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Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Rice, Stanley [1], Dyer, Jacob [2].

Urban island forests: a possible laboratory of human impact on nature.

One of our botanical teaching objectives is to help students realize that we cannot “preserve nature” by fencing or walling off a little bit of it. “Nature preserves” will nearly always suffer the effects of human activity, especially small ones with significant edge effects, and ecological islands surrounded by human activity. The optimistically-named Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness in Tulsa, Oklahoma may serve as a good example of a forest preserve in which the trees experience higher mortality than would an intact forest. If a typical tree in this forest lives 100 years and takes five years to decompose after death, an observer would expect to see five dead trees or decomposing trunks out of ever hundred trees; tree death on Turkey Mountain far exceeds this rate. Possible explanations are the edge effect due to the urban heat island; extensive recreational use; and invasive plant species. Students could use a field activity based upon a place such as Turkey Mountain not only to explore human impacts, but to examine the validity of assumptions upon which the expected baseline mortality rate is based.

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Related Links:
Summary of Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness

1 - Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Biological Sciences, 425 W. University Blvd, Durant, OK, 74701-3347, USA
2 - Oklahoma State University, Natural Resource Ecology and Management, 008 C Agriculture Hall, Stillwater, OK, 74078, USA

urban forests
tree mortality
human impact.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 26, Education and Outreach II
Location: Sundance 4/Omni Hotel
Date: Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: 26004
Abstract ID:57
Candidate for Awards:None

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