Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Blackberry Blog 9-19-14

Copeland Creek Restoration Grant Proposal Blog
Blackberry Day 1 & 2
Cameron Keyser, Nicole Bickham & Amanda Sanfilippo
This was the first day in the field of our restoration project at Copeland Creek. We started the day by having a pre-game talk about past restoration on Copeland Creek and the treatments that were used.  The main concern for this project was the removal and reduction of the exotic invasive Himalayan Blackberry (Rubus armeniacus) along certain areas of Copeland Creek.  We observed plots along the creek that were previously treated, and we collected data on the invasive and native species composition and richness. We did this by counting and recording the invasive species in a given plot. There were 9 different areas, 36 plots that were 3m x 3m, and 4 different treatments used.
The photo above is the target site on 9/19/14. There is no water in the creek. We saw many invasive species that lined the borders of this creek. This is a picture looking downstream, or toward Snyder Lane.

This is our teacher’s assistant Meghan showing off her best corny nature t-shirt. We had a contest of who had the best nature shirt, and there were some good ones. I don’t believe we ever declared a winner though! (Photos Above)

In this picture, we are all standing on the pathway next to Rancho Cotati High School and we are discussing how to determine which invasive species are in the plots.
Here, we are listening to our great teacher, Caroline Christian, discuss invasive species at the creek. There were many bikers on this path, so Ruben yelled “biker!” at least 20 times.

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Our instructions were to collect 10 different plant species along the creek to identify. Here, Kevin G. (top) is taken aback by the vast number of invasive species present, and bottom photo, students get their bags of plant species carefully identified by Caroline.
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As Caroline talked to us about the different plant species, we kept a field journal and examples of specimens to compare to the species located in the plots. The non-native Lactuca serriola (seen in bottom photo) is one of the more abundant species in this area of Copeland Creek.

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Here, (top) is an example of one of the plots that we worked with. The PVC pipe is the center, while the pink flags are the four corners of the plot. The above right photo shows a group of students working on a plot that is has much higher plant species richness and composition than the above left picture. As you can see, Kevin H. is pretty thrilled about identifying all of those plant species! (bottom)
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Syd, Melina, and Chelsea (top) and Cameron (bottom) are all working hard to correctly identify all of the plant species present in their plot!

Some of the restorationists working in the field (top).
This was the data sheet that we filled out the species composition for each plot. One of the target plots is in the background (bottom).

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Caroline Christian (top) wraps up the day with a summary and discussion of the work that we accomplished. Also (bottom) some of your blackberry bloggers hard at work in the field; they are showing off their impressively accurate data sheets and thorough notes (not to mention dashing good looks).

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