Project ID



Investigation of disturbed and intact woodlands herbaceous understories provided information on species present, biomass production and nutrient capture in preserved and secondary forests.

Key Question

What characteristics of woodland understory plant communities are functionally important in agricultural landscapes?


The number, frequency, and abundance of different understory herbaceous species, especially spring-growing species, are greater in preserved forests than in secondary or disturbed forests, and are important for maintaining biodiversity and contributing to nutrient capture. Certain spring-growing species produce large amounts of biomass and substantially increase nutrient capture in the understory. Including these species in riparian woodland restoration should lead to increased effectiveness for nutrient capture.

Principal Investigator(s)

Jan R. Thompson


Cathy Mabry McMullen

Year of Grant Completion