Fire ecology of hardwood forests topic of Café

News Release Date: 
02.02.10

USDA representative to discuss research on use of fire in central hardwood ecosystems

The Ohio State University at Marion invites the community to the Infinity Restaurant in the historic Harding Hotel, 267 West Center Street, downtown Marion, Tuesday, February 2, 7 p.m., for a free monthly community dialogue on science entitled, Science Café.

February’s Science Café welcomes, Daniel Yaussy from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, in Delaware Ohio. Yaussy will lead a discussion on “Fire Ecology of Central Hardwood Forests.” This Science Café will cover what research has shown us about reintroducing fire into these ecosystems, what we think will happen, and areas for further research.

According to Yaussy, Native Americans used fire to manage their environment and early European settlers increased the use of these same methods when they arrived. In the first part of the 20th century, states used fire suppression programs to reduce property loss.

“The removal of fire as an ecosystem process has affected the oak forest community. Mature forests in the central hardwoods region of the United States are dominated by an oak overstory,” said Yaussy. This overstory is being replaced by other tree species, concluded Yaussy.

Science Cafés involve lively conversations with scientists about current science topics. Science Cafés are free and open to everyone, and take place in casual settings like pubs and coffeehouses. At a café you can learn about the latest issues in science, chat with a scientist in plain language, meet new friends, speak your mind, and talk with your mouth full. The overriding goal of Ohio State Marion’s Science Café is to overcome reluctance to learning about science and to make science less mysterious.

For more information on Science Café visit:http://osumarion.osu.edu/sciencecafe/ or contact Ohio State Marion professor of mathematics, Dr. Brian McEnnis at:mcennis.1@osu.edu.