Rice
Research

Our group is investigating how local environmental factors (e.g. enemies, resources, disturbance regime and recruitment limitation) interact with post-invasion adaptation to determine the likelihood and severity of Chinese Tallow Tree (Sapium sebiferum) invasions into East Texas coastal prairie, mesic forests, and floodplain forests. We also study the ecosystem level impacts of exotic tree invasions into coastal prairies. We are engaged in a number of applied research projects related to controlling exotic plant and animal invasions into Texas ecosystems. A primary focus of our current research is the role of post-introduction evolutionary changes in Chinese Tallow Tree invasions.

Research in pictures (click on images to enlarge)

  • Tallgrass prairie down at the University of Houston Coastal CenterTallgrass prairie at the
    University of Houston
    Coastal Center
  • An adjacent area after 30 years without mowing is a Sapium forestAn adjacent area after 30
    years without mowing
    is a Sapium forest
  • Wier Woods Preserve in East Texas is a mesic forest siteWier Woods Preserve
    in East Texas
    is a mesic forest site
  • Neches Bottom in the Big Thicket is a wet forest siteNeches Bottom in
    the Big Thicket is
    a wet forest site
  • Chinese tallow tree removal experiment in the Big Thicket. Each plot is 40 acresChinese tallow tree
    removal experiment in
    the Big Thicket. Each
    plot is 40 acres
  • Close up view of a removal plot.Close up view
    of a removal plot
  • Tallow tree killing crew - summer 2002Tallow tree killing
    crew - summer 2002
  • Carpet of Chinese Tallow tree seedlingsCarpet of Chinese
    Tallow tree seedlings


  • Field work for Tallow removal experiment.Field work for
    Tallow removal
    experiment
  • Spring field work Spring field work


  • Higher water in the Big ThicketHigher water
    in the Big Thicket
  • Seed cages in the woodsSeed cage
    in the woods


  • A long-term feral hog exclosure plot (background) in the Big ThicketA long-term feral hog
    exclosure plot
    (background) in the
    Big Thicket
  • Fisheye photo for canopy analysis Fisheye photo
    for canopy analysis
  • Rodent census Rodent census
  • Snake in slough in Big ThicketSnake in slough
    in Big Thicket



  • High densities of Forest Tent Caterpillars on sweetgum High densities of
    Forest Tent Caterpillars
    on sweetgum
  • Wheel bug in the Big Thicket Wheel bug in
    the Big Thicket
  • Banana spider and cicada in the Big ThicketBanana spider and
    cicada in the
    Big Thicket
  • Turtle at Wier WoodsTurtle at Wier Woods


  • Burning the EPA experimental plotsBurning the EPA
    experimental plots
  • Hot fires
    in spring 2002

  • A fertilized, unburned prairie plotA fertilized, unburned
    prairie plot
  • An annually burned, unfertilized plot in the same experimentAn annually burned,
    unfertilized plot in
    the same experiment
  • Planting a seedling experimentPlanting a
    seedling experiment

  • Grasshopper cages in the prairieGrasshopper cages
    in the prairie
  • Foraging arenas for grasshopper feeding trialsForaging arenas for
    grasshopper feeding
    trials
  • Shade experimentShade experiment



  • Flood and drought experiment soon after plot establishment Flood and drought
    experiment soon afte
    plot establishment
  • Setting up rooftop simulated herbivory experimentSetting up rooftop
    simulated herbivory
    experiment
  • Washing roots from rooftop experimentWashing roots from
    rooftop experiment
  • Simulated herbivory on Chinese Tallow seedling Simulated herbivory
    on Chinese Tallow
    seedling
  • Matagorda Island Matagorda Island