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Northern Research Station
11 Campus Blvd., Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073
(610) 557-4017
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You are here: NRS Home / Research Programs /Forest Disturbance Processes /Invasive Species / FRAME: Forest FRAgments in Managed Ecosystems
Forest Disturbance Processes

FRAME: Forest FRAgments in Managed Ecosystems

[photos] Important interactions between soil chemistry, nonnative plants, and primary producers and their predators occur in all forest fragments, however small.Research Issue

In the densely populated northeastern quarter of the United States, forest fragments of various sizes are found sprinkled throughout human-dominated landscapes in cities and suburbs. These green patches provide vital habitat for remaining wildlife but are subject to tremendous pressure from air pollution, water contamination, and invasion from nonnative species of plants and insects. In these systems, as in all forests, soil is the base upon which ecosystem services are built. Changes in soil condition may explain or predict many of the problems in urban forests.

 Our Research

We designed this research program as a long-term study of conditions in forest fragments across the mid-latitude temperate forests of the world. The core sites are located in northern Delaware, in an area surveyed of fragments in 1965 in a joint project of the University of Delaware and the U.S. Forest Service. One of these sites has been continuously monitored since 1973.  Another site has been established in Harbin, China, and there are plans for sites in Germany, Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, and Russia. Sites in other countries were chosen on the basis of similarities to the temperate US. Some of these countries, such as China, are the origin of many nonnative in the U.S. Many invasive pests in China were accidentally introduced from the U.S.

In all of the sites, detailed information is being collected on soil composition, litter arthropods and molluscs, vegetation, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. These data are to be used to compare the health of forest fragments with different soil conditions across the world.

Expected Outcomes

The data collected at these sites will be analyzed to help cities and landowners manage forest fragments to optimize ecosystem services; to predict areas that are most likely to be invaded and mitigate invasion; and to determine whether simple soil treatments can lead to healthier and more productive green spaces.

D’Amico, V.; Shriver, W.G.; Bowman, J.; Ballard, M.; Wiest, W.; Tymkiw, E.; Miller, M. In press. Multitrophic effects Of calcium availability on invasive alien plants, birds, and bird prey items. In: McManus, KA, Gottschalk KW, eds. Proceedings, 21st U.S. Department of Agriculture Interagency Research Forum on Invasive Species, 2010. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station.

Research Results

This project was officially established in 2010, so data collection has only begun. However, the results of preliminary studies in 2009 are currently being prepared as a manuscript.

Research Participants

Principal Investigator

  • Vincent D’Amico, Research Entomologist, U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station
  • W. Gregory Shriver, University of Delaware

Research Partners

  • Jake Bowman, University of Delaware
  • Jeff Buler, University of Delaware

Last Modified: 10/19/2010

About this Research Area

Science theme: Managing with Disturbance

Science Topic: Invasive Species

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D’Amico, V.; Shriver, W.G.; Bowman, J.; Ballard, M.; Wiest, W.; Tymkiw, E.; Miller, M. In press. Multitrophic effects Of calcium availability on invasive alien plants, birds, and bird prey items. In: McManus, KA, Gottschalk KW, eds. Proceedings, 21st U.S. Department of Agriculture Interagency Research Forum on Invasive Species, 2010. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station.