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Riparian forest along Big Walnut Creek

Brittany Mohrman, Tory Pavlovich, Brett Bohlander
Conservation Biology, BIO 345, spring 2006


The purpose of this project was to characterize and compare soil characteristics and tree species composition in the riparian forest along Big Walnut Creek.  


We set up a transect of points along Big Walnut Creek. At each point, we collected soil samples and measured phosphorus and nitrogen levels, pH, and moisture content. Within an 11.3 m radius of each point, we counted the number of trees by species and measured circumference of each tree. 


We identified three sectors along the transect: A, B, and C. Soil moisture levels were similar among the three sectors. pH was significantly lower in Sector C than the other sectors. Nutrient levels were low along the entire transect.  Tree species diversity was higher in Sectors B and C. 


Differences in forest composition suggest that Sector C is a healthier area with less signs of degradation.  Our results are significant because they provide baseline data on the riparian forest and provide a foundation for the future.  Also, our data show significant differences in soil composition and tree composition between the sectors possibly from differences in degradation.