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ELP teams publish research in OUR Journal

Two 2012 ELP teams, the Stream Stewardship Team and the Restoration Research Team, and Sierra Predovich, an environmental science major, each recently published an article in OUR Journal, the Oregon Undergraduate Research Journal.

The Stream Stewardship Team’s article, “Restoration Monitoring on the McKenzie River, Oregon,” presents the team’s findings on the effects of large woody debris that the US Forest Service placed in a side channel of the McKenzie in 2011. The team measured pebble size and surveyed the stream morphology, and then compared their results to those of the 2011 Stream Stewardship Team. They conclude that there were small but significant positive changes in both the stream’s sediments and morphology.

Assessing the Relationship Between Topography and Plant Diversity in Restored and Remnant Wet Prairies” discusses the Restoration Research Team’s study conducted in six different restored and remnant wet prairies in the West Eugene Wetlands. At 200 points at each site, the team measured the vegetation cover, leaf litter and water depth, and soil surface elevation to assess whether microtopographic heterogeneity, or small variations in the soil surface, increases native plant cover. While their results did not prove statistically significant, based on their observations the team concludes that microtopographical variation does have beneficial effects on native plants.

In her article, “Stomata Density of Orchids and Cloud Forest Humidity,” Sierra Predovich discusses her experiment on two different types of orchids collected in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Sierra placed specimens of a larger orchid with water-holding pseudobulbs, Pleurothallis aristata, and a miniature orchid that does not have pseudobulbs, Maxillaria sp., in a humid and a relatively nonhumid environment to see how the two species’s stomata, or leaf pores, would react. She also took imprints of the two species’ leaves and found that the density of their stomata differed significantly. She concludes that the miniature orchid is likely to be at risk if climate change disrupts the precipitation patterns of the region.

Full-text PDFs of the three articles can be accessed here.