Vegetation Heterogeneity

Christophe Hebe

 Hemlock BranchThis project will compare the diversity of tree species in different CFI plots around the northern part of the Quabbin reservoir. It will be an opportunity to build and hone our tree recognition skills, and to recognize the heterogeneity of an ecosystem that may appear quite monotonous to the inattentive observer ("Pines, pines and more pines....."). We shall also try to draw some hypotheses around the variations in vegetation, drawing on our knowledge and research on invasive species, climate and soil, sylvicultural practices and environmental management.

The vegetation of the Quabbin, though well documented and inventoried by generations of diligent foresters, has been and continues to be in constant evolution. The arrival of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, which may eventually clear the region of shady hemlocks, and the gradual establishment of a permanent moose population, which influences the rate of tree regeneration, are but the latest factors influencing the composition of the forests. This dynamic nature of the region may thus have a few surprises in store for us in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!