Este post apareció originalmente en el sitio de crowdfunding Experiment, 16 November 2013.
Just to catch you up with what we have been doing in the field to get ready, here I’ll show you a few pictures about the plant side of our research.
Can you see the circle of taller grass under the espino canopy? Even though the tree doesn’t have any leaves (so not producing much shade) in this picture! Big trees have this effect on the vegetation around them. Notice that the little tree on the right doesn’t have this ring of tall grass around it. This is part of the effect that we are trying to enhance by stimulating the trees to grow more.
So here I am communing with an espino/ gathering vegetation data. Vegetation surveys are one way we can assess whether the espinal is being restored through guanaco rewilding.
The little square (or sometimes a bigger one) is used to sample the vegetation. The drawings are my guide to common plants at this research site (the other place I work, La Rinconada de Maipú).
Some of my assistants measuring a tree. This was the first step to characterize the espino trees before we put in the guanacos.
We also numbered and photographed almost 500 individual branches so that we can follow their fates and see if they get eaten and if they grow. We have to repeat this for the control site (without guanacos) to form an experimental comparison. Then everything will be ready!