Tanglewood encompasses distinct biodiverse terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Due to its history of agricultural and forest management, the Tanglewood Biological Field Station is a unique outdoor lab where researchers can design and evaluate the impact of land management practices. The varied ecosystems on the property provide an opportunity for long-term data collection from biologically diverse forest and stream ecosystems.
Dr. Nate Jones
Dr. Nate Jones is currently installing a suite of hydrologic instrumentation to establish two experimental catchments at the Tanglewood Biological Station with the aim of answering several research questions: (i) how does water age vary spatially and temporally in headwater catchments; (ii) how does water use and carbon cycling vary across different forest types; and (iii) how does ephemeral streamflow impact aquatic ecosystem structure and function? Long-term hydrologic observations are critical for understanding how our world is changing and how we can better prepare for those changes. For example, understanding how forest management impacts water yield will likely be important for the Gulf Coast Region. As prolonged drought becomes more common, forest management will need to balance production with downstream water supply, and long term monitoring sites like the Tanglewood Biological Station will play an important role in developing those adaptive management strategies.
Dr. Jennifer Howeth
Under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Howeth, the property has dedicated space for short-term aquatic and terrestrial mesocosm experiments that test ecological mechanisms underlying drivers of species diversity and ecosystem function.
Dr. Christina Staudhammer
Dr. Christina Staudhammer has collected weather data at the station since 2018, 2018 and has an ongoing forest inventory project at the site. Weather station data is available for download at cstaudhammer.people.ua.edu/data.html.
The recent forest inventory showed a high degree of tree species diversity (3-11 species per 0.04 ha plot), with 45 species on the property. The most common tree was loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), followed by Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua). On average, trees had a diameter at breast height (DBH) of 23.6 cm, with the largest individual recorded with a DBH of 90.4 cm. In the future, students will use this first inventory to monitor changes in forest structure over time.
Dr. Monica Kersch-Becker
Dr. Monica Kersch-Becker is studying the indirect facilitation of arthropod communities by leaf-rollers in Quercus (Oaks).