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Forest Biology and Dendrology Education

Ecology of Appalachian Forests

FOR 2114 – CRN 16758, 3 credits

Spring 2010, 10-11AM, 409 Saunders


Instructor:    Dr. John R. Seiler
                      230J Cheatham Hall
                      Office Hours:  Any time unless I am in class, meetings, or out of town

Course Objective: Introduction to the natural history, tree biology, tree identification, forest ecology, management and forest types of the Appalachian region.  Identify parts of trees and define the function of various organs.  Examine the relationship between tree health, growth, and the environment;  describe forest soils and their relationship to forest growth and productivity and sustainability.  Learn the common forest management practices used in Appalachian forests.  Describe common insect and disease pests of the Appalachian region. Identify common tree species and forest types of the Appalachian region.

Course grade:  This will be determined by three formal exams:  dates...   Each will count 30% of your grade.  Four short announced quizzes distributed throughout the semester will make up the final 10 %.   Final grades will be assigned based on the following breakdown:

93 and above A
90-92 A-
87-89 B+
83-86 B
80-82 B-
77-79 C+
73-76 C
70-72 C-
67-69 D+
63-66 D
60-62 D-
59 or below F

Required text: Eastern Deciduous Forest: Ecology and Wildlife Conservation by Richard Yahner. 2000. University of Minnesota Press. 295 p.

Expectations of Students:  Just as you expect me to attend lecture, I expect you to attend lecture.  The lectures and book will not present identical material, they will complement each other.  If you miss a lecture it is your responsibility to get the material.  You pay approximately $15 for every lecture, whether you come or not, so work to get your money's worth.  Come to class!

Syllabus by topics:  

  1. Overview of Appalachian region and history
  2. Tree structure and function
    • Buds and leaves
    • Xylem, phloem and wood grain
    • Bark
    • Roots
  3. Ecological processes
    • Solar radiation and carbon uptake
    • Soil water and nutrients        
    • Surviving winter
    • Forest succession
    • Fire effects
  4. Forest management
  5. Environmental pressures and pests
Trees of the week:
Week Group  
1 Very Popular yellow-poplar, red maple, white oak
2 Also Popular eastern white pine, American beech, black oak
3 Confusing Leaves boxelder, white ash, hickory
4 Tasty Treats sassafras, black birch, sugar maple
5 Riverside Filters silver maple, sycamore, willow
6 Prized Hardwoods black cherry, black walnut, northern red oak
7 Endangered Heritage American chestnut, eastern hemlock, American elm
8 Old Field Invaders Virginia pine, black locust, eastern redcedar
9 Fire Lovers Table Mountain pine, pitch pine, chestnut oak
10 Canadian Holdovers red spruce, Fraser fir, yellow birch
11 Dry Ridges blackgum, sourwood, scarlet oak
12 Invaders! tree-of-Heaven, royal paulownia, autumn-olive
13 Spring Beauties eastern redbud, downy serviceberry, flowering dogwood
14 Living Fossils dawn redwood, ginkgo


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