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Douglas Lake Report A Special Report to Alumni & Friends of the University of Michigan Biological Station Spring 2012 The Long View Two Multi-Decade Research Projects at UMBS Long-term surveys are the marathon event of research. One must return to the same place, the same subjects, and the same methods, over a period of years or decades. Last summer, two researchers at the Station did just that. Owen Lind, a Professor of Biology at Baylor University, conducted his 6th survey of Douglas Lake in 40 years. At the age of 86, Douglas James, Douglas James in the UMBS aspen plot, 1997. University Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Arkansas, completed his 7th bird census in 65 years. “Long-term research reveals dynamics we could never discover in a season or even several seasons of study,” says UMBS Director Knute Nadelhoffer. James’s surveys illustrate northern Michigan’s recovery from widespread logging. In Lind’s case, he documented the impact of invasive species. James first came to Bug Camp as a Master’s student in 1946. The next year, at the request of Dr. Olin Sewall Pettingill, James staked out a 49-acre census plot east of East Burt Lake Road and south of Riggsville Road for students in the ornithology class to use. That was the site and inaugural year of James’s breeding bird territory mapping project. He returned for several years in the early 70's, in the late 90's and in 2008. Others did the censuses in 1949, 1950 and 1971, thus totaling 10 altogether. “I tried to get two or three censuses over a close span of years each time to average the yearly variation in numbers,” James explains. He also sampled the vegetation using protocol designed by Dr. Frank Gates. When James began his surveys, the region was still rebounding from wildfires and lumbering. The aspen-birch canopy was only 30-40 feet high. James counted 24 territories and 13 different bird species. see Research, p. 5 UMBS 2012 calendar SPRING term May 20 - June 16 MINI-COURSES June 13 - 17 SUMMER I term June 23 - July 21 DISCOVERY DAY July 14 SUMMER II term July 22 - Aug. 18 FULL SUMMER term June 23 - Aug. 18

Spring 2012 Douglas Lake Report

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