Department of Biological Sciences
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
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Forests in our region are plagued by
number of woody exotic
species: Amur honeysuckle
(Lonicera maackii), Japanese
honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica),
periwinkle (Vinca minor), and
purple-leaf winter creeper (Euonymus fortunei), to name a few.
It is interesting to note that Vinca and Euonymus
are evergreen, while L. japonica is semi-evergreen in our
climate, and L.
maackii (below, right and left) has a very protracted leaf display
(early April to hard
frost in November). Moderate temperatures (Should we say increasingly moderate
temperatures?) during the leafless seasons of early spring and late
fall appear to provide
photosynthetic opportunities not used by native species. Students in
the lab have undertaken an
array of projects concerning these species.
Audrey Vaughan and her
explored how the timing of
radical pruning in
combination with herbicide treatment may be used to kill Amur
honeysuckle. This technique
promises to be quick, inexpensive and effective.
in the new Ecology of Plants
course and undergraduate
students Audra Hoover and
Audrey Vaughan have mapped a series of Amur honeysuckle
New graduate student Gail
will be working on a thesis project
examining how Amur
honeysuckle invasions affect the populations of predatory birds.
leatherwood (left) is an
plant! Although this very shade
tolerant understory shrub
ranges throughout eastern north America, it is particularly abundant
under closed sugar maple canopies in Upper
Michigan. Imagine: thriving in the "dungeon of forest
understories"! It gets its common name from
the very tough bark that surrounds its light, flexuous stems. The
is quite toxic and has been
examined for a number of useful classes of chemicals. White-tailed
deer, the plague of the eastern
forests, do not eat it.
The lab has cooperated closely on these projects with Dr. John Zasada (now retired, U.S. Forest Service, Grand Rapids, Minn.) and Dr. Bill Mattson (U.S. Forest Service, Rhinelander, WI). Studies undertaken by lab members have examined a range of issues, from growth responses to in relation to forest harvest, small scale plant distributions, herbiviory, and seed production. Recently, graduate student Travis Burleyson examined herbiviory by Leucanthiza dircella, a specialist leafminer, in response to plant spacing across a 30 km transect in the Ottawa NF, Michigan. We will continue our studies of herbivory in summer 2005 focusing on the demographic consequences of herbivory.
abstracts of papers concerning leatherwood presented at
See our recent paper on the seed production of Dirca palustris: Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society Volume 131 Number 4 2004.
Abstract for podium talk at the 2005 Ecological Society of America Meeting, Montreal Canada
In Upper Michigan, canopy openings created naturally or through selective harvest are commonly stocked by dense thickets of sugar maple seedlings. Light levels beneath these thickets are very low, and we assume that underground competition is intense as well. Informal observations suggest that regeneration thickets reduce the diversity and abundance of understory herbs. If this pattern is commonplace, current selective harvest techniques may "bottleneck" the understory over the course of 100 years. In a manuscript currently in preparation we will report on the results of a large scale sample of natural regeneration thickets in the Sylvania Wilderness, Upper Michigan. This work is conducted in collaboration with John Zasada (retired, U.S.F.S.), Tom Crow (U.S.F.S), David Buckley (Univ. Tenn.) and Elizabeth Nauertz (N.P.S.).
are presently getting started on
projects in the northeastern
Ozarks outside St. Louis, MO. Undergraduate Kyle
Lauer completed a
vegetation survey documenting tree seedling
recovery after a much needed culling of the Tyson deer herd.
Undergraduate Amber Major is
examining the woody
flora of seeps in the bluffs of this karst region.
Graduate student Dan
is working out restoration
techniques for Lilium michiganense (right),
a species nearly extirpated by deer
and perhaps a disrupted fire regime.
After the Great Flood of 1993 the
lab began periodic sampling of
four forests along the
Mississippi River near St. Lois, MO. Graduate student Charlie Deutsch
completing a thesis examining
the recovery of two stands in detail. The study specifically addresses
the very abnormal
hydrology of the region. Headline: Protracted summer floods play havoc
seedling establishment, diminishing the diversity of native woody
species to just two, silver maple
(Acer saccharinum) and green
ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica).
The SIUE Campus features perhaps 1000 acres of old field and degraded forest habitat. The region was colonized fairly early in the 19th Century (St. Louis, MO is 20 miles away), and with this much of the local forest has been high-graded or otherwise mismanaged. In a pilot study, the Schulz lab, in conjunction with faculty Dick Brugam and Bill Retzlaf are attempting to replant the extirpated oak-hickory forest that dominated the region. We call this the 200 Pound Squirrel Project because of its decidedly offbeat approach. Guess which one of us best fits the appellation "200 Pound Squirrel!"
Dr. Kurt Schulz
Dept. of Biological Sciences, Box 1651
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, IL 62026
© Kurt Schulz