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Lauren Umek

lumek's picture
PhD Candidate
Northwestern University

lumek at u dot northwestern dot edu

Projects
Evaluating Urban Natural Area Reconstruction and Management (2015)

Restoration of natural areas and native plant communities is challenging, especially in urban areas. Practitioners often rely on experience and anecdotal evidence when making management decisions to meet their goals. In constructed ecosystems, these rules don’t always apply. Monitoring species diversity and plant community composition is one way to quantitatively evaluate our restoration and...


Impacts of tallgrass prairie restoration on decomposition and microbial communities (2014)

Natural areas are managed using aboveground methods, but these methods have profound influences on belowground processes. Decomposition is an important process that is driven by soil organisms and determines nutrient availability for next year's plant growth. This project investigates how restoration methods influence decomposition and fungal decomposer communities. Leaf litter bags containing...


Decomposition and fungal diversity in restored tallgrass prairies (2013)

Natural areas are managed using aboveground methods, but these methods have profound influences on belowground processes. Decomposition is an important process that is driven by soil organisms and determines nutrient availability for next year's plant growth. This project investigates how restoration methods influence decomposition and fungal decomposer communities. Leaf litter bags containing...


What are the effects of mulching on soil’s microbial community in restored habitats? (2013)

Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) is an invasive species which crowds out wildflowers in the forests of the Midwest. There are many different management techniques have been employed to control the plant, however re-invasion is a big issue. Some observation have shown that mulching can provide some resistance to r-einvasion, including using buckthorn chips - which are thought to be allopathic. In...


Above and Belowground Impacts of European Buckthorn Invasion and Restoration (2012)

Invasive species are a persistant focus of restoration and management of natural areas. European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) is an exotic shrub that has recently become the most prevalent woody species in the Chicago region. Previous research suggests that there are modified soil nutrients and organisms may drive plant invasion inhibit successful restoration of native plant communities....