forest of just trees and forest with an understory

Science Lecture Series Webinar: Litter to Glitter- Unlocking the Herbaceous Potential Stored in Forest Floors

Thursday, April 15, 2021 | 7:00 pm

7:00 pm - 08:00 PM

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This online webinar is on April 15th at 7pm. After you register you will receive an email with a link to the program. Please check your SPAM folder.

Once you have registered, you can log in on our website and you will also be able to find the link on this event page.

Suitable for adults

Litter to Glitter- Unlocking the Herbaceous Potential Stored in Forest Floors

In ecosystems across eastern North America, fire exclusion and subsequent succession into closed-canopy forests has replaced the “glitter” of once robust and diverse layers of wildflowers and grasses with the uninterrupted dominance of dead leaves – leaf “litter”. Please join Dr. Andy Vander Yacht from Michigan State University as he describes how canopy disturbance and fire season can be used to restore the lost herbaceous components of Eastern ecosystems. In his broad regional research, thinning and burning increased grass cover 14-fold, forb cover 50-fold, and herbaceous diversity 10-fold on average relative to undisturbed forest controls. The resiliency of herbaceous layers to extended periods of fire exclusion provides hope, but also suggests conservation efforts that target sites with high floristic quality may be overlooking the extreme potential stored in otherwise inconspicuous forest understories. Implications for management at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve and beyond will be discussed. 

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