The Ecology of Vernal Pools: Hidden Treasures in Your Backyard, Part 1
Ephemeral or vernal pools are temporary wetlands. They are shallow, often dry up by early fall, have mucky soils, are very high in macroinvertebrate biodiversity due to a lack of fish, and are critical breeding habitat for mole salamanders, fairy shrimp, and wood frogs.
Aquatic life forms in vernal pools have evolved to cope with the annual flood and drought that are a characteristic of these wetlands. As the water level falls in summer some aquatic species will move to nearby pools where water is more plentiful while others enter a state of dormancy. Aquatic life continues in the pool when the water returns through precipitation late in fall and snow melt the following spring.
Vernal pools are common in the Columbus area and their ecology is easy to explore with a minimum amount of inexpensive equipment.
Please join Eileen Sawyer on March 7, 2020 for a presentation on the ecology and on a separate day, April 18, 2020, to physically explore the life in these unique ecosystems.