The Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space encourages use of our preserves for scientific research. Our goal is to foster research that enriches our understanding of the natural world and informs our stewardship efforts.
Janet Morrison and her students from the College of New Jersey have been studying several factors associated with threats to forest health. Topics have included the relative susceptibility of particular areas to invasive species, deer impacts, and earthworm impacts.
Sharyn Magee and Michael Van Clef collaborated to document the relationship between forest structure and presence of breeding birds. Kentucky and Hooded Warblers favored forest areas with dense understory growth, which only occurs in portions of Baldpate Mountain and other areas within the Sourlands. Quantifying the amount of understory growth required provides a goal for our deer management efforts and demonstrates why these species are absent from thousands of acres of potential habitat in the Hopewell Valley.