“They continued working in my lab during the school year on tree cores and data analysis,” says Howard. “We were investigating the role forest fires play in structuring the vegetation—the ages, sizes, and species composition of trees. These unique cliff-top forests contain a wealth of biodiversity, which the State and the Forest Service want to protect. Understanding the importance of natural forest fires is critical for long-term conservation here, because many of the species, such as pitch pine (Pinus rigida), are naturally fire-adapted.”
They presented a poster on “The Role of Disturbance in Controlling Stand Dynamics of High Elevation Pine Ecosystems in Northeastern West Virginia” at the Ecological Society of America’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va., on April 17. The theme of the meeting was "Transitions Across Landscapes: The Ecology of Changes."
On April 23, they presented the same poster at the 21st annual Sigma Xi Student Research Symposium at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.