Current Issues in Restoration Ecology and Environmental Horticulture

CFR 503

Journal Club

Welcome!  We meet on Fridays from 4-5 pm in DRC 103.

Discussions are facilitated by:

· Jon Bakker

· Kern Ewing

· Jim Fridley

· Soo-Hyung Kim

· Sarah Reichard


Discussion Board

A discussion board for this quarter's Journal Club is available here:


It can be used in many ways:

· Weekly leaders can post questions or comments before class to guide our reading (and the in-class discussion).

· People can continue discussions beyond class time.

· Folks that have to be in the field or are sick can still participate.

· Folk can post relevant articles.


Previous schedules are available here:

· Spring 2010

· Winter 2010

· Autumn 2009

· Spring 2009

· Winter 2009

· Autumn 2008








Ex situ plant conservation

Havens et al. 2006. Ex situ plant conservation and beyond. BioScience 56:525-531.

The attached paper is very straightforward and easy to read. You might also like to read and look at some of the links too.


Drew, Kat

Urban trees

Nowak, Stevens, Sisinni, & Luley. 2002. Effects of urban tree management and species selection on atmospheric carbon dioxide. Journal of Arboriculture 28:113-122.

Discussion questions:

-Are there less input-intensive options than trees for urban green spaces?

-What are some practices that could limit the emissions produced during tree maintenance?

-How can neighborhood groups or individual homeowners help to offset the emissions and input for maintenance of urban trees?

-If we primarily use long-lived, low-maintenance, moderate growing species in urban forests, will low diversity become an issue?


Jake, Joy

Soil microbes and allelopathy

Lankau. 2010. Soil microbial communities alter allelopathic competition between Alliaria petiolata and a native species. Biological Invasions 12:2059-2068.

Questions to get things rolling.

-Does this study make you think of any other research that would be useful to conduct to either further the findings of this study or approach it from another direction?

-What are the after effects of allelopathy?--What can we expect/should we do with a patch that has been invaded by an allelopathic plant and is now free of that plant?  Will natives be able to come back right away?  What are the implications for adaptive management?

-The author used indirect methods to study the allelopathic effects of garlic mustard.  Are there any direct methods he could have used? 

-Do you have any experience with other allelopathic plants and do you have any thoughts about them within the context of this paper?


Dan, Ricky


Bochet, Tormo & Garcia-Fayos. 2010. Native species for roadslope revegetation: selection, validation, and cost effectiveness. Restoration Ecology 18:656-663.



Matt, Heather

Green roofs

Berndtsson. 2010. Green roof performance towards management of runoff water quantity and quality: a review. Ecological Engineering 36:351-360.

Q1: The author points out that green roofs perform better in small rain events versus larger events.  The article shows that soil depth is important to maximum water retention, but how else might we improve the water capacity of green roofs?  How does the growth media/soil texture or composition affect retention?  Is it possible to compose a more biostable soil to address runoff issues?

Q2: The second to last paragraph of the conclusion mentions that watering during the dry season may be a method of replacing fertilization as well as being useful to maintain the appearance of the roof.  Other studies suggest that off-season watering is important to early plant establishment as well.  If we are to combine water catchment with green roofing to help supplement off-season watering, what additional issues must be addressed?

Q3: Water quality exiting the green roof system is affected by fertilization and the 'first flush' event.  Summer watering and plant selection are two important factors for improving watering quality.  What considerations are there for selecting a green roof plant community composition?  How else might we address these issues?

An example of a plant being studied for this purpose:
Thomas Whitlow and Jeanette Compton from Cornell University studied Spartina alternaflora and Solidago canadensis, testing their ability to consume volumes of water equivalent to a 2-year storm in Bronx, NY. Findings indicate both species were tolerant of extremely dry and completely saturated conditions of the roof as well as the capability of attenuating a 2 year storm event without drainage.


Jenny, Blake


McKay, JK, CE Christian, S Harrison, and KJ Rice. 2005. “How local is local?” - a review of practical and conceptual issues in the genetics of restoration. Restoration Ecology 13:432-440.


[supplemental reading: Jones, TA. 2005. Genetic principles and the use of native seeds—just the FAQs, please, just the FAQs. Native Plants Journal 6:14-24.]



Ali, Kate


Joe, SM, and CC Daehler. 2008. Invasive slugs as under-appreciated obstacles to rare plant restoration: evidence from the Hawaiian Islands. Biological Invasions 10:245-255.

While we don't have specific questions to ruminate on before Friday, we're building on the focus of previous weeks of what to take into account during restoration planning/implementation. We will also discuss the validity of data/experimental methodology within this paper, along with its practical application.


Chris, Lily

Assessing invasiveness

Grotkopp, Erskine-Ogden, and Rejmanek. 2010. Assessing potential invasiveness of woody horticultural plant species using seedling growth rate traits. Journal of Applied Ecology 47:1320-1328.




No Class

Thanksgiving Break



Amy, Caitlin

Science-driven restoration

Cabin. 2007. Science-driven restoration: a square grid on a round earth? Restoration Ecology 15:1-7.