Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

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JAS Tuesday Program: Notes from the Underground: A Focus on Soils in Forest Ecosystems

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 6:28 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

Robery Ayotte brought in a large crowd (35) again this year for a presentation at Hidden lake Gardens. Folks from JAS as well as other clubs came in from the cold to hear Robert's talk on soils in Michigan. He presented this lecture at the Stewardship Network annual conference in East Lansing earlier this month.

Summary:  

Our forest soils are a living and vibrant matrix that has been evolving since the close of the last ice age. They are a key and stable component of forest ecosystems and provide sustenance to plant, animal, and fungal communities, which in turn, enrich the soil.

We discussed the different classes of soil found in Michigan’s southern forests, and their glacial landform origins. Features such as soil development, horizons, texture, structure, color, nutrients, pH, and drainage class will be explored. Why do certain soils generate specific types of forest ecosystems. Comparisons will be made to soils which have been converted to agriculture.

Are earthworms invasive? What are the threats posed from invasive species and climate change?

Robert Ayotte is a gradual student in the field of Forest Ecology; and has previously worked for the USDA Forest Service, and Michigan Natural Features Inventory. He has applied the shovel to soils in several local forests and wetlands, and is enthused about sharing his observations

Due to weather conditions, we did not do the planned walk to a soil pit on the property.

Most of the JAS contingent met for lunch at Tecumseh Brewing in Tecumseh after the presentation.

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