Vendala Clark’s Salamander Swamp Project Report

Salamander Swamp

Ohio Wesleyan University and Delaware

May 6, 2015

Vendala Clark (vcclark@owu.edu), John Krygier

Summary

The purpose of this project was to focus on what we could do in the near future with this area called Salamander Swamp. Salamander Swamp is located behind the new tennis courts and behind the shot put area right next to Shelby Stadium (Figure 1). There are a lot of things that could be done with this area and the main thing was to pick one that we can focus on and be able to do in a short time. PH and temperature of the stream was taken from upstream to downstream. A clean up was done for the area to get rid of a lot of the litter that was destroying the wetland. Finally, a plan was made to focus on removing the invasive species of honeysuckle in a small area of the Salamander Swamp.

Methods and Results

PH and temperature was taken from the stream using pH paper and a thermometer starting upstream and going downstream. Area 1 was upstream by an opening by the sidewalk having a pH of 7 and a temperature of 48°F, 8°C (Figure 2). After area 1, the stream goes dry till hitting area 2 that was at a fork providing a pH of a little bit over 7 but not halfway, and a temperature of 45°F, 10°C. This area had little puddles of sheen, some type of oil that you can see really well when the sun what shining on the water (Figure 3). Next going downstream, area 3 had a sewage smell within the area where this part of the stream gave a pH of greener than 7, pretty close to 8, and a temperature of 56°F, 13°C (Figure 4). Finally, area 4 had a red coloring in the area that could be iron or oil sheen from runoff, but this area gave a pH of 7.9, higher than area 3 but not quite 8, and a temperature of 56°F, 13°C (Figure 5). Overall, has you move downstream, the pH and temperature of the water gets higher. To answer the question if this is a good pH, it depends on the type of wetland it is but if we are calling this area a swamp, the water in swamps is usually neutral with a pH of approximately 7.2. For temperature for wetlands it depends on the location.

On April 12, 2015, we had a clean up at Salamander Swamp where we picked up a lot of litter for 2 hours. I picked this area because the part within the wetlands where there area a lot of cattails located, in this particular area there isn’t really any trash down there because that area is so hard to get too. That’s a reason we shouldn’t prove access down to this area because we don’t want that area to become a place where students would want to go down and drink down there or a place that will get filled up with litter because people don’t know how to throw away things. The area we cleaned up was located right behind the tennis courts starting at the tip of the upstream. Figures 6 through 11 shows pictures of the area behind the tennis courts of some of the litter that was there before the clean up. Figures 12 and 13 shows pictures that were taken at the clean up on April 12, 2015.

Figure 1: Map of Salamander Swamp located behind the new tennis courts and shot put area.

Figure 2: First area sampled for pH and temperature.

Figure 3: Second area sampled for pH and temperature.

Figure 4: Third area sampled for pH and temperature.

Figure 5: Fourth area sampled for pH and temperature.

Figures 6 & 7: Pictures of the area behind the tennis courts before the clean up.

Figures 8 & 9: Pictures of the area behind the tennis courts before the clean up.

Figures 10 & 11: Pictures of the area behind the tennis courts before the clean up.

Figures 12 & 13: Pictures from the Salamander Swamp clean up that happened April 12, 2015.

Recommendations

A chemical test needs to be done on the sheen that is seen in the stream since there is a lot in the water. There is a place in Marion called Alloway, its an environmental laboratory, you can send water samples to there to test for oil. We want to do a metal test too. This is the company’s website: http://www.alloway.com/sampling-analysis

The big plan is to focus on removing honeysuckle so we can test if the area would do better without this invasive species. We want to pick one area and monitor the effects of the salamanders and what ever else is in the environment in this area. Then in the area that the honeysuckle is removed we want to plant native species in that removed area by working with Laura Fry and Lisa Daris from Olentangy Watershed- Flow. Bush honeysuckle is bad because it’s allelopathic where it produces chemicals that stop the growth of surrounding vegetation. Honeysuckle is an invasive species that out competes native vegetation. Honeysuckle has a competitive advantage over native plants because their leaves come out early in the spring and stay till late fall. Honeysuckle has rapid reproduction and obviously likes to take over. Honeysuckle creates a shade that is denser than native shrubs, which this also reduces plant diversity and nest sites for forest species, which can result in a decline in bird populations. The area I think we should do is the square area, which is by the wetland part with the cattails, and this is the area by a lot of the water, this area also has a lot of honeysuckle so I think it would give us good results.

Another recommendation is to compare the sides of the stream of where the salamanders are by looking at the side by the road where there is a lot of noise and comparing this to the upper area of the swamp where it is quieter. Want to make fake logs for the salamanders to live in because the area is missing logs. Want to do an ORAM Score for the area during normal water levels. Another interesting thing to do would be a reptile study, snake study, frog study, and/or an aquatic invertebrate study of the area. To conclude, it would also be nice to do a bird study of the area and to think about putting a chimney swift tower in this area.

Contacts

Kristin Piper: kpiper@delawareohio.net

Chris Roshon: croshon@preservationparks.com

Laura Fry: lfay9785@columbus.rr.com

Lisa Daris: daris5150@gmail.com

John Krygier: jbkrygier@owu.edu

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