Dennis Whigham, Ph.D

B.A., Wabash College
(Biology, 1966)

Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
(Plant Ecology, 1971)

Curriculum vitae


Research interests:
Wetland ecology and management
Forest ecology
Ecology of woodland herbs

 

Current projects:

Orchid ecology :  Native woodland orchids are the focus of several studies. Long-term permanent plot studies are used to examine population dynamics of several species. Field and laboratory experiments are used to study seed germination, seedling ecology, and interactions between orchids and mycorrhizal fungi. 

Woodland herbs : Current projects focus on the impacts of  herbivory and canopy disturbance on resource allocation and population dynamics of woodland herbs that have different life history strategies. 

Clonal growth : Many herbaceous species propagate clonally. Current projects focus on the genetic variability of clonal species in forest and wetland habitats. Other studies focus on the ecological consequences of interactions between clone members growing in different habitats.

Responses to canopy disturbances : Long-term experiments are used to test hypotheses about how trees and understory plants respond to the death of canopy trees, particularly the mode of death.

Wetland ecology :  Studies of wetland vegetation and nutrients in water are used to examine how restored wetlands can be used to enhance biodiversity and improve water quality.  Comparative studies in several countries are used to address human effects on nutrient cycling and effects of nutrient limitation on wetland ecology. 

Landscape ecology:   Wetland assessment techniques, GIS methodologies, and comparative studies of nitrogen cycling are used to evaluate the ecological conditions of wetlands at the scale of an entire watershed.