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Ecology: Thompson’s Point, Charlotte, Vermont

Dolostone CliffsThe Lake moderates winter temperatures and increases cloud cover. The 150- day growing season is longer than in other parts of Vermont. The soils have been forming for about 10,000 years, since the present lake has occupied the Champlain Valley. Much of the clayey soil of Thompson’s Point is forming from the silt particles deposited during the glacial retreats. The soils have a high water holding capacity, and much of the acreage on the Point, which is not exposed bed rock, is moist throughout the year. Within this small area many different species of flora and fauna have thrived.

The vegetative cover on Thompson’s Point is indicative of the underlying conditions of the bedrock substrate. The moderated temperatures partially account for the traditionally southern species such as shagbark hickory and white oak, which are found in the Lake Champlain Valley and on the Point in particular. Prior to European settlement, the Point was likely forested. In the late 1700s it had a white pine transition hardwood cover, rich in oak and hickory (Harris, 1990, p.17). Natural processes of revegetation and succession resulted in a forested site of mixed hardwoods including shagbark hickory, sugar maple, white cedar, hemlock, and white, red, and bur oaks would have covered cooler northern-facing portions and shoreline cliffs (Harris, 1990).

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Thompson's Point, Vermont
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