University of Cincinnati wraps up long-term study of Ohio forest damaged by tornado

By Michael Miller
University of Cincinnati
April 9, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

A long-term study at the University of Cincinnati has documented the rise of invasive species in a forest devastated by a tornado 25 years ago. The EF-4 tornado on April 9, 1999, carried wind speeds of more than 200 miles per hour through suburbs north of Cincinnati. …And it devastated a good part of the 64 acres Harris Benedict Nature Preserve and deciduous forest that UC oversees. …Since the storm, biologists in UC’s College of Arts and Sciences have documented the forest’s recovery in four detailed botanical surveys. Their findings are shedding light on how major disturbances can have lasting and unexpected consequences for biodiversity, lead author and UC Professor Theresa Culley said.The study found that forests have the capacity to regenerate after a major disturbance but often with fewer native species and more nonnative, invasive ones. …Researchers also found large stands of Callery pear trees, a tree introduced by horticulture that has spread to many wild forests.

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