CLIMBERS: Censusing Lianas in Mesic Biomes of the Eastern Region
Mentor: Professor Robyn J. Burnham
This project's goals are to broadly census the climbing plant (vines and lianas) community in the Eastern United States, from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean in moist to wet habitats, largely forests. At each half hectare site censused, we identify and measure all climbing plants and census the tree dominants of the site. We determine the age of the older trees using tree coring techniques, or land use history records. For each forest censused, we investigate the site history and prior research using published and grey literature, natural resource departments of adjacent universities, and the state's department of natural resources. Each student involved will be responsible for at least one of the site backgrounds, anticipated species list, data compilation, and write-up. That student will also participate in compiling species accounts for climbing plants that occur in the local region but that have not been encountered in prior studies. The lab group will meet at least once every two months for a general summary of accomplishments. Research will be carried out both in the Ann Arbor laboratory of Burnham and in the field throughout the eastern United States.