This week, in my ENSP 4349 – Environmental and Ecological Field Methods class, we started a research project at Blunn Creek Preserve to test differences in ecosystem characteristics in invaded versus native-dominated forests. Like other green spaces in Austin, Blunn Creek has been heavily invaded by the exotic ornamental tree, privet (Ligustrum japonicum). Over the course of the semester, we will measure differences in microclimate, mammal activity, bird diversity and composition, plant diversity and composition, and ecosystem services associated with invaded versus native forest patches of the preserve. We set up our plots on a gorgeous day last week. The temperature was perfect, the mosquitoes have not yet hatched, and the bluebonnets were spectacular! We’re all looking forward to a great rest of the semester out at Blunn Creek! Stay tuned for more posts about our methods and findings.
Post by Amy Concilio, Photo by Joscelyn Moncayo