ALF West vs ALF East

For our first day we did direct observations with the goal of practicing your observational skills along with plant ID for our four plant groups of focus: C3 grasses, C4 grasses, legumes, and forbs. The group I was placed in looked at sites ALF East and ALF West. 

ALF West was our first stop. This site featured a fence line and natural hills that has been cut through by a gravel road. The site consisted mainly of C3 grasses. In the ditch and closer to the road we were able to see a handful of different legume and forb species, but the site lacked diversity in general. Due to this lack of diversity and over taking of C3 grasses the site appears to have not had a prescribed fire for a few years. Fortunately, we were able to see some emerging coneflower which is always exciting! 

ALF East was very different in diversity in comparison to ALF West. Based on visual observations diversity was a lot higher and most of the plant species found belonged in the legume and forb plant groups. With diversity being so much higher, and the plot featuring several plants that have appeared to have been scorched by fire it was our assumption that ALF West had experienced  prescribed fire in recent years. The landscape of ALF West not too visually different other than it featuring a corn field behind the prairie area unlike on ALF East. 


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