Saturday, August 27, 2011

Black Raspberry Research

Master's student Alex Bajcz along with Professors Bobby Low and Robert Grese, are currently investigating what ecological conditions are best for Black Raspberries. They established 12 plots at Stinchfield Woods that are 12 by 12 meters in size and are undisturbed.

Though Black Raspberry (Rubus occidentalis) is a native plant to Michigan, little is known about it's ecology aside from it's natural history. To many peolple, it is a pest that invades pastures, crop fields, and restoration areas. At the same time, it may prove to be a valuable food source for wildlife and humans alike, especially in the upcoming decades. Understanding its optimal niche space more concretely will make managing or controlling Black Raspberries easier. Alex's study aims to do this by comparing soil, light, and plant community conditions to growth, flowering, and fruiting characteristics in Black Raspberry plants.

Mosquito Invasion!

Though Stinchfield Woods usually experiences waves of insects as the seasons pass, such as flies in July, this year we are experiencing a huge wave of mosquitoes. I recommend leaving as little skin exposed as possible by wearing long pants, long sleeves, and a hat. Bring some DEET bug spray and be prepared to swat!