Springing Leaves, Changing Greens

Springing Leaves, Changing Greens



Niani Brown, Grace Elizabeth Roberts Huff, Taylor Mackenzie Tomco


This poster reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process. Course: BIO 459L



Leaf phenology, the study of patterns in leaf emergence, serves as crucial evidence for changes in climate and habitats. Invasive plant species tend to leaf out first in the spring and often out compete native species, changing the landscape. Thus the importance of understanding what conditions drive leaf out in invasive species. We determined how the timing of leaf out in the spring was predicted by abiotic characteristics like temperature, photoperiodic changes, and moisture. The buds of two invasive species were examined in this experiment in order to determine the average leaf out time for each species, as well as the soil composition to better understand what conditions affect their leaf out rates. We predicted that bush honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) and Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana) growing in more moist soils with more open canopy will leaf out earlier than those in drier soils with more canopy cover and that leaf out rates will increase with an increase in temperature. For each species, five individuals at Old River Park were randomly selected as the focus of the study. The length of ten buds per individual were measured a total of six times over the course of three weeks for a total of 600 leaf measurements. Canopy cover, daily temperature, day length, and humidity were also recorded. A soil sample was collected once for each individual plant and analyzed for pH, conductivity, and amount of moisture present. From our findings, we hope to gain a better understanding of when invasive species like honeysuckle and Callery pear at Old River Park’s Ecological Research Area in Dayton, Ohio come out of dormancy and whether soil characteristics have an influence on this process.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project

Primary Advisor

Chelse M. Prather

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Life On Land

Springing Leaves, Changing Greens