Saturday, December 8, 2012

Square Meter Challenge - The Dream Team

The Dream Team - Andrew Fuss, Evan Amstutz, and Zach Smith

     For our square meter challenge, we chose to examine a portion of the naturally occurring wetland at the Municipal Wetlands in Springfield, Ohio. Our particular study site included approximately half dry land and half standing water. Included in the foliage were various species of riparian grasses, algal mats, and detritus material from surrounding maple and oak trees. At the deepest points, located furthest inland, the detritus and leaf litter extended 4.5cm down. The depth of the standing water gradually increased as measurements were taken farther away from land and reached a maximum depth of 6.0cm. When taking a soil core, the ground was understandably saturated with water and was comprised of primarily clay-based soil.

Below is a video explaining our study site and the purpose of our study:

Below is a picture to get an idea of the scale of our study site:

 - This is a dime that is laying on a piece of downed organic material
from a surrounding tree. It gives you an idea of the scale of our square
meter study site and its contents.

      Below is a chart of the various measurements we made describing the chemical and physical characteristics of the study site:

     With these small scale observations, we can make certain assumptions about the rest of the wetland area. Assuming that the surrounding area behaves in a similar fashion to the square meter study site, we can extrapolate our readings to the rest of the wetland. This is a valuable tool for studying a location with a relatively large area.

- Andrew Fuss, Evan Amstutz, and Zach White

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