The Younger Lagoon Reserve, located in Santa Cruz County, California, is owned by the University of California. The system covering 72 acres is made up of a beach, wetlands, lagoon, coastal prairie, and wetlands. The University maintains and preserves and the flora and fauna help students to learn about ecology. This paper presents a report about a field trip to the Younger Lagoon Reserve (Field Trip 1).
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The field trip was to the upper campus region to the forest and meadows. Alice, the researcher at the university gave a guided trip and explained about the species diversity and methods to measure them along and other features of the reserve. Estimating diversity and measuring it is difficult since sampling has to be done over a large area. Factors such as evenness, relative abundance and richness need to be measured. The two areas have 10 species with a thousand diverse individual in the habitat. It is important to measure evenness and the extent of dominant species. When evenness and richness increases, bio diversity increases measuring it is a challenge (Field Trip 1).
The terrain included a hill with shrubs and grass, chaparral, and these are subjected to storms, desiccating winds, and other natural events. An aspect that was examined was difference in plants growing in the forests and those growing in the area. Alpha diversity or diversity in an area is important. More the similarity in habitat, lesser is the bio diversity. The plants in the area have to deal with less water. Several plant species such as Lupine, however, these have been overcome by species such as poison Hemlock that is an alien weed. Redmine samples and quadrats were used to constrain the area for examination, and groups were formed with 14 quadrats. Teams spread out to different parts of the meadow to gather samples. Study was taken to measure number of plants in the quadrats and the number of species available (Field Trip 1).
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In our quadrat, we found species such as blackberry, plankin, weed A, fern, and grass 2. The names such as weed A was given since we could not identify them. It was difficult to identify plants since they were not flowering. Variations were evident in the structure, thickness, and growth. The numbers found in our area is blackberry 6, plantain 1, weed A 1, fern 1, and grass 2 was 3, giving a total of 12. The probability refers to the chance of picking up a particular specie when random samples are taken. A formula was used to calculate the probability, n(n-1), where n is the number of species found in the quadrant. The readings for probability are blackberry 30, plantain, weed A, fern all three 0, and grass 2 as 6. The total probability is D = 0.26. This is a medium level of diversity for each species. The study was limited since the quadrant was small and a much larger study with 100 samples would give a fair representation. This study can be used to study and plan for bio diversity management in small and large parcel of land. The skills help in assessing bio diversity in a region, to find dominant species, and develop a plan for conservation (Field Trip 1).
Another video covered a field trip managed by Beth, the manager of the reserve who explained about the natural history of the reserve, understand species distribution. The reserve is a mix of fresh and salt water resource. The area is surrounded by highways, railroads and others. Fresh water resources are from rains and from run off from the surrounding fields. The water flow suffered due to drought, affecting species that need fresh water. Tide water is salty and brackish, suitable for fish. The area has more than 100 species of water, bobcats, deer, and others. Different colors and patterns were observed in the grass, and terrain. White and yellow flowers of wild radish and wild mustard were observed, along with poison hemlock. One area was restored while the other was kept without restoration. We observed that water became darker when we nearer the water and this was due to pickle weed. This specie can adapt to salty water. Willows were noticed and these like fresh water, and the source of water was from the runoff from the fields. Erosion is present, leading to flow of fresh water. The beach dune had a number of species. Care was taken to prevent trampling of the species. It was surprising to see plants growing in sand. Beach burg plants grew in the beach and we observed that they had seeds inside barbs. A 1×1 meter area was used for examination to measure the number of species and individuals in the sample area (Field Trip 2). Overall, the field trip helped us in understanding about ecology and bio diversity.
- Field Trip 1. “Assessing Bio Diversity in the Younger Lagoon Reserve.” Field Trip Video, University of California.
- Field Trip 2. “Assessing Bio Diversity in the Younger Lagoon Reserve.” Field Trip Video, University of California.