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Vegetation and Terrestrial Wildlife. Vegetation Plant Communities Disturbance Unique Communities Wildlife Amphibians and Reptiles Birds Mammals.

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Presentation on theme: "Vegetation and Terrestrial Wildlife. Vegetation Plant Communities Disturbance Unique Communities Wildlife Amphibians and Reptiles Birds Mammals."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vegetation and Terrestrial Wildlife

2 Vegetation Plant Communities Disturbance Unique Communities Wildlife Amphibians and Reptiles Birds Mammals

3 Terrestrial Ecology: Vegetation Goals of vegetation sampling on ODOT projects: Inventory the plant species found within the study area Identify the predominant vegetative communities within a study area Determine the degree of disturbance to these communities Determine if there are any unique rare or high quality communities Determine if there are any listed species present

4 Background Literature: Use the local floras that are available for this area: Lucy Braun – Monocotyledoneae and the Woody plants of Ohio. Fisher – Asteraceae. Cooperrider – The Dicotyledoneae of Ohio Part 2. Weishaupt – Vascular plants of Ohio. Use regional and U.S. floras. Gleason and Cronquist – Manual of Vascular Plants … Flora of North America North of Mexico Do not use or cite Audubon and Peterson field guides (for vegetation). Terrestrial Ecology: Vegetation

5 Plant Community Descriptions: Classification scheme for ODOT projects incorporates Major natural plant communities described by Anderson (unpublished, 1982) Disturbed communities described in the National land Cover Dataset (NLCD 2001) Terrestrial Ecology: Vegetation Cultivated Crops Developed Open Space Grassland/Herbaceous Scrub/Shrub Herbaceous Riverine Community* Marsh* Shrub Swamp* Forested Swamp* Floodplain Forest* Upland Forest* Bog* Fen* Prairie* Oak Savanna* Beach-Dune* Cliff Community* * Anderson Native Habitats

6 Plant Community Disturbance: Categories of established for ODOT projects to describe the level of disturbance to a plant community based on descriptions found in the Floristic Quality Assessment Index (FQAI) for Vascular Plants and Mosses for the State of Ohio (Andreas et. al. 2004) Extreme Disturbance/Ruderal Community - dominated by opportunistic invaders or native highly tolerant taxa. High Disturbance - dominated by widespread taxa not typical of a particular community. Intermediate Disturbance - dominated by plants that typify a stable phase of a native community that persists under some disturbance. Low Disturbance - dominated by plants with a narrow range of ecological tolerances that typify a stable or near "climax" community. Terrestrial Ecology: Vegetation

7 Determining High Quality, Rare, or Unique Habitats: Natural plant communities that are dominated by plants with a narrow range of ecological tolerances that typify a stable or near "climax" community (low disturbance) should be considered high quality In addition, the following natural community types (taken from Anderson, unpublished 1982) represents rare or unique habitats found within Ohio Terrestrial Ecology: Vegetation Sphagnum Bog Leatherleaf Bog Tall Shrub Bog Tamarack-Hardwood Bog Cinquefoil-Sedge Fen Tamarack Fen Arbor Vitae Fen Slough Grass-Bluejoint Prairie Big Bluestem Prairie Little Bluestem Prairie Post Oak Opening Sand Barren Oak Savanna Beach Dune Calcareous Cliff Non-Calcareous Cliff Hemlock-White Pine-Hardwood Swamp Hemlock-White Pine-Hardwood Forest Arborvitae –Mixed wood Forest

8 Field Survey Methods for Vegetation: Most surveys use qualitative rather than quantitative methods. Qualitative surveys: Map of plant communities with list of plant species. For new location projects note the habitat where each species is found. Each plant community is searched until no new species are found. Do your home work before going to the field. Use Lit review data and other appropriate references for the area you are going to survey. Determine what communities may be present and what species to expect. Are there any records for E & T species near or in the project area? If yes, and you are not familiar with the species go to the herbarium and review specimens that have been collected before. Quantitative surveys may be needed: Scenic rivers, rare plant community (bog, fen or prairie) and high quality woodlots (Indiana bat habitat). Terrestrial Ecology: Vegetation

9 Results of Field Vegetation Surveys: A complete list of plants encountered within a project study area, notations on the vegetative community (ies) the plant was found in (such as type of plant community, maturity, and level of disturbance). Identification of the dominant plants found within the study area this information will be used concurrently with the survey to determine the plant community types present A map indicating the locations of vegetative communities within the study area Can be created using aerial mapping, GPS, or other sources/tools. The GPS point or boundary locations of any listed species that may have been encountered during the survey. Terrestrial Ecology: Vegetation

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11 Background Literature Use the local books or works that are available for this area: Pfingsten and Downs 1989; for salamanders. Walker 1946; for frogs. Conant 1951; has the most comprehensive treatment of Ohio’s reptiles. Nomenclature & classification follow Collins (1997). Terrestrial Ecology: Amphibians and Reptiles

12 Reptiles and Amphibians cont. Survey Techniques Record through qualitative observations. Aquatic species often observed during surveys for fish and macroinvertebrates. Terrestrial species mostly identified through direct observations. Often need to search out these species by looking under rocks and fallen logs. Toads and frogs can be recorded by vocalizations. Obtain the tape of calls from the Ohio Biological Survey. Occasionally trapping may be necessary for rare species and or unique habitats. Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus) form Meigs County. Terrestrial Ecology: Amphibians and Reptiles

13 Discussion in Reports. Emphasize the composition of amphibian and reptile communities in each habitat type with the project area. Data should be presented in tabular form and discussed in the text of the document. In the body of the report common and scientific names must be used when a species is first mentioned (after the first use only the common name is required for repeat entries). Terrestrial Ecology: Amphibians and Reptiles

14 Birds Background Literature Use the local books or works that are available for this area: Peterjohn and Rice – Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas. Regional references -- see list in manual. Peterson Field Guide & CD are very good. Nomenclature American Ornithologist Union (1998). Terrestrial Ecology: Birds

15 Birds cont. Survey techniques. If possible surveys should be performed between early May and early August and emphasis should focus on breeding bird communities. For most projects surveys will be qualitative observations of individual birds and/or their auditory songs in and adjacent to the project area. Quantitative surveys may be required in some circumstances (eg. Project will impact a large amount of unique or high quality habitat), but would be an “as authorized” activity. Discussion in reports. Emphasize the breeding bird species occupying each vegetative community in the report. Present data in table format. Habitats used by migrant birds should be discussed where appropriate Photographs of rare or unusual species should be take, if possible. Data should be presented in tabular form and discussed in the text of the document. In the body of the report common and scientific names must be used when a species is first mentioned (after the first use only the common name is required for repeat entries). Terrestrial Ecology: Birds

16 Mammals Background Literature Gottschang (1981) and Kurta (1995) for general life history and distribution for Ohio mammal species See regional references listed in the manual for specific areas of the state. Additional life history information can be obtained from the following: Hall (1981) Knox and Birney (1988) Barbour and Davis (1969): Bats only Belwood (1998): Bats only Terrestrial Ecology: Mammals

17 Mammals cont. Nomenclature Follow the checklist of North American mammals by Jones et al. (1982). Survey techniques Generally utilize qualitative surveys. Direct observation (especially road-kill), calls, tracks, burrows, and scat can be used for evidence of presence. Quantitative surveys may be required for new location projects, or for rare mammals, but these surveys will be “as authorized” activities. Surveys should emphasize the following: List of species found within the project area Composition of mammal communities within each vegetation community. Habitat use by each species Photographs of rare or unusual species should be included when possible. Terrestrial Ecology: Mammals

18 Mammals cont. Discussion in reports. Include a species list and e mphasize the composition of mammal communities in each habitat type with the project area. Data should be presented in tabular form and discussed in the text of the document. In the body of the report common and scientific names must be used when a species is first mentioned (after the first use, only the common name is required for repeat entries). Terrestrial Ecology: Mammals

19 QUESTIONS??


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