Effects of Invasive Plant Species on Ecosystem Processes
In this project we are examining how Chinese privet, a woody invasive shrub is affecting biogeochemistry and nutrient availability in riparian zones. Riparian zones act as a crucial interface between terrestrial and aquatic systems. Changes in the plant species composition of the riparian community can influence decomposition and soil nutrient availability. As a result, invaded floodplains and lowland streams may experience changes in the subsidies that support adjacent aqautic food webs.
Species Change and Fire History in Montane Longleaf Pine
This project investigates the influence of fire on species change in the longleaf pine systems of northwest Georgia. Montane longleaf pine ecosystems are markedly different from coastal plane and sandhill systems however they are all maintained by fire. Montane systems have persisted through historical periods of fire suppression, and forest composition changed as a result. In recent decades fire is increasingly applied as a management tool and prescribed burns are rapidly altering species composition yet again. We are using a combination of dendrochronology techniques (tree cores, old stumps) and community ecology (vegetation surveys) to examine forest stand dynamics in forests with varying fire and disturbance histories. This project is a collaboration with Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Interested in Research?
Students play a vital role in research at KSU. I am always looking for motivated students. If you are an undergraduate or potential graduate student please contact me to discuss research opportunities.