Compare how the tree species vary from the edge to the interior of a forest by sampling tree saplings and adults along a transect.
A plant community includes all of the plants living in a given place. One of the most obvious patterns evident in most schoolyards is the dramatic difference (at least in appearance) between the open meadow and lawn communities and the closed forest communities. However, are these forests themselves homogeneous, or are there interesting patterns of variation within them? There are many interesting things to study about forest communities. One concerns changes in the forest community that might occur while going from the edge to the middle of a patch of forest. Forest edges are receiving a lot of attention these days, in large part because human activity has created so many edges and small patches where there used to be larger expanses of contiguous forest. Are there species that require conditions found only in the interior of an intact forest. If so, how big does a patch need to be for these species to escape the "edge effect"?