Revegetation of Disturbed Ground in the Alpine and Sub-Alpine Life Zones
THS student Kelsey Holstrom sampled vegetation diversity and density in 3 adjacent areas of historically and more recently disturbed ground along a pipeline in Bridal Veil Basin which supplies water to the historic Bridal Veil Hydroelectric Power Station. Ages of ground disturbance range from 1938 to 2006 and are situated in alpine and subalpine life zones. Revegetation patterns were analyzed at the three disturbed sites by using Daubenmire Frame transects and sampling control groups versus disturbed groups. The alpine site disrupted in the 1990's showed signs of recovering slowest, likely due to its high elevation and lack of revegetation efforts, whereas the 2006 ground disturbance site showed a high species diversity with the barest ground.
Detritus Composition in First-Order Headwater Streams
The River Continuum Concept (Vannote) implies that first-order headwater streams are characterized by containing a majority of coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM) as their detrital composition, due to the high energy of such stream systems. In his field research, THS junior Colten Rogers tested this theory by sampling the detritus of two such headwater creeks to the San Miguel River, both with drastic gradient variations. Surprisingly, it was discovered that there was less CPOM in the higher energy, steeply rushing Bridal Veil Creek, than the slower longer more gradual stem of Leopard Creek, though the composition of the detrital deposits varied greatly.
Introduction of Alternate Food Sources to Bird Populations in Natural Settings
Nina Gerona, a THS junior, hypothesized that birds in a natural setting nearer to a municipal area would flock to an introduced bird feeder in the forest, more readily than birds further isolated from the human influence. Bird counts were taken without a feeder and subsequently 5 days after setting up a feeder in two locations; one remote subalpine setting several miles from any substantial human population, and another in a similar subalpine setting near to a town with a population of approximately 200. It was found that in order to properly execute this experiment, the feeder must be established in each setting for at least twice as long in order to attract birds and get a valid count on changes in populations and feeding patterns.
Ideal Growing Conditions for Rhodiola Integrifolia
Ridgway High School student Brittney Manzagol studied the effects of different environments on Rhodiola integrifolia, or King's Crown. Rhodiola integrifolia is in the same genus as Rhodiola rosea which is a highly coveted medicinal herb. Rhodiola rosea and Rhodiola integrifolia grow in similar conditions. Five sites were monitored with the intent of discovering the best growing conditions for Rhodiola integrifolia, with the hopes of finding factors that could help change the cultivation of Rhodiola rosea. The difference in elevation, plot composition, slope, and sunlight created differences in the density, height and overall health of the Rhodiola integrifolia plants.
Comparison of Detritus Levels and Aquatic InsectThis study looks at Sarah Carlson's BVLC project from the summer of 2007. Carlson's study analyzed the relationship between levels of detritus and populations of aquatic insects. Her experiment was conducted in Bridal Veil Basin in the Telluride region, while the 2009 experiment was conducted in Exeter, New Hampshire, modeled after Carlson's experiment. Xanthe Demas assessed the relationship between levels of canopy cover, and population of benthic insects, and compared her results from 2009 in NH to Carlson's results from 2007 in the Telluride region.
Populations in Relation to Elevation
Populations in Relation to Elevation