Featured Principal Investigator: Heather Enloe
Dr. Heather Enloe recently graduated from the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and will be working at the University of Florida in 2015. She started in 2009 on an urbanization project supported by both the CESURI and the US Forest Service. Her research focused on the impacts of urbanization on carbon and nitrogen cycling in the Florida panhandle. There is a concern that alterations to the soil abiotic and biotic environment (i.e. higher temperatures, increased carbon dioxide, increased presence of exotic species, N deposition) from urbanization may alter carbon and nitrogen storage in soils as well as nitrogen availability to plants. One of the major findings from this research indicate that unmanaged forest fragments within the city, i.e. “urban forests”, have two times the amount of plant available nitrogen in their surface soil compared to forests in rural areas. Urbanization appears to stimulate soil microbial biomass and activity and this may be influencing the soil nitrogen mineralization rates in the forest sites.