Title: Reclaiming Oak Woodland and Riparian Habitats
Authors: Lori Clark, Kristy Hanson
Date: Spring semester 2007
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Working in the field on 3-15-07


Division of research duties assigned on 3/15/07
Kristy Hanson: Geologic, environmental, and climate history
Lori Clark: Plant and Animal life identification and the stories that they tell.
Soil testing, watershed information, rock identification


Our research project site is located in a local park situated in the
Northwestern part of the Ukiah Valley.
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Low Gap Regional Park, USGS UKIAH (CA) Topo Map
View //TopoZone Pro// topographic maps, aerial photos, street maps, coordinate and elevation display
UTM 10 480215E 4334626N (NAD27)

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There are links below that provide a satellite view of the
surrounding area and a road map to our project site.

FZ 3/10/07 Walking directions from the trail head:
Follow the paved road into the park and cross the main bridge.
Once across the main bridge make an immediate left onto the
green foot bridge. At the end of the green foot bridge the trail splits.
Follow the trail to the right approximately 61 steps. You will know
you are there when you are stopped by the sounds of a waterfall.


Link to road map:
http://maps.google.com/map

Link to Satellite View: (Click on box in upper right corner.)
Link to satellite view



Related preliminary project site information:

1. Average rainfall: 36.9 inches
2. Average Temperature: 59.8 degrees
3. Elevation: 610 feet
4. Latitude: 39.15 N
5. Longitude: 123.206 W
6. Approximately: 250 square feet
7. Westward facing
8. Slope of roughly: 70 degrees

Russian River Watershed Information provided by the Army Corp. of Engineers in Lake and Sonoma Counties:
MAP

OVERVIEW

USE



Soil Testing performed by Freda:
The following tests were performed using a Rapitest soil testing kit that I purchased at Rainbow Ag. I took one cup of soil from our site and placed it in a bowl. I then followed that with 5 cups of distilled water. I stirred this mixture throroughly and allowed it to settle for thirty minutes. After it settled I took a syringe and filled the testing resevoir with a small amount of this water/soil mixture. Finally I added premeasured amount of testing solution that is color coded for eash of the samples below. These were my results:

9. Soil acidity level: 6.5 pH
10. P test (phosphorous): P2= adequate
11. K test (potash): K0= depleted
12. N test (nitrogen): N1= deficient

DIscussion of testing results:
pH: The acidity level of the soil determines how well plants utilize the nutrients that are available in the soil. All plants have a preference for the soil to be a specific pH.
Nitrogen is directly responsible for producing leaf growth and green leaves.
Phosophorous is a major constituent of plant genetics and seed development, it aids in maturity, it increases seed yield, in fruit development, it increases vitamin content, and plant resiliency.
Potash strengthens the plant, helps form carbohydrates, promotes synthesis, improves color and flavor of the fruit, stem strength, cold hardiness.


Breakdown of soil composition:
In determining this data I used a Standard American Sieve from Sargent Welch Scientific Company. I carefully shook the soil through each sieve onto paper plates. Once I determined the soil was adequately sifted I weighed each consecutive sample. The objective for my experiment was to determine the proportion of soil grain sizes within a given sample by using 3 separate sizes of sieves.

Total sample weight= 950g
Sieve #1 with a mesh opening size of .0787"= 355g or 34%
Sieve #2 with a mesh opening size of .0469"= 105g or 11%
Sieve #3 with a mesh opening size of .0195"= 150g or 16%
Particle size smaller than < .0195"= 325g or 37%

There was a loss of 15 grams during the experiment which accounts for 2% of total.

The composition of the soil affects what type of plant life can be supported and the stability of the slope.


A visual progression of change over the next two months, stay tuned:................................................

As our site looked on 3/8/07

Our site is bordered by a tree lined trail at the top and a stream
bank at the bottom. I hope these help you get the general idea.
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Canopy at site 3/8/07
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stream bank and understory at site 3/8/07 (see below the changes that have occurred in the stream)
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Various Oak trees..........Canopy 3/15/07......................Buckeye.................

"California Buckeye" Aesculus californica Canopy over site 3/15/07
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"California Buckeye" Aesculus californica FZ 3/15/07


As the Canopy looked on 3-28-07
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As the understory looked on 3/28/07

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Data compilation and graphs by Lori Clark 5/07






As our site looked on 4/19/07. Well into spring!
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4/19/07 FZ The understory is now mostly covered in a bed of poison oak and the tree leaves are now maturing.

As the site looked on 5-11-07
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taken on 5/11/07




On March 8th we chose our spot and took our first
pictures of the understory to record the changes
over the next few months.

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Oaks 3/8/07
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3/8/07.."Henderson's Shooting Star" Dodecatheon hendersonii

As the understory at our site looked one week later on March 15th
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"Pacific Snakeroot" Sanicula crassiculus...
.................................................................."Mission Bells" Fritillaria lanciolata
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3-15-07 "Creeping Buttercup" Ranuculus repens..
...................................................................................................Henderson's Shooting stars, grasses, and ferns

As the understory looked on 5/11/07

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"Golden Fairy Lantern" seed pod ..........................................Poison Oak............... Toxicodendrun diversilobum
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"Golden Fairy Lantern: Calochortus amabilis .....................................................unidentified
.
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5/11/07 "Wally Basket" Triteleia laxa

"Although a native, poison oak can be found in great abundance where established vegetation is disturbed, particularly along roadsides, in uncultivated fields, and on abandoned land. It is also a problem in wood lots, Christmas tree plantations, rangeland, and recreation areas. While it can reduce optimal grazing area in rangeland or pastures, the primary concern associated with poison oak is the allergic reaction it causes in many people." (http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7431.html)
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Note: On 3/28/07 no new wild flowers were present.
Note: On 4/19/07 no new wild flowers present at our site.However there were numerous new
wildflowers blooming nearby. (Douglas Iris, Blue Dicks, Delphinums)
Note: On 5/11/07 there were two new wildflowers blooming and additional wildlife spotted. (lizard,tadpoles,bird)


Animal life present on 3/15/07 FZ
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Juvenile Bullfrog Rana catesbeiana
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common water strider or Skater Gerris Remigis
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Mourning Cloak Nymphalis antiopa. 3/15/07

Animal life present on 5/11/07 at 1:30pm
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tadpoles in the creek (notice the thick green algae that has moved into the formerly clear stream)


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"Northern Flicker" Colaptes auratus Northern Flicker
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5/11/07 Northern Flicker Northern Flicker




More to the understory than we thought! A Native American
artifact found by Lori in the streambed at the base of our site.
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3-15-07

Low Gap Park was formerly a city dump. There is still a great deal of glass, debris, and old car parts partially buried
throughout the park.
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4/07
Important Links to our sites:

Kristy's Herbrarium
Links to our research sites:
http://www.hwr.arizona.edu/globe/sci/SM/SMC/
Mendocino Coast Mushrooms
http://www.mendocinoinstitute.org/http://danr.ucop.edu/ihrmp/oak47.htm http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/filelibrary/1524/9247.pdf
http://calacademy.org/research/botany/wildflow/
http://www.carcd.org/wisp/mendocino/index.htm
http://www.tarleton.edu/~range/Grasslands/California%20Grasslands/californiagrasslands.html
http://plants.usda.gov/java/imageGallery?txtparm=&category=sciname&familycategory=MO&duration=AN&growthhabit=all&origin=introduced&wetland=all&imagetype=all&artist=all©right=all&location=all&stateSelect=06&cite=all&viewsort=text&sort=comname&submit.x=75&submit.y=17

Research Materials:
PlumAnderson, Thomas E. Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Book. 1995
Cardwell, G.T. Geology, Ground Water, Russian River Valley and other Areas, California. 1965
Pough, Fredrick H. Rocks and Minerals. 1996mer, McGeary, and Carlson, Physical Geology. 10th ed. 2005
Sonoma County Water Agency. A Guide to Restoring a Native Riparian Habitat in the Russan River Watershed. 1998