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A Forest Restoration, Reimagined: A Decade of Diversity in BiodiversiTREE
What happens when you take acres of abandoned farm fields and plant a forest on top of them? In spring 2013, scientists and volunteers planted 20,000 trees as part of a massive experiment known as BiodiversiTREE. Now starting its tenth year, the project has become the largest experiment on tree diversity and ecosystem function in North America. Join SERC postdoc Rachel King and head technician Jamie Pullen for a trek through the project’s biggest discoveries, in an Earth Optimism webinar specifically made for Earth Week. They’ll reveal how diversity shapes how the forest works, from the soil to the canopy. They'll also explore the ability of forests to withstand the uncertainties of blights and climate change, and how diversity can shape the hidden life that depends on forests. Finally, they will reveal what’s in store for the project over the next century.


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Rachel King
Postdoctoral Fellow @Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Terrestrial Ecology Lab
I am an ecosystem and forest ecologist broadly interested in how key nutrients like nitrogen and carbon move through forest ecosystems. In particular, my research investigates how aboveground changes in ecosystems feedback to influence belowground processes, and vice versa. I am currently investigating how tree diversity affects soil carbon storage and stabilization as a postdoctoral fellow in the Terrestrial Ecology Lab at SERC. (Photo: Rachel King)
Jamie Pullen
Head Technician @Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Terrestrial Ecology Lab
I received my master’s degree form James Madison University in 2014 and am interested in understory forest dynamics and invasive species. Since 2015 I have served as the head biological science technician for the Terrestrial Ecology Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. In this roll I oversee the daily operations of the BiodiversiTREE project at SERC, a large-scale biodiversity restoration experiment on the Chesapeake Bay aimed at understanding the role that biodiversity plays in forests. (Photo: Kristen Goodhue/SERC)