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Center for Tree Science Projects and Collaborations

The Center prioritizes potential research projects and collaborations based on the scientific knowledge, technical expertise, and key challenges they address.

Center for Tree Science scientists seek new scientific knowledge in ecology, evolution, and physiology of trees to develop the technical expertise that allows the sustainable growth and management of trees in built environments, natural landscapes, and collections.

The Center also designs and builds research resources for the long-term study of trees that attract collaborators and enrich the scientific endeavors of students and professionals working towards solutions to the key challenges facing trees and people.

The Center’s research focuses on key outcomes for tree science:

- Understanding evolution, distributions, and taxonomy 
- Resilience and adaptation to pests, pathogens, land use, and climate change
- Expanding knowledge and protection of genetic and species diversity in collections and in place
- Sustaining habitats, ecosystem processes, and ecosystem services
- Improving performance of trees and plants as green infrastructure to improve the health and beauty of cities and towns
- Development of engineering tools, databases, biological archives, research platforms, and new study methods
- Public awareness of the diversity, function, and value of trees for nature and society

Learn more about the Center's collaborative research projects and development of research resources:

  • Genome size and ploidy surveys contribute to the growing body of scientific knowledge related to the plant kingdom and can be used by plant breeders to develop breeding objectives.

  • A breeding population with genetic diversity is necessary for developing new plants with novel characters.  Some plants can become weedy when introduced to a landscape, and reducing fertility can mitigate this effect.

  • Living collections are important repositories of biodiversity. Understanding the history of domestication in paperbark maple, which is endangered in its native habitat in China, can help us better conserve the species through targeted collection.

  • Polyploid induction is a method used by breeders to develop parents that can be used to create plants that are sterile, reblooming, or have improved aesthetics through interploidy hybridization.

  • The data collected on the urban forest in the Chicago region is the most extensive regional dataset on urban forestry in the country.  The combination of spatial, on-the-ground, and operations capacity data provides a broad foundation for education and outreach across the seven county Chicago region. 

  • Understanding evolutionary relationships and classification of Carex, one of the largest flowering plant groups of the northern hemisphere is key to conservation, restoration, and ecological study in the group.

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