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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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9/7/2004 Forest Park is the focus of faculty lecture

McMINNVILLE – Nancy Broshot, assistant professor of biology and health sciences at Linfield College, will present "The Effects of Urbanization upon a Forest" Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall at Linfield.

The lecture, which is part of the Linfield faculty lecture series, is free and open to the public.

Broshot has been conducting research in Portland’s Forest Park for over a decade, exploring how urbanization affects a natural forest. Her studies have examined changes in trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants and birds. Broshot began her work in 1993 for her doctoral dissertation and found that there were some changes occurring in areas near the city. For example, she found a reduction in young tree seedlings and saplings at sites closer to downtown Portland than those farther away.

"That fact along with the land use history of my sites led me to conclude that succession is being slowed closer to the city," she said. Last year, with funding from the Linfield Collaborative Research Endowment, she repeated the study. She found greater cover by non-native species at sites closer to the city in both 1993 and 2003. She also found a 50 percent increase in cover by non-native species in 2003 as compared to 1993.

"In addition, the work not only upheld the earlier finding of lack of recruitment (of seedlings and saplings), but also showed increased tree mortality throughout the park," she said. "Such findings bode ill for the future of the park as a healthy forest ecosystem."

Broshot, who is continuing her research on Forest Park with a grant from the Oregon Department of Forestry and the USDA Forest Service, presented her findings at a meeting of the Ecological Society of America in August.

Broshot, who has been at Linfield’s Portland Campus since 1984, has a bachelor’s degree, a master’s and Ph.D. from Portland State University.

The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month by a member of the Linfield faculty. For more information, call 503-883-2409.