Jared Beck

Plant Ecology and Conservation Biology

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Patterns and drivers of ecological change

Dimensions of biodiversity change in temperate forests

Using detailed historic data describing forest plant communities and resurveys ~50 years later at the same sites, we are investigating how plant diversity has changed across 290 forest stands in the state of Wisconsin. Carefully curated data on understory plant composition in conjunction with detailed functional trait data and high-resolution molcular phylogeny have enabled us to explore 50-year changes in taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity.

63-year forest dynamics in Noe Woods

In 2019, my team and I resurveyed trees within Noe Woods (a parcel of oak woodland in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum). The long-term monitoring plot was first surveyed in 1956 by researchers at UW-Madison. Using a data set spanning 63-years, we documented changes in the structure and composition of Noe Woods as well as factors influencing the growth, recruitment, and mortality of individual trees. Please visit the UW Arboretum’s website to learn more about this research, the importance of long-term monitoring, and how the Arboretum uses these data to guide management decisions.