Friday, 8 April 2016

Balkan Ecology Project Day 2

 Plot 1 
 Plot 1
 Dylan and Archie working at Plot 1
 Plot 2
Plot 2 
 Surveying at Plot 2
 Pop up lab
 Today we basically monitored two beds on Plot 2, Bed one (bottom one on planting plan below) will be a polyculture bed and bed two will be a traditional organic bed. A polyculture is designed to not require rotation, to utilise the beneficial relationships between plants and to create diversity of soil micro-organisms  (in theory), 
 Plot 2- Polyculture planting plan 

 Green Lizard sp (Probably young or female Balkan Green Lizard) 
 Long-horned Beetle sp

We set pit fall traps (at mid-points of the proposed traditional organic units) and matched that spacing for the future polyculture bed, noted the vegetation (mainly Vetches, Red-dead Nettles, Docks, Grasses) in one meter squares around the pit fall traps, carried out visual transect surveys of all the insects visiting the beds along the whole of the 23m length and then swept the vegetation in sections representing the future traditional organic units. As we haven't really got a clue of how to identify Balkan entomology, we then identified them to family/genus level (with abundance and plant associations) and got photo specimens of all the species recorded (which will be later identified, where possibly from photos, by a Balkan entomologist). As the beds at the moment are largely identical (at pre-planting stage colonised by native pioneers) the results as expected were similar entomology in both beds. We will repeat the survey following planting and monitor the changes in species/communities and compare traditional organic to the polyculture beds.


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