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Trees in Robe Ann Park

Sara Lejsner, Nathan Fox, Michelle Tykvart, and Abby Missimer
Conservation Biology class, BIO 345, Biology Department, DePauw University
Fall semester 2015

The goal of our project was to compare abundance, size, and diversity of trees between two parks:  Robe Ann Park and DePauw Nature Park.  Robe Ann Park is in the city of Greencastle and is managed for recreational purposes.  Dead trees are removed and replaced with newly planted trees.  The forests in the DePauw Nature Park are unmanaged and are in a more natural state. 

We hypothesized that the diversity of trees and the number of native trees would be higher in the DePauw Nature Park  than in Robe Ann Park. 

We measured the height and diameter and mapped the location of trees in Robe Ann Park.  We used tree data from the DePauw Nature Park that were previously collected by Vanessa Fox and other students. 

There were 44 tree species in Robe Ann Park; 64 percent were native and 36 percent were non-native.  The most abundant tree species in Robe Ann Park were sugar maple (30), sycamore (21), and crabapple (18). There were 16 tree species in the DNP; 100 percent were native.  Sugar maple (150), pawpaw (58), and elm (27) were most abundant in the DePauw Nature Park.  The density of trees was about 50 times higher in the DePauw Nature Park (1,150 trees/hectare) than Robe Ann Park (24 trees/hectare).  The tree diameters were larger at Robe Ann Park (53.4 cm) than the DePauw Nature Park (11.4 cm).  

There were more non-native tree species at Robe Ann Park, perhaps because park managers choose to plant these trees for specific aesthetic purposes.  There were more small trees at the DePauw Nature Park, perhaps because this is an unmanaged forest where trees grow without human influence.