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Our Changing Forests with Professor Jonathan Titus (SUNY Fredonia)

Posted on Oct 14, 2016

Dr. Jonathan Titus – professor of biology, botany and ecology at SUNY Fredonia – will deliver a program at RTPI on Wednesday, November 9th at 7pm summarizing his current research addressing many aspects of the rapid changes underway in forests throughout our area. “Our forests are changing very fast due to non-native invasive plant species, tree diseases (beech bark disease, hemlock wooly adelgid and emerald ash borer), deer overpopulation and climate change,” Dr. Titus explained, “so I am tracking tree growth and understory vegetation across the county to understand the change that is occurring.”


Titus has set up permanent forest plots in the College Lodge Nature Preserve and campus woodlot, as well as in four wetland sites across the county, where he measures tree growth, tree diseases and mortality, vines, downed woody debris and the understory vegetation. A survey of the species-rich College Lodge Nature Preserve has revealed more than 400 plant species – including 10 species that had not been known to exist in the county as well as two threatened and two endangered species. Titus has also encountered evidence that debunks a long-held forest management paradigm; that old forests are decedent and should therefore be logged. He has determined that old-growth forest areas are actually growing the fastest and have the greatest productivity.