The Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station is an ideal location for the study of the effect of climate change on the populations of flora and fauna that are at their southern extent at the Preserve’s location in Northern New York State.
2011 Research Projects
Do Unharvested Adirondack Forests Contain Forest Interior Plants?
Lead Researcher: Jerry Jenkins
Summary: This was a follow up to Jerry Jenkins’ Fall 2009 survey of understory vegetation of upland northern hardwood forests at the Preserve. We revisited a number of plots to see if there were a significant number of spring ephemerals that were not accounted for in the earlier survey which took place in September. No report is expected from this work.
Duration: June 1st-3rd.
Distribution of vegetation along gradients of light and microtopography in a wind disturbed forested peatland complex in the Adirondacks of New York State.
Lead Researcher: Stephen Langdon
Summary: Lowland boreal ecological communities in peatlands are nearing their southern extent in the Adirondacks and are thought to vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The purpose of this work is to assess the distribution of plants along gradients of microtopography, light intensity and forest structure in order to better understand successional pathways in this community following wind disturbance.
Duration: On-going throughout the summer.
Bird Surveys in Lowland Boreal Habitat at Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station, Long Lake, New York.
Lead Researchers: Stephen Langdon, Brian MacAllister, Center for Adirondack Birding, Paul Smiths College Visitors Interpretive Center.
Shingle Shanty Preserve conducted a week long presence/absence survey of bird species in the extensive lowland boreal habitat along Shingle Shanty Brook. Funding from the Northern New York Audubon Society allowed us to hire an experience field ornithologist. We used methods established by the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adirondack Communities and Conservation Program.
Duration: June 6th – 10th.
Breeding demographics and habitat selection of Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)
Lead Researcher: Shannon Buckley M.S. Student, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Additional Personnel: Stacy McNulty, Research Associate; Caitlin Snyder, MS Student
The Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) has experienced the most dramatic decline of any North American bird species in the last century. “Rusties” breed in boreal wetlands across North America, extending from the Northeastern US, across Canada and into Alaska. Researchers from New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are collaborating in an effort to understand habitat requirements and the role of timber harvesting in habitat selection and nest success across the Northeast. Study areas include the Adirondack Park, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the Moosehead Lake region of Maine. Data on breeding demographics and habitat selection are being obtained through a variety of on-the-ground and remote methods including monitoring nests with motion-triggered cameras, radio telemetry, vegetation measurements and GIS analysis.
Duration: August, 7th -9th.
Comparison of Carbon and Nitrogen isotopes in extant and fossil plant and animal tissue.
Lead Researcher: Dr. Robert Feranec, Curator of pleistocene vertebrate paleontology, New York State Museum.
I am a paleontologist that examines chemicals, called stable isotopes, in fossil bones and teeth to determine where ancient animals lived and what they ate. By examining these chemicals in the same species over time, I can tell when and if diet or habitat use has changed, and if, for example, the change is related to something like climate change. To understand the results I get from fossils, I use modern ecosystems as a model. At Shingle Shanty, I will make a comparison of the stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in a selection of plants, as well as in the stomach contents, hair, bone collagen, and tooth enamel of a number of different mammal species including white-tailed deer, porcupine and hare. These results from Shingle Shanty will show me how these chemicals (i.e., stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes) move from the plants into the animal's tissues. I will then use this information to better understand the results I get from the bones and teeth of ancient animals.
Duration: August 7th -13th.
Genetic Diversity and Distribution of Boreal Bird Species
Jeremy Kirchman, Curator of Ornithology, New York State Museum.
Ornithology research at New York State Museum examines the ways that geography, climate change, and genetic diversity affect the evolution and extinction of bird populations. We focus on cold-adapted species with “arctic-alpine” distributions in the boreal forest biome of North America. The boreal forest, covering 14.5% of Earth's land surface, reaches its southern periphery at 50° - 60°N latitude but occurs as far south as 40°N at high elevations. The ranges of arctic-alpine species undergo elevational and latitudinal shifts in response to fluctuating climates, resulting in cycles of isolation and remixing of peripheral populations that have important implications for the formation of new species and the loss of genetically unique populations. We use the tools of molecular genetics to address questions such as: Are disjunct populations at range peripheries evolving independently of one another? How do dispersal and migratory behaviors affect geographic patterns of genetic diversity? How much genetic diversity will be lost in the coming decades given alternative climate warming scenarios?
2009-2010 Research Projects
Baseline Data Development for Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station
Principal investigators: Stephen Langdon, Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station, NY, Raymond Curran, Adirondack Information Group, LLC, NY
Summary (excerpted from NSRC):
"NSRC researchers developed ecological, weather, and historic land-use baseline data to be shared by other researchers at Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station, a non-profit, 15,000 acre research station located in the central Adirondacks of New York State."
"This work has already provided important background information to many research projects conducted at the Preserve by Paul Smith's College, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Wildlife Conservation Society, National Wildlife Federation, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, and the NYS Museum. Studies include baselines for peatlands in relation to the Northern Forest; habitat distribution of boreal birds and mammals in New York State, and bio-diversity of old growth forests in a recovering landscape."
Read the full report: "Baseline data development for Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station" (PDF)
Developing a monitoring protocol for assessing biodiversity, forest condition and the effects of management in the Northern Forest: Trial and initial implementation in the Shingle Shanty Preserve
Principal investigators: Dr. David Patrick, Adirondack Biodiversity Institute, Paul Smith’s College. Stacy McNulty, Adirondack Ecological Center, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Newcomb, New York. Field Staff: Maegan Spindler, Kathleen Atwell
The purpose of this research is to develop monitoring protocols for northern forests that take into account changing forest management needs. These needs include changes in land-ownership structures, concerns for biodiversity, effects of climate change and the need for bio-fuel production as well as the traditional needs of the forestry industry. These trial monitoring protocols are adapted from U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service methods.
Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station offers a diversity of Northern Hardwood Forests that fit well with the needs of this research.
In 2009 and 2010, over 60 forest inventory plots were established to examine woody and non-woody plants and herptiles.
Breeding Ecology and Population Dynamics of the Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) in the Adirondack Park.
Principal investigator: Dr. Michale Glennon. Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adirondack Communities and Conservation Program. Field Staff: Melanie McCormack.
The Adirondacks is the southern-most extent of many habitats that support boreal bird species. As part of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adirondack Living Landscapes Program this research tries to map the abundance and distribution of the Rusty Blackbirds (Euphagus carolinus) and other boreal birds in the Adirondacks. This information is to be used as baseline data for understanding the effects of global climate change and to help with long term conservation planning. The principal investigator is Dr. Michale Glennon (WCS) and the supporting investigator is Melanie McCormack (Master of Science candidate, Green Mountain College).
Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station’s offers extensive boreal wetland habitat that is known to support species included in WCS’s boreal bird research.
The following species were observed at Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station: Wild Turkey, Ruffed Grouse, Belted Kingfisher, Broad-winged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Flicker, Hairy Woodpecker, Least Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied flycatcher, Olive-sided flycatcher, Alder flycatcher, Chimney Swift, Boreal Chickadee, Black-capped chickadee, Golden-crowned kinglet, Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Winter Wren, Black-throated Green Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Myrtle Warbler, Chestnut-sided warbler, Nashville Warbler. Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, Palm Warbler, American Redstart, Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler, Blue-headed Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Cedar Waxwing, American Robin, Hermit Thrush, Blue Jay, American Crow, Common Grackle, Red-winged Blackbird, Rusty Blackbird (3 nests), Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager
New York State Natural Heritage Program boreal bird /community field work
Principal investigator: New York Natural Heritage Program. Field Staff: Richard Ring, Botanist – New York Natural Heritage Program.
New York Natural Heritage Program’s boreal bird/community field work collects data addressing a variety of needs. These include both inventories of rare species and investigations of associations between boreal birds and vegetation, communities, and landscape-level habitats.
30 point counts were done in various boreal wetland communities. The following boreal birds were included in the point counts:
Alder Flycatcher, Blackpoll Warbler, Blue Jay, Blue-headed Vireo, Boreal Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Cedar Waxwing, Common Loon, Common Yellowthroat, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Gray Jay, Hairy Woodpecker, Hermit Thrush, Lincoln's Sparrow, Magnolia Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Northern Flicker, Northern Parula Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Palm Warbler (Yellow), Purple Finch, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Red-eyed Vireo, Scarlet Tanager, Slate-colored Junco, White-throated sparrow, Winter Wren, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Yellow-breasted Flycatcher, Yellow-rumped Warbler
Mayflies (Ephemeroptera) Stoneflies (Plecoptera) and Caddisflies (Trichoptera) of the Upper Hudson, Lake Champlain, and Northeastern Lake Ontario Watersheds (New York State): A Baseline Inventory with Management Considerations of SGCN and other Rare and Possibly Imperiled Species.
Principal investigator: Dr. Timothy Mihuc, Lake Champlain Research Institute, State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
This purpose of this project is to inventory the aquatic insect orders Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera in Northeastern New York State. The principal investigator is Dr. Timothy Mihuc of the Lake Champlain Research Institute at Plattsburgh State University. Supporting investigators are Luke Meyers (M.S., Colorado State University) Lake Champlain Research Institute and Dr. Boris Kondratieff (Colorado State University). It is funded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation State Wildlife Grant program.
A list of species of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera has been prepared for Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station. This included 126 species, 7 of which are new records for the state, an undescribed species of Plecoptera and a globally endangered species of Trichoptera.
Are Forest-interior Floras Poorer in Managed Forests?
Principal Investigators: Jerry Jenkins, Wildlife Conservation Society Adirondack Program, 7 Brandy Brook Ave., Suite 204. Saranac Lake, NY 12983. Charles Canham, Institute for Ecosystem Science, Box AB, Millbrook, NY 12545. Field Staff: Jerry Jenkins, Glen Motzkin.
The purpose of this research is to better understand potential difference in floral diversity in old- growth, commercial and post-commercial northern hardwood forests. Vascular plants and bryophytes are studied. This work is important to developing forest management practices that maximize biodiversity.
Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station offers a diversity of managed forests that are well suited to the parameters of this research.
Jenkins, J. (2010). Do unharvested forests contain forest interior plants? A final technical report for the Northeast States Research Consortium. Unpublished. Wildlife Conservation Society Adirondack Program.