We went down to the bottom of the Otay River.  At the bottom of the river we looked around and took note of all the plants that we could see in order to answer some questions that we had:

How many different plant species are in the area of the Otay River bottom behind Montgomery High School?

How many plants of each species are in the river bottom?

What percentage of these plants are native to this area?

How has this area changed over time?

What changes will the future bring?

Procedures and Problems

Looking at plants and a map of study site.


Down in the river bottom we did several things. We started at the path that is along side the river. We took the tape measure 25 meters south up the hill. Then every 5 meters we looked at the plants and recorded them. With all the plants there was only one plant we couldn't identify. We took pictures and a sample of this plant. We intended to do 5 transects on each side of the river but we didn't know a way locate the transects, the cement company is on the other side of the river, and we did not have time after school to get over to the other side and work before dark. Therefore, we changed our minds and decided to start at another location at the Beyer Way bridge. This time we decided to walk west, write down every plant we could see from the path to the river every 5 meters. We did this for a 200 meter section and called it RE1. Transect1 became 25 meters south from the bridge on the road looking down the slope. We continued using this procedure until we reached the Beyer Blvd. bridge. Every 200 meters we went 25 meters south into the chaparral and called them Transects 2, 3 and 4. With Transect 5 we started at the Beyer Blvd. bridge and walked south 25 meters on the road, recording every 5 meters the plants on the slope.


In the River bottom we encountered several difficulties. In the beginning we forgot several things which were required. Fortunately between all of us we managed. The biggest problem we had was that it would always rain. When it rained our pathways got flooded. Which made us detour further south away from the river. This made it more difficult to see all the plants up to the river. By the time we reached the bridge we were at least 50 meters south of the river. All together there were exactly 10 plants that couldn't be identified in the field. One of them we still haven't identified.


Muddy Day