Topic: Oak Masting: A Tale in Tree Rings
Speaker: Erica Duda, Graduate Student, Biology Department, Frostburg State University
Trees are one of the most charismatic plants we observe in our forests; they inspire awe and provide resources to humans as well as valuable ecosystem services. A critical component of wildlife habitat and resources, trees help tell part of the ecosystem's story. Dendrochronology, or the study of tree rings, is a method we can use to help tell this story. Duda is currently using tree rings to help explain the history of oak masting (acorn production) in Western Maryland. Generally oak trees of the same species will mast synchronously across a landscape. Each oak group (black and white) will often alternate mast years so that species from the black oak group will not be masting at the same time as species from the white oak group. What causes these events is not fully understood, and Duda will present the current hypotheses of this phenomenon as well as preliminary findings of a mast signal within tree rings. If we are able to find a mast signal in the tree rings, then we can use that information to study trends of the historic ecology of our forests to help better manage forests in the future.
This free program will begin promptly at 7:00 pm; the public is welcome to attend.
Directions: From I-68 take exit 33 (Braddock Rd & Midlothian Rd exit). Follow Braddock Road approximately 1.3 miles to stop sign. Turn left onto Park Avenue. Drive a short distance and turn left, following signs for the Compton Parking Lot.
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