November 1, 2018 at 8:15 pm

Plant Biology Colloquium | Hot Enough to fry the dog’s feet? Trees as components of the human-built landscape, Nov. 16

Glenn Matlack, portrait

Dr. Glenn Matlack

The Environmental and Plant Biology Colloquium Series presents Dr. Glenn Matlack on Nov. 16 from 11:50 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in Porter Hall 104.

Matlack is Associate Professor of Environmental & Plant Biology at Ohio University.

Title: Hot Enough to fry the dog’s feet? Trees as components of the human-built landscape.

Abstract: Trees are the defining growth form of forests, shaping the physical environment and providing structural niches for all the other species living there.  Similarly trees control the environment of human communities creating a living space which is cool, shady, and relatively moist as well as aesthetically pleasing.  But civil engineers question the effect of trees on pavement longevity and highway safety.  A recent ODOT-funded project asks how road- andstreet-side  trees affect pavement microclimate and whether microclimate correlates with pavement degradation.  Preliminary data collected in Athens streets show that solar heating sufficient to cause damaging thermal expansion is reduced 90% by a tree cover.  Potentially damaging rain wetting is reduced ca. 10% under a tree canopy, although the wet period is extended ca. 37% due to slower evaporation under a tree canopy.  Snowfall is reduced by a tree canopy even without leaves.  Snow and ice retention is more closely linked to pavement drainage and traffic pattern than tree cover.  Data is currently being collected in 240 pavement plots around Athens County to determine whether microclimate effects translate into pavement condition.  This has required me to invent novel methods of documenting pavement texture.



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