Vegetation Monitoring Team
- Contact Phone: (208) 769-1414
- Contact Email: [email protected]
Volunteers on this team: 37
Maximum Volunteers: There is currently no cap set on the number of volunteers needed by this team.Volunteer »
This team is responsible for monitoring all vegetation on the project site.
1) Monitoring Woody Plant Survival and Recruitment
Purpose: The purpose of the monitoring is to determine the establishment success of the various species of herbaceous and woody plants used in the restoration effort and to recommend species and planting techniques to be used in future restoration phases.
Sampling Method: Counts of woody plants will be performed within selected 25-meter by 25-meter sample plots. Sample plots will be set up on low island elevations (2,064.5 feet) and high island elevation (2,066.5 feet) areas.
Timeline: Sampling will be conducted in year 1, 3, 5, and year 10. Sampling will be performed when the woody plants are fully leafed out. Specific sampling times have yet to be determined.
Protocol: This procedure is intended to be executed by an experienced biological technician with the assistance of a volunteer. The volunteer will receive on the job training.
On Area 3, 25 sample plots will be selected on the raised island fill areas. It least four of these will be located in the high fill (2,066.5 feet) areas. The sample plots will be 25 meters by 25 meters in size. At least one corner (preferably all four corners) of the sample plot will be permanently marked with a metal stake. Figure 1 depicts a proposed location of the 25 sample plots on Area 3.
The sampling team consists of an observer and a recorder, although both functions could be completed by the same individual. Upon arriving at the sample plot, the team lays out a 5-m by 5-m grid across the entire sample plot with small flags inserted at each 5 meter corner. The observer moves through the plot identifying every woody plant within each 5-m by 5-m subplot and noting whether the plant is alive or dead and derived from nursery stock, a cutting or a natural recruit. The recorder documents the location, species, and status of each woody plant on the data form map. The recorder tallies the number of woody plants and recruits for the sample plot.
2) Monitoring Vegetation Diversity
Purpose: One of the goals of the restoration project is to promote diverse native riparian vegetation growth. The vegetation diversity monitoring will measure progress toward that goal.
Sampling Method: Sampling will be set up on areas with low island fill (2,064.5 ft), areas with high island fill (2,064.5 ft), and on emergent benches (2,061.5 ft) and margins. Where possible sampling will be conducted both pre- and post-construction. Specific details of the sampling method are provided in the protocol section below.
Timeline: Sampling will be conducted in the pre-construction year and then year 1, 3, 5, and year 10. Sampling will be performed during the summertime when the phenology is best for identifying plants to species. Samples should be run about the same time each year for comparative purposes. Specific sampling times have not yet been determined.
Protocol: This procedure is intended to be executed by an experienced biological technician with the assistance of a volunteer. The volunteer will receive on the job training. The volunteer does not need to be able to identify plants but should have a strong interest in plants. This is a great opportunity for the volunteer to learn numerous plants.
Data collection team consists of two individuals—an observer and a recorder. Sometimes the same individual may perform both functions. Data for each sample is collected along six 22-meter transects (one each at compass heading of 0o, 60o, 120o, 180o, 240o and 300o) (Figure 1). A separate data collection form (example attached) is completed for each transect. Each transect consists of 40 observation points therefore the total sample consisted of 240 points. A metric measuring tape is stretched out on desired heading for 22 meters. The observer identifies all plants species intersecting an imaginary vertical line at each half-meter point along the measuring tape (beginning with 2.5 meters and continuing to 22 meters). Multiple species are often identified at a single point. For example, a single point may have several overlapping tree species, shrub species and herb species. The plant species were recorded in height position order such that the species at the top of the vegetation was recorded in the first column, while the second level species was recorded in the next column, and so forth.
Only actively living portions of a plant are counted. Dead limbs and dead leaves are excluded, but branches supporting live leaves are counted. The recorder enters a field code for identified species on the data collection form. The species field code generally consisted of the first two letters of genus and the first two letters of species, i.e., lodgepole pine (Pinus compressa) is PICO. Field codes are not always consistent from sample to sample, but are unambiguous for a species within a sample. The species identification and field code are recorded on the reverse page of the data collection form on first use of the field code. When no species is observed at a point, a dash is recorded in the first column on the data collection form. If a species can not be identified in the field, a sample is collected for identification in the lab. The recorder labels the sample and assigns it a field code (such as “Grass 1”). The field code is recorded on the data collection form. Later, after the sample is identified in the lab, the data collection form is updated with the
The observer makes a concerted effort to identify all additional vascular plants species within the sample area (44-meter diameter circle containing the six transects) that were not detected at a specific point. The recorder includes these on the species list on the reverse page of the data collection form. Upon arriving at sample location, all observable plants species within the sample area are recorded on the data sheet and assigned a field code prior to executing the transect data collections. This step takes between 5 and 25 minutes depending on species diversity. The time spent on this step increases efficiency while running the transect data collections. Once the transect data collections are in progress, any additional plants species that are encountered are recorded on the species list.
At each transect sampling point the observer notes the type of soil covering. The observer notes if the soil was covered by litter, moss, woody debris (greater than 5 mm diameter), rock, or was not covered (bare soil). The recorder enters the appropriated code (L for litter, M for moss, W for woody debris, R for rock, and S for bare soil) for each point on the data collection form.correct identification. All six data collection forms (one for each heading) for the sample are attached together.