Alumni Events

February 2, 2019 at 6:45 pm

Plant Biology Colloquium | Lasting Contributions of Pasture Trees, Feb. 22

Marion Holmes in the field, studying plant growth

Marion Holmes

The Environmental & Plant Biology Colloquium Series presents Dr. Marion Holmes on Feb. 22 from 11:50 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in Porter Hall 104.

Ohio University alum Holmes earned a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the College of Arts & Sciences in 2018.

Title: Lasting Contributions of Pasture Trees to Structural Heterogeneity and Plant Distributions in Post-Agricultural Forests

Abstract: Most forest in eastern North America has regrown after clearance for agriculture or logging and carries legacies of past land use. Specific land uses leave distinctive signatures in the forests that succeed them, such as open-grown shade trees used as shelters and food sources for livestock in pastures. These trees persist after abandonment, retain their open-grown structure in the young forest, and serve as a recognizable reminder of forest history. As islands in an agricultural matrix, pasture trees have been shown to influence forest regeneration in tropical ecosystems by providing microhabitat heterogeneity and a nucleus of seed deposition. Building on my previous research in post-agricultural forests of Southeastern Ohio, I set out to understand the contributions of pasture trees to temperate deciduous forests. In this talk I will discuss the patterns in forest structure and composition that develop around pasture trees during succession and what they can tell us about forest development after abandonment from agriculture.

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