Mysteries of the Forest

If I could be a little presumptuous, I would award Shannon and myself ribbons for being dauntless. The forest is lovely, yes, but it’s also wild. We’ve encountered a pack of feral hogs, thickets of thorns, poison ivy, bugs, and more, but we still go on.

Jewel with large pecan treeOne group of plots was especially peculiar and difficult to maneuver. The section of forest is on the other side of the Trinity River from all the other plots. It is strange to me because there are old, huge pecan trees here (>100 cm diameter), but the vast majority of the other trees are saplings (<3 cm diameter). We had a tough time walking through all the skinny trees, and it took a really long time to measure them all.

The site history of this spot is still a bit of a mystery to me. We saw that a few trees had tarp around the base which shows they had been planted by people, surely before all the saplings sprung up. Anyway, this section has very distinct characteristics from the forest on the other side of the river, where the trees are further apart and bigger.

The differences confuse me right now. Why can I cross a bridge and be surrounded by a new set of trees? This forest seems so “patchy.” Does that mean anything? I think it might, but I have more data to collect before drawing conclusions.

Some forest sample plots looked like this, filled with very young, thin trees.

Some forest sample plots looked like this, filled with very young, thin trees.

Across the river, the forest looks like this sample plot. The trees are larger and farther apart.

Across the river, the forest looks like this sample plot. The trees are larger and farther apart.

 

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