Vernal Pools   Lee Frelich
  Dec 16, 2006 12:23 PST 

Most vernal pools in old growth remnants have had gaps form nearby or
overhead periodically over the centuries (most trees live about 150-200
years and die at different times and fall all different directions when
they die) and some of those fell into the ponds, leading to more structural
complexity within the ponds, as opposed to hauling away the wood that would
otherwise have fallen in. Coarse woody debris in and around ponds,
including logs that are partly submerged, and partly in the pond and partly
out, as well as differences in amount of sunlight, are an important feature
of natural ponds and their use by a variety of animals and plants. The
ponds that I saw would all benefit from more structural complexity in and
around them. I would either cut a few trees and let them fall where they
may or just wait and let nature create these structures. You should see
some of the ponds in the Porcupine Mountains and Sylvania Wilderness Areas
in Upper Michigan, as well as the Ridges Sanctuary in Door County,
WI. They are incredibly complex and really give you an idea of what to aim
for in pond restoration.


At 01:25 PM 12/15/2006, you wrote:

  Dr. Frelich, since you have been onsite, how do you feel about the areas
around the vernal pools/wetlands that we visited, namely the
effects of them opening a considerable amount of canopy over them?

New York Natural Heritage Program Conservation Guide - Vernal Pools Document