Wetland ecology at Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology – Day 5
Nutrient Cycling. Day 5 of wetland ecology at PLE began with an overview of phosphorus dynamics in wetlands and a summary of intrinsic and environmental controls on productivity and decomposition rates. We headed to the field a bit earlier than the past few days, exploring the vegetation of nearby Pymatuning Swamp (also called Hartstown Swamp). We spent some time talking about Sphagnum ecology, as there were some scattered Sphagnum hummocks in the swamp, and the students collected data using transect and quadrat methods. They quickly found that surveying swamp vegetation was more challenging than marsh vegetation, because of both the higher overall diversity but also because of the multiple strata involved (herbaceous vegetation, shrubs, and trees). All the students (and the TA) were lamenting, “So many Carex species, so little time.” (grin)
The students are learning a lot and having a good time. However, several may be getting a bit delirious, as I overheard them today making up songs about spicebush (Lindera benzoin).
PLE Day 5, a set on Flickr.