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Forest ecology students learn to identify microhabitats

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Category: academics Video duration: Forest ecology students learn to identify microhabitats
Carolyn Copenheaver's Forest Ecology and Silvics students are learning to identify tree-related microhabitats. "A microhabitat is a little tiny feature on a standing or dead tree that allows other organisms to live in that feature," explains Copenheaver. "The reason we pay attention to microhabitats is they're a proxy record for bio-diversity. So the more microhabitats you have in a forest, the higher the biodiversity is in that stand."
So do your best to get a picture. We are at the Corporate Research Center, and so we're out here with my forest ecology and Civics, my junior level for street class. And we're looking at tree related micro habitats. Micro habitat is a little tiny feature on a standing or dead tree that allows other organisms to live. In that feature. We tend to think of trees as being an individual organism. But there are sometimes hundreds of organisms that make their home on trees. And so the more micro habitats you have on a tree, more species that can live on. Today we're looking for 20, but in the next three weeks they're doing another 20 next week and another 20 next week with the ultimate goal that they will be familiar with 60 micro habitats. We have a catalog basically of all different types of micro habitats. And we're basically identifying and taking pictures of them to create our own catalog of ones that we found in the field. We have discussed it in class and then to be able to come out and actually see it, we're able to put it into practice because not everything looked exactly like it does in the one picture that she shows in class. And so out here we're having to decipher that on our own and use her help and our TAs help to figure out what specifically each one is. The reason we pay attention to micro habitats, is there a proxy ruptured for bio-diversity? So the more micro habitats you have in a forest, the higher the biodiversity isn't that biodiversity is really hard to measure. Micro habitats are really easy to measure. That is, that would be high. So typically, in traditional Forestry where we're seeking production of board feet, we focus more on having great and really cool. We're not many branches on trunks of trees. However, from the wildlife management perspective, we want to have the micro habitat available for wildlife to use so we can promote the overall ecological health of the forest. So a lot of forest managers are interested in managing forests for increasing biodiversity. And so if we're trying to figure out how do we increase bio-diversity, some of the ways is not removing trees that have these features because that allows more habitat for other organisms to live in the forums.