Riverwoods Preservation Council

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Trillium Field_Sue

 Protecting the Woodlands
 RPC Woodland Health Study Progress  Report

 May / June, 2009




(Photograph courtesy of Sue Auerbach)



During Phase II, RPC will document the diversity and abundance of spring plants on the sample sites, especially spring ephemerals. These plants are less sensitive to tree canopy closure because they grow before canopy trees leaf out.  Many of these plants, particularly white trillium, are also useful as indicator species for the browse habits of white tail deer.  Patterns of growth of white trillium may suggest the level of browse.

In addition, RPC will measure available light on the canopy floor. Preliminary results indicate that loss of light is a major factor in limiting understory plant growth. Light measurements will enable us to compare our observations with studies written by ecologists.

Cedar Waxwing_Ho MinWhat’s next?  After the data from Phase II has been analyzed and reported, RPC will initiate the final phase of the study, which will include discussions with local preservation and restoration ecologists regarding the applicability of proven woodlands management techniques to the Village’s woodlands. RPC also will meet with the Village Engineer to review soil data and determine the changes in local hydrology that may be occurring over time, including cresting patterns of the Des Plaines River and changes to the surface water table.

    (Photograph courtesy of Ho Min Lim)

© Riverwoods Preservation Council- - Page last updated: December 2009