6||Transect 6 Location||Vegetation in Transect 6|
The photo below shows roughly where the belt transects were taken.
Click on the transect numbers to see the vegetation in the New Island area
Black Locust Tree
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Web Page created by: Nicholas Marrone
Last updated 5/13/02