Oak Ecosystem Recovery in the upper Midwest Region
Establishment rates of oak trees in eastern US forests have seen marked declines in recent years. Many factors affect tree establishment and survivability such as soil nutrients, browsing pressures, disturbance rates and intensity, and seed dispersal. A collaboration with Michigan State, the USGS, and The Morton Arboretum is investigating the effects of various management practices such as selective logging and prescribed burning on oak ecosystems. Dr. Meghan Midgley of the Morton Arboretum is analyzing changes in soil chemistry as a result of these management practices, while Dr. Christine Rollinson and I analyze their effects on mature oak tree growth throughout Indiana Illinois and Wisconsin. The goal of the project is to understand how oak ecosystems are impacted by these management practices to better facilitate for oak recovery in the future. .