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Our forest in transition: Over 200 years of change since Rufus Putnam’s survey
September 10, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pmFree
When public lands were surveyed in the U.S., “witness trees” were often recorded to facilitate the relocation of property boundaries; these witness trees provide a record of forest conditions in Appalachian Ohio c.1800. Comparison with present-day forests reveals a dramatic decline in oaks and a notable increase in red maple. Furthermore, fine-scale topographic patterns observed in forest communities are also changing. Jim Dyer focuses on southeastern Ohio, addressing drivers of the observed changes, including a shift to a cooler and wetter climate in the 20th century, changing land-use patterns, post-settlement fire suppression, and the influence of future climate change on our forests.