The Maryland Native Plant Society

The Maryland Native Plant Society
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  • MNPS Monthly Program: Research on Maryland's dying ash forests by Andrew Baldwin

MNPS Monthly Program: Research on Maryland's dying ash forests by Andrew Baldwin

  • 09/26/2023
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Zoom Meeting


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Speaker: Andrew Baldwin


The forest canopies of many tidal freshwater forested wetlands in the mid-Atlantic region are (or were) dominated by ash trees, which have been decimated by emerald ash borer. In this talk, Dr. Baldwin will present research on the dramatic changes in vegetation in ash-dominated tidal wetlands resulting from emerald ash borer damage.

Dr. Andrew Baldwin is a Professor of Wetland Ecology in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology at University of Maryland. He is a plant and ecosystem ecologist and directs a research program on two broad topics: responses of coastal wetlands to global change variables (including invasive species) and wetland restoration. Dr. Baldwin mentors graduate students, teaches courses on wetland ecology and restoration, and is active in professional societies. He is the past President of the Society of Wetland Scientists.

We can accommodate the first 300 people who enter the Zoom meeting at the meeting time. After you register, you will receive a registration confirmation email with a link to the Zoom meeting. Registering does not guarantee a space in the Zoom meeting. 

Zoom opens at 7:00PM for pre-program board update and member Q&A. Presentations begin at 7:30PM and generally run until 8:45PM. 

The program is free and open to the public.

This will be recorded and available on our Webinars page.

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The emerald ash borer was first detected in North America in Michigan in 2002. It’s thought to have arrived in wooden packing material used to ship consumer goods from Asia. After Michigan, the D.C. area was one of the next places to be hit, when an infected shipment of trees arrived from the Midwest.

Nearly all of the ash forests west of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. have already been decimated. You can find dead green ashes in wetlands along the Anacostia River, Rock Creek, and the Potomac River. In the mountains, you’ll find groves of dead white ash — the trees make up roughly 5% of the forests in Shenandoah National Park, for example.

But there are still intact ash wetlands on the Eastern Shore. Over the past few years, Popkin and Brice have witnessed the progression of the emerald ash borer, as it inevitably, inexorably, conquers the Delmarva peninsula. here are 16 different species of ash tree in North America, adapted to a wide variety of ecosystems.. “There’s kind of an ash tree for every environment,” Popkin says. He was surprised to learn that large, mostly intact ash forests existed in the region.

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