Scientist Lecture

Delve deeper into the issues and conditions that impact the world around us. These free academic lectures allow you to step back into the classroom and learn from the experts.

Each lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is required. All programs are held at 7pm.

Wednesday, May 15

Tree Traits and Tollway Troubles: Trait-based Approaches for Predicting and Restoring Soil Function

 Meghan Midgley, PhD, the Morton Arboretum

Trees alter the soils in which they grow by contributing organic matter to the soil, such as leaf and root litters and root exudates. However, given the existence of over 60,000 species of trees, a critical challenge lies in determining how soils dominated by different species function. In this talk, Medgley will demonstrate how tree leaf and root traits (such as deciduous vs. evergreen leaves) can be used to simplify relationships between trees and soils and predict how forests will respond to environmental changes. Additionally, she will highlight a unique research project designed to apply basic knowledge about tree effects on forest soils to enhance urban tree biodiversity and ecosystem health along the Illinois Tollway.