Vegetation Analyses of the Horatio Colony Nature Preserve

Horatio Colony Nature PreserveThe first vegetation analysis of the Preserve was completed in 1986-7 by Antioch University New England (AUNE) students under the supervision of Dr. Rick Van de Poll and Dr. Ty Minton of AUNE. At that time, 51 fixed vegetation plots were established running north-south on West Hill, from one end of the property to the other.

During the 2003 growing season, the fourth study of the 614-acre property was conducted by Dr. Van de Poll of Ecosystem Management Consultants. The purpose of this research is to better understand the forest dynamics of the 26 year-old preserve and to advise the Horatio Colony Trust on the long-term management of this forested landscape. The studies clearly demonstrate the essential value in monitoring land over time.

The 2003 analysis finds:

    • Tree growth rates consistent with previous years;
    • Vascular plant diversity declining due to increased shading and aging of canopy;
    • Soil pH dropping;
    • Tree height increasing;
    • Moss and lichen diversity and abundance more than tripled; and,

Mushroom diversity was at an all-time high.

To view the executive summary of this report, click here.

To arrange to view the full report of the 2003 Vegetation Analysis, contact Michele Chalice Throop, (603) 283-2115.

Coming Soon: 2009 Vegetation Analysis by Rick Van de Poll.