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Dynamics of forested ecosystems

Oak ecosystems are declining across the Midwest.  The Arboretum is undertaking research and restoration initiatives to find ways to combat these declines. 

We are using DNA data to better understand the connectivity and recent history of populations of Quercus havardii, a Western sand dune oak.

Controlled burning is a common restoration technique in midwestern forests. This project examines its effects on soils, which are largely unknown, but can have significant impacts on tree growth and young tree establishment. 

The diversity of trees from around the world in the Living Collections provides an ideal opportunity to compare species responses to climate.

The number of species that can tolerate poor-quality of roadside soils is limited. Can we increase the diversity of trees that can thrive in this harsh environment and the ecosystem services provided by urban trees by matching soil amendments with tree traits?

Consistent, integrative ecological monitoring is essential to determine the health of the forest and the impacts of management.