Biodiversity in Riley Woods

  • Each tree was identified by species, and then the diameter was measured. Saplings and seedings were counted, too. 

  • In order to sample the forest, quadrats were measured and every tree within the quadrat was scored.

  • Biodiversity measures the likelihood of finding any one species in the woods. We used this formula to calculate biodiversity in the pine plantation and in the native forest.

November 1, 2018

More Context: measuring and calculating biodiversity

            This week in ecology we have been talking a lot about biodiversity. Biodiversity is the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem. We have specifically been looking at the biodiversity in the native forest and in the pine plantation out in Riley Woods. As predicted, there is more biodiversity out in the native forest, part of which is because there is a lot more variety of trees which create a natural environment for living species. The trees out in natural environment are native to the forest and have not been touched or planted in a certain place. The pine plantation, on the other hand, contains symmetrical rows of pine trees that have been specifically planted and arranged in certain ways. Species that are introduced to a new area are able to support less living organisms like animals or plants rather than native species that have naturally grown and are self-sustaining.

            During one of our recent trips out to Riley Woods, we split off into small groups to measure either soil or the girth of trees in certain quadrants. My group measured the distances around a group of trees in Quadrant One which was in the native forest. We measured the circumference from a variety of trees such as American Beeches, Red Oaks, White Oaks, and Sugar Maples. As we were going through and measuring all the trees in Quadrant One, my job was to write down the type of tree that Zach identified and the measurement of the tree trunk in centimeters that Eli measured. My group measured around 100 trees in total which was a lot. It was a little difficult to keep track of which trees we had already measured and identified. Also making sure to measure every single tree in our quadrat was tough.