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Talk: Interactions of Deer, Earthworms, and Invasive Plants Transform Forest Communities

Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Hitchcock Presbyterian Church, Upper Children's House, 6 Greenacres Ave., Scarsdale, NY
A deer in a meadow

Come hear a talk on Interactions of Deer, Earthworms, and Invasive Plants Transform Forest Communities at the Bronx River Parkway Reservation Conservancy's Annual Meeting.

Hear a fascinating discussion by a renowned environmental educator about the interactions of white-tailed deer, earthworms, and invasive plants and their transformative impacts on our northeastern forest communities.

Featuring Dr. Bernd Blossey, Director of the Ecology and Management of Invasive Plant Program, and Associate Professor in the Natural Resources Department at Cornell University.

All habitats of the Northeast are currently facing an unprecedented challenge by needing to simultaneously respond to global climate change, habitat fragmentation, increasing deer herds, and invasive species, both new and long-established, like the earthworm.  Is the casual observer even aware of what our forests would look like without the interplay of even one of these drivers of change? In our suburban communities we continue to cut, pull, and spray introduced plants, but are we making a difference and are we using the right tools? Without significant reductions in white-tailed deer, what is the fate of our forests, and what does this mean for the Bronx River Parkway Reservation?

Dr. Bernd Blossy directs the Ecology and Management of Invasive Plants Program at Cornell University. Bernd continues to develop and implement biological weed control programs. Among his target plants are purple loosestrife, garlic mustard, and invasive Phragmites. An ever increasing focus of his team are investigations into impacts of multiple “stressors” including of invasive and native plants, earthworms, slugs and deer on a wide range of native organisms.  He is intimately involved in different approaches to deer management at Cornell and in the surrounding municipalities, he has developed a network or deer exclosures to study impact of deer on many species and processes, and is developing bioindicators to assess effects of different stressors, including deer.
The ultimate aim of this work is to increase the conservation values of all lands through development of best management practices.

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