Don Cipollini (Advisor), Thomas Rooney (Committee Member), James Runkle (Committee Member)
Master of Science (MS)
Edge and isolated plant populations provide information about the resilience and the most basic resource needs of a species. Plant demography examines changes in population size and structure over time. An isolated, disjunct eastern hemlock population in Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, Yellow Springs, Ohio consists of two distinct subpopulations each with different environmental characteristics, reproductive capacities, and health ratings. Both subpopulations at Clifton Gorge were found to exhibit significant decreases in average annual ring width through time. Linear regression modeling determined that average annual growing season precipitation and temperature were the strongest predictors of these growth trends. A comparative hemlock population at Cantwell Cliffs, Rockbridge, Ohio within the contiguous range of the species displayed environmental characteristics more typical of hemlock-dominated stands and slight increases in average annual ring width through time, suggesting that the contiguous site is more favorable for eastern hemlock performance.
Department or Program
Department of Biological Sciences
Year Degree Awarded
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