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Title: Treefall Gap Dynamics in an Urban Old Growth Forest
Authors: Williams, Griffin L.
Long, Marilyn I.
Hulsey, Colleen E.
Deery, Erin L.
Wilson, Mac
Massad, Tara
Advisors: Pike, David A.
Keywords: URCAS;Student research;2018 Spring;Class of 2019;Class of 2018;Biology, Department of;Treefall gap;Overton Park (Memphis, Tenn.);Old growth forests;Forest regeneration;Environmental sciences
Issue Date: 27-Apr-2018
Abstract: Treefall gaps are a critical component of forest dynamics that lead to the recruitment of a new cohort of seedlings and gap closure. Overton Park is an urban park with 126 acres of old growth forest, and long-term observations suggest gaps within the forest are failing to regenerate. Possible explanations include lower rates of seed arrival in gaps, low germination rates of seeds, competition from invasive and native plants, and seedling mortality from herbivory. From 2015- 2018 we studied ten forest gaps to determine seed production, the tree species responsible for producing those seeds, and the recruitment of those seeds into seedlings. We also monitored for invasive plant species that could impact seedling survival and growth. Our findings suggest that seed richness and seedling diversity are higher in forest areas compared to gaps and that seedling diversity is negatively influenced by invasive species cover. Gap regeneration is therefore affected by seed dispersal and seedling survivorship and management of invasive species is necessary for forest regeneration.
Description: Presentation by Griffin Williams ('18), Marilyn Long ('19), Mac Wilson, and Tara Massad delivered at the Rhodes College Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium (URCAS).
Appears in Collections:Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium

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