SPNWR Vegetation Research


Attached to this page are .xlsx and .xls files containing a list of 224 plant species known to exist on Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge (SPNWR), St. Croix, VI. These species are distributed among 62 different families, representing 41 different orders, representing four classes, and two divisions. The Sandy Point Orchid (Psychilis macconelliae) is listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Virgin Islands Dept. of Planning and Natural Resources, and Vahl's Boxwood (Buxus vahlii) is listed as an endangered species by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Proposed Research

In march 2012 we will collect data to compare the structure of the plant community on the southeast shore of the peninsula (Figure 1) to the northwest shore (Figure 2).

Figure 1. Windward side (southeast shore) of SPNWR.

Figure 2. Leeward side (northwest shore) of SPNWR.

The effects on the growth forms of the plants are obvious from the photos above. Our intent is to quantify differences in growth form, vegetation height, community composition, community structure, etc. This may involve some or all of the following: belt and line transects, quadrants, measuring heights of plants, using a fish-eye lens to determine canopy density, core samples to estimate ages, above ground biomass, and measuring stem cross-sectional area.

SPNWR-plants.xlsx63.85 KB
SPNWR-plants.xls81 KB


8 March 2012

Landed in St. Croix around 6ish. It was my very first time on an airplane and it went well. Buzz picked Kacey, Tiffany, and I up from the airport and we went back to our cottage by the sea. It is right on the shore and is absolutely beautiful. The temperature never really varies much here so houses/cottages are pretty different than what I'm used to at home. Everything is very open to the outside and I can hear the waves which is really nice. We saw some anoles on the walls outside and when we went out to sit on the beach chairs, we saw a night heron and some bats. The palm trees are really cool and they have coconuts hanging on them. The water is warm, I think Buzz said 78 degrees, and the sky has a lot of stars and planets that are visible tonight. Tomorrow we are going out at 9:00 AM, I'm pretty excited to get out there.