The department has teaching and research interests in many aspects of Biology from the cellular and molecular level to organismal to global ecological and conservation issues

Friday, December 10, 2010

Long term ecological studies continue

FRANK DAY, professor and eminent scholar in the Department of Biological Sciences, recently received another year of funding for his project titled “Long-term drivers, state change and disturbance on the Virginia Coast Reserve: Long-term Ecological Research site” This project is funded through the University of Virginia as part of a larger National Science Foundation grant that is associated with NSF’s Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program.

Dr Day has been involved with this research program since the late 1980’s. His project monitors species composition, diversity, and plant cover annually at various sites along the dune chronosequence (a sequence of soils that changes gradually from one to the other with time) on Hog Island, a Virginia coastal barrier island. The effects of nitrogen fertilization on vegetation are also measured. The primary emphasis of the research is the effects of disturbance (frequent coastal storms) and changes in free surfaces (land, sea level, and ground water) on coastal dune ecosystems.