Land Management Demonstration Area
The type and frequency of disturbance has dramatic effects on the landscape. To better understand secondary succession in our old fields, we are currently working on setting up a demonstration area that includes common types of disturbance. The Old Field Management Demonstration Area will have plots that are burned, mowed, and plowed. We will have one plot for each treatment that is treated annually, one that is treated every two years, and one that is treated every four years. We will also have a plot for each treatment that is disturbed one time and then allowed to go through secondary succession. Students in the Ecology class are collecting data on the plant diversity and density, biomass production, nutrient cycling, and small mammal use of the site. Students are also studying changes in nutrient cycling for independent research. The goal of this project is to increase understanding of how human management activities are shaping the ecology of the field and allow for students and the community to be able to observe those differences first hand. We are currently working on a burn plan for this project and hope to have all treatments in place within the next year.