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NEW! Rocky Mountain Riparian Plant Ecology, Identification, & Physiology

  • 1895 Fall River Road, Estes Park, CO 80517
  • Phone: (970) 586-3262
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Riparian (streamside) ecosystems are hotspots for biodiversity and human recreational activities. In addition to these functions, riparian ecosystems provide a unique opportunity to better our scientific understanding about the intersection of plant ecology, hydrology, and ecological restoration. This interplay has become increasingly relevant to Rocky Mountain National Park due to management interests in restoring tall, dense willow-dominated plant communities following intense elk and moose browsing and beaver decline. This course will focus on teaching students about the identification of common riparian plants (e.g., willows, alders, birches, sedges) in addition to teaching students about physiological approaches used in the plant sciences to assess plant responses to environmental factors. The activities in this course will be contextualized in National Park Service riparian management and restoration efforts by showcasing these scientific approaches at multiple study sites of varying ecological condition. ♦♦♦ Meets at the Field Institute