Rick Van de Poll
Department of Environmental Studies
Black spruce (Picea mariana) and tamarack (Larix laricina) occur in abundance in the northern lying bog/peatland communities of the United States and Canada (Moore and Bellamy, 1974). This study examined the influence of the bog environment on the vegetational growth rates of these two species. Comparison was made between each of the two species both inside of the Moose Bog, and outside of it. Tree cores were extracted utilizing an increment borer in order to analyze growth rates between the samples (Beattie, Thompson, and Levine, 1993). Core samples of basal diameters were taken from 30 black spruce and 30 tamarack during the months of November and December 1997 and March 1998 at Moose Bog, Essex County, in Northeastern Vermont. Statistical analysis of the data showed that there was a significant difference in the age/basal diameter measurement (BDM) relationship between trees of both species growing in the bog habitat and those growing outside of the bog (outside of the bog's moat). I believe that low nutrient uptake and availability, as well as water saturation in the bog habitat were likely causal factors in the lower growth indices within the bog.