07-15-11 Field Note: Invasive Weed Surveys, Insects, Exclosure Removal, and White Pines

Lorinda Hunt's field note introduces a recent weed survey and documents vibrant insects and wildflowers on MPG North. 

Posted on 7/15/2011 by Anonymous

Habitat Types: 


Field Guide Entries: 

American Robin
Canada Thistle
Oxeye Daisy
American Harebell
Paper Birch
MPG North Field Note: Weed survey, insects, exclosures and white pines July 11-14, 2011 Lorinda Hunt
This week we surveyed weeds over all of the MPG North property. Targeted weed species included oxeye daisy, (Leucanthemum vulgare), Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), and spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa). We used a grid of 807 one-meter plots to represent overall weed abundance (image 2). An upcoming project update will include the results of this survey. Soil disturbance from past logging practices created prime environments for weed invasion on the property. The survey point below was taken in the...
Oxeye daisy thrives in open meadows and roadsides on MPG North. This perennial herb arrived in the U.S. in the 1800’s as an ornamental garden flower and quickly covered hillsides across the country. High abundance of oxeye daisy on the property and its aggressiveness as an invasive species make it a target weed for management.
This colorful sheep moth stood out against a background of green thistle near one of our survey points.
Cicadas buzzed all over the property this week. Their larvae spend many years underground sucking nutrients from tree roots before crawling to the surface like this one, shedding their skin and molting into adults. Mature cicadas rarely eat, but devote their entire adult lives to reproduction.
A golden buprestid (Buprestis aurulenta) flew in as we surveyed weeds. These metallic wood-boring beetles also spend many years (up to 40) in a larval stage, feeding on trees.
A large dragonfly observed our work from a nearby exclosure. Birch insecticide treatments target damaged trees along Cooney Creek, as these trees provide great bank stability and decrease erosion from the fast moving water. However, high spring runoff proved too much for this birch which fell across the creek on the north side of the property.
Many large aspen exclosures on the property have been in place for five years. Three were moved last month to determine if the plants inside could now withstand browsing pressure. The picture below shows the recently exposed aspen. Within a week of removal, all leaves under about four feet had been heavily browsed. Remaining foliage will hopefully be enough to keep these trees alive.
Western white pines planted in May, broke dormancy and produced large growth leaders this year. Rainfall, choice planting locations, shade pro- tection and organic mulch help to keep these trees moist and healthy.
Clarkia, (top), blanketflower, (bottom left) and harebell (bottom right) were in bloom on the property this week.
Work completed  Weed survey of entire property  Sprayed and monitored hawk- weed patches  Removed old latrine from property  Shade protected white pines  Fixed exclosures near shed  Took photographs for MPG North plant field guide  Completed spring bird point counts