North American Beech tree Case study

Document Type:Lab Report

Subject Area:Biology

Document 1

First, the frequency of occurrence of both species in the seedlings underneath the canopy showed that sugar maple seedlings were more than the breech seedlings. This shows that the speed of generation of the maple is more than that of the breech. However, the space that was occupied by the breech was more than that of the maple since they grow very fast regarding their diameters. The trees were also seen to coexist. The number of maple seedlings under the breech canopy were more than those under the maple canopy. The maples are seen to prefer the amount of light that passes through the breech canopy and the breech prefer the little light provided by the maple. The maple canopy is quite thick compared to the maple canopy, and since the breech does not require large amounts of sunlight, it finds a more favorable environment under the maple canopy. However, no relation was found between the girth of the trunks and the lengths of their canopies. Introduction The fifty-acre plot of land in the Warren woods estate that holds the best breech maple woods forest in the world. Beech-maple forests are mostly made up of the American Beech trees and the apple maples which are hardwood trees. The forest has a distinct characteristic of creating a canopy over the undershrub, therefore, making it difficult for any undershrub to grow. The canopy allows for very little passage of any light into the undershrub. However, the seedlings can survive because the breech trees are very shade tolerant and can grow for more than 100 years under a shade.

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On the other hand, the maple tree is less shade-tolerant and can only survive for 20 years ( Poulson & Patt, 1989). The experiment was done to test the different rates of growth of the sugar maple trees (Acer saccharum) and the breech trees (Fagus Grandifolia). Research on the difference between the growth rates of these two principle trees on the breech maple forest has been done from the early 1900s. The sugar maple tree manages to grow 50 to 75 feet in two years while the breech grows approximately 2 feet in 10 years (Tatina, 2015). The maple tree is faster in growth compared to the breech tree since its ability to absorb sunlight is faster. However, the breech can grow even if it does not get access to sunlight even though it takes a very long time to grow in height.

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The breech compensates in the rate of increase in its height by its rapid growth in girth (Nelson & Wagner, 2014). Poulson &Patt, 1996). The national and state authorities very carefully protect the forest from loggers. The trees are hardwood and when used as wood, could generate a lot of money. However, from a survey done in 2014, it was established that there were no recent stumps in the forest (Beaudeat et al. Therefore, the security measures taken are working and reliable. Finally, one was to measure the size of the canopy of the trees along for compass points. This was done by one student holding a tape measure at the stem of the tree then the other student moving along a compass direction away from the tree until he or she is directly under the edge of the canopy.

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This was to be done for all four directions and recorded as such. Results The number of trees is seen to increase in each class at the same time, the size of the trees regarding height decreases. The ratio of the number of seedlings to canopy trees was approximately 45:1 for the beech species and 80:1 for the sugar maple. This law has been proven time, and again when using human beings and animals, none the less, plants of different species still manage to cohabitate and coexist without one having an overhead advantage to another. The methods of coexistence that the plants practice provide proof that coexistence can be practiced. The sugar maple tree and the American breech manage to cohabitate in the Warren woods through a symbiotic relationship (Beaudet et al. The breech doesn’t need a lot of sunshine to grow and can exist for a very long time in the shade.

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However, it prefers the shade of the maple tree which lets very little light to pass through its canopy (Nelson & Wagner, 2014). Another proof of coexistence is the trade offs in performance. This method suggests that two trees have different growth strategies which they use so as to occupy the available canopy space. The beech tree is known to survive even under low light conditions better than the sugar maple by growing rapidly in terms of its girth (Whitemore, 1989). However, the maple is also able to take advantage of the small gaps in the canopy that let through little light by growing very fast in terms of their height (Poulson & Platt, 1996). One can assume that the beech will occupy more space than the maple however, since the maple tree takes a shorter time to grow than the beech, it is able to compensate for the space that one beech occupies with its height.

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Journal of Ecology, 95(3), 458-467. Hardin, G. The Competitive Exclusion Principle.  Science, 131(3409), 1292-1297. Nelson, A.  Ecology, 77(4), 1234-1253. Runkle, J. R. Thirty‐two years of change in an old‐growth Ohio beech–maple forest. Ecology, 94(5), 1165-1175.

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