Will Ohio University Plant Biology students bring colorful wildflowers and biodiversity to Radar Hill, planting seeds on a pasture-like hilltop little changed over the decades?
“One of the problems is there aren’t seeds up there, and it’s not like good plants are going to get up on Radar Hill, invasive or otherwise,” said Dr. Jared DeForest, Associate Professor of ecosystem and soil ecology in the College of Arts and Sciences. “This project is the start of providing that gene pool and increasing the biodiversity of Radar Hill.”
Students in Restoration Ecology (PBIO 3/5330) spent spring 2013 on a biodiversity project on Radar Hill, a site on The Ridges. Instead of having a lecture each class, the students apply class principles in the field on Mondays, gaining real-world experience in restoration ecology methods.
The project’s main goal is to increase biodiversity on Radar Hill by introducing and maintaining plant species in the area. In order to become a prairie, the area must be able to maintain grasses and herbaceous plants rather than primarily tree growth.