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Woodland and tallgrass prairie restoration case studies
Two speakers will present restoration ecology research published in the January 2020 issue of the Natural Areas Journal: Leighton Reid will share understory plant community outcomes based on twelve years of monitoring in a woodland mosaic in Missouri as it underwent restoration via prescribed, dormant-season burning and mechanical thinning of red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) and exotic shrubs. Reid’s case study suggests that understory plant recovery may be slower in harsher and more degraded sites and faster in more mesic sites within a woodland mosaic. Mike Leahy will describe plant community changes documented over 20 years of prescribed fire, herbicide treatments of invasive nonnative species, and seeding of local ecotype prairie seed at Pawnee Prairie, a 190-ha mix of remnant tallgrass prairie and formerly row-cropped prairie in Missouri. The prairie restoration practices resulted in significant gains in the natural quality of the site’s vegetation, including a greater abundance of prairie flora matrix species and some conservative species.

J. Leighton Reid, Nels J. Holmberg, Matthew Albrecht, Sandra Arango-Caro, Olivia Hajek, Quinn Long, and James Trager "Annual Understory Plant Recovery Dynamics in a Temperate Woodland Mosaic during a Decade of Ecological Restoration," Natural Areas Journal 40(1), 23-34, (14 January 2020). https://doi.org/10.3375/043.040.0104

Mike J. Leahy, Steven Buback, and Calvin J. Maginel III "Twenty Years of Tallgrass Prairie Reconstruction and Restoration at Pawnee Prairie Natural Area, Missouri," Natural Areas Journal 40(1), 62-71, (14 January 2020). https://doi.org/10.3375/043.040.0108

Apr 21, 2020 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Mike Leahy
Natural Community Ecologist @Missouri Department of Conservation
Mike has worked for over 25 years for state natural resource agencies in Indiana, Virginia and Missouri. For the past thirteen years he has been the natural areas coordinator for the Missouri Department of Conservation as well as their acting Natural Heritage Program ecologist. Mike has written many technical and popular articles on aspects of natural history in the states he has worked in. Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a Master of Science degree in Forest Ecology from Michigan State University. He lives in Jefferson City with his wife and son and enjoys exploring the outdoors with his family and friends.
J. Leighton Reid
Assistant Professor / Research Associate @School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech / Missouri Botanical Garden
Leighton Reid teaches undergraduate courses in Ecological Restoration and studies ecological restoration in a variety of ecosystems including tropical forests in Costa Rica and Madagascar, temperate woodlands in Missouri, and southeastern grasslands in Virginia. Leighton’s main strengths are in community and landscape ecology, and he has worked with a variety of taxa including birds, bats, rodents, trees, epiphytes, and ground-layer herbaceous plants. He tries to approach restoration holistically and produce research that is useful for or at least interesting to practitioners. Leighton earned his BS at Sewanee and his MA and PhD at the University of California Santa Cruz. Prior to joining the faculty at Virginia Tech, Leighton spent a year studying Douglas fir forest restoration at Oregon State and five years as a postdoc and assistant scientist at Missouri Botanical Garden.