Assessment and Management Forecast of the "Grove", an Urban Forest Fragment on the Campus of Kalamazoo College
Smolcic, Maya A.
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As a result of urbanization, a large number of continuous forests have become fragmented landscapes. Fragmented landscapes are more susceptible to invasive species, which threaten the diversity and the community structure of forests. With this knowledge, it is increasingly important to improve the habitat quality of these forest fragments. These forests.are vulnerable and therefore a long-term concern on the global and state scale. This study was commissioned by Kalamazoo College to quantify the viability of a forest fragment, the Grove, located on the campus of Kalamazoo College. The Grove is a 4700 m2 patch of land surrounded by residential living. Size-distribution and spatial relation of canopy trees as well as floristic quality of the forest floor were indicators of forest health in the Grove. In an exhaustive walkover of the Grove near half of the ground cover as well as canopy tree population was determined to be non-native to Michigan. A removal procedure of the non-native and invasive species in accordance with an active management plan will improve the quality of the study site. In the future, the Grove will experience immediate effects from the construction of the Arcus Center building directly adjacent. It is therefore the purpose of this study to develop a plan for the management and restoration of this area, which may be applied to other forest fragments of Michigan.