Saturday, 31 March 2018

25.03.18: Launde Park Wood

We had planned to visit a woodland site I've never been to before, but when we got close it was clear that it simply wasn't safe to proceed - far too wet. Although we had a little rain overnight I couldn't understand why the land was so wet - until several hours later when I figured out that the snow melt of the last month has saturated the ground in the east of the county and the steep clay slopes will take several months to dry out. So it was time for Plan B, which was a short diversion to a Launde Park Wood which has better access. We focussed on a steep east-facing slope covered in a mixture of Beech, Ash and Oak, sampling in the litter, under logs and brushing tree trunks.

The predominant species in the leaf litter was Tomocerus minor. Orchesella cincta was by far the most dominant arboreal species with a few Entomobrya intermedia present, but we also turned up a single Isotomurus unifasciatus:
Isotomurus unifasciatus

The distinction between Isotomurus palustris and I. unifasciatus is that unifasciatus has a continuous dark line down its midline but is otherwise uniformly pale, while palustris has a slightly discontinuous dorsal line and mottled patterning on the sides of its abdomen.

Nothing terribly exciting, but given that no-one has ever recorded any springtails at all from this nature reserve, it's a start.

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