Moriarty Science Seminar: “Biodiversity collapse and the future of the Eastern Deciduous Forest Biome of North America”
December 5, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Hybrid: Online and At the Museum
R.W. Moriarty Science Seminar Presents: “Biodiversity collapse and the future of the Eastern Deciduous Forest Biome of North America”
Speaker: Walter Carson, University of Pittsburgh
This event will take place Monday, December 5 at Noon both online and at Earth Theater.
Abstract: Throughout the Eastern Deciduous Forest Biome of North America, a near century of over-browsing by white-tailed deer has greatly reduced the biodiversity and abundance of native plant species causing the formation of impoverished forest communities. The recovery of these communities, even if deer populations are reduced substantially, is unlikely for numerous reasons. Moreover, understory fires, that used to occur frequently, have been suppressed for decades, leading to forests where saplings of oaks often fail to regenerate. In this talk, Dr. Carson will take a long-term experimental approach to tease out the key processes that underlie patterns of forest regeneration in the eastern United States. He will also urge forest biologists to focus more attention on understory herbs and shrubs, which account for more than 90% of the flora in the eastern U.S.