UE biology and environmental science students publish in PIAS

Posted: Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Research by Andrew Nunn, Michelle Sonnenberger, and Matt Roberts – under the direction of professor of biology Cris Hochwender - was published in the most recent volume of the Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science. Nunn and Sonnenberger are graduating senior biology majors and Roberts graduated from UE with a degree in environmental science in 2016.

Their study suggests that deer may prevent tree species from transitioning above browse-level and into the mid-story strata. Given time, these changes could lead to a loss of diversity in the canopy, as replacement will consist of only those few species which escape deer browse. In addition, their research suggests that pawpaws may limit access of many tree species into the overstory.

The loss of diversity in the forest community could cause wide-ranging alterations in the forest community.

The study has helped to launch a long-term, manipulative experiment examining the importance of both deer browsing and pawpaw on forest regeneration at WWNP

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