Programs

Bloomington Urban Woodlands Project

Ecology

The Woodlands

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We derive many benefits from our urban woodlands, including air quality regulation, flood regulation, climate regulation, aesthetic beauty, and recreational and educational space.

Dunn's Woods

Size: ~10 acres

Age: 100+ years

Location: Bloomington, Indiana - Heart of the Old Crescent at Indiana University’s Bloomington Campus

Canopy: Deciduous, primarily Beech-Maple

Native Wildflowers: Trout Lily, Toothwort, Wild Ginger, Spring Beauty, Trillium, Mayapple

Animals: Cooper’s Hawks, hummingbirds, box turtles, rabbits, squirrels, butterflies

Threats: Exotic invasive plants, especially Purple Wintercreeper; windfall gaps from severe storms

Cooper's Hawks in Dunn's Woods (Photo credit: Elizabeth Raff)

Accipiter cooperii - Cooper's Hawks in Dunn's Woods (Photo credit: Elizabeth Raff)


Latimer Woods

Size: ~10 acres

Age: 100+ years

Location: Bloomington, Indiana - South side of College Mall, accessed off S Clarizz Blvd or East Stratum Way

Canopy: Deciduous, primarily Beech-Maple

Native Wildflowers: Trout Lily, Toothwort, Spring Beauty, Trillium, Mayapple, Dutchman’s Breeches, Rue Anemone, Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Animals: Deer, Woodpeckers (Pileated, Downy, Red-bellied, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers), Northern Flickers, Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Carolina Chickadees, Brown Thrashers, White-breasted Nuthatches, Eastern Towees, rabbits, squirrels, butterflies, patent-leather beetles

Threats: Exotic invasive plants, especially Purple Wintercreeper, Wild Celandine, and Garlic Mustard 

Patent Leather Beetle

Odontotainius disjunctus – Patent-leather beetle in the litter layer at Latimer Woods (Photo Credit: Heather Reynolds)

Meet the Plants

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We are planting the following native woodland species into Dunn's Woods to restore its beauty, biological diversity, and ecological services. Native plants are adapted to local soils, climate and biota, and are part of an interdependent web of life that also includes animals and microbes. We derive many benefits from Dunn's Woods, including air quality regulation, flood regulation, climate regulation, aesthetic beauty, and recreational and educational space. Our native plant seed is collected locally or ordered from Indiana genotype suppliers.

American Bellflower

American Bellflower

Blue Flag iris

Blue Flag Iris

Bottlebrush Grass

Bottlebrush Grass

Bushy Seedbox

Bushy Seedbox

Calico Aster

Calico Aster

calico beartongue

Calico Beartongue

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cutleaf Coneflower

Cutleaf Coneflower

False Sunflower

False Sunflower

Frank's Sedge

Frank's Sedge

Fringed Sedge

Fringed Sedge

Golden Ragwort

Golden Ragwort

Gray's Sedge

Gray's Sedge

Great Blue Lobelia

Great Blue Lobelia

Hairy Woodland Brome

Hairy Woodland Brome

Hairy Woodmint

Hairy Wood Mint

Hop Sedge

Hop Sedge

Joe Pye Weed

Joe-Pye Weed

Late Figwort

Late Figwort

Mistflower

Mistflower

Orange Jewelweed

Orange Jewelweed

Panicled Aster

Panicled Aster

Spicebush

Spicebush

Stout Wood Reed

Stout Wood Reed

Thimbleweed

Thimbleweed

White Snakeroot

White Snakeroot

Wild Senna

Wild Senna

Wingstem

Wingstem

Research

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Dunn’s and Latimer Woods are active sites for research by faculty, students, and community partners. Areas of study include methods of Purple Wintercreeper control and native species restoration; the effects of deer and small mammal herbivores on native vs. exotic plants; plant-soil-microbe associations; abundance and composition of butterflies, moths and other insects in the woodlands; and plant species traits such as drought tolerance. Findings to date include:

  • Both hand pulling and herbicide application are effective at removing Purple Wintercreeper and permitting re-establishment of native species from seed or transplanted seedlings. Hand pulling is most practical in small areas, however, as it requires large inputs of time and labor.
  • Native plants can be slow to recover and are vulnerable to herbivory by rabbits and other animals
  • Soil underneath Purple Wintercreeper has a unique microbial composition and promotes its growth
  • Abundance and diversity of butterflies, moths and other insects in these woodlands is currently very low
  • Purple Wintercreeper is more tolerant of drought stress than common native species.
Presentations

Bauer JT, Rutherford WA, Stoops RE, Reynolds HL. (2013) Euonymus fortunei: Back-seat driver of environmental change? Poster, Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.

O’Neill M, Bauer JT, Reynolds HL. (2013) Invasive plant and herbicide legacy effects limit native plant recruitment from seed in an urban woodland. Poster, Indiana Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN.

Bauer JT, Rutherford WA, Stoops RE, Reynolds HL. (2013) Euonymus fortunei: driver or passenger of environmental change? Talk, Indiana Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN.

Bauer JT, Rutherford WA, Stoops RE, Reynolds HL. (2013) Impacts and management of Euonymus fortunei (Purple Wintercreeper). Poster; Science, Practice, & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference, East Lansing, MI.

Hobbs FC, Allaby E, Shanno-Firestone S, Swedo B, Gube J, Reynolds H. (2012) Wild ginger (Asarum canadense) associates with a unique soil bacterial community in a south-central Indiana woodland fragment. Poster, Indiana Academy of Science Annual Meeting, Lafayette, IN.

Rutherford WA, Bauer JT, Stoops RE, Reynolds HL. (2011). Consequences of Euonymus fortunei invasion for native plants and herbivores and initial results of management efforts. Poster, Indiana Academy of Science Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN.

Publications

Smith L M and H L Reynolds. 2012. Positive plant-soil feedback may drive dominance of a woodland invader, Euonymus fortunei. Plant Ecology 213:853-860.

Swedo BL, C Glinka, DR Rollo and HL Reynolds. 2008. Soil bacterial community structure under exotic versus native understory forbs in a woodland remnant in Indiana. Proceedings of theIndiana Academy of Sciences 117:7-15.