Members of our laboratory investigate interactions between terrestrial plants and their many herbivores to understand how those interactions structure the broader ecological communities in which they are embedded. We undertake manipulative field experiments, often in combination with laboratory chemical analyses, to determine how insects respond to or alter plants, and then examine subsequent changes in plant and/or insect growth, survival, phenology, species interactions, or biological diversity. In addition, we apply hypotheses regarding community structure to the investigation of other aspects of integrative biology, including field experiments in below-ground communities, forensic entomology, predator-prey interactions, and endangered species conservation.
A. Garretson & R. E. Forkner. 2021. Herbaria Reveal Herbivory and Pathogen Increases and Shifts in Senescence for Northeastern United States Maples Over 150 Years, Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, DOI: 10.3389/ffgc.2021.664763
Marquis, R. J., Lill, J. T., Forkner, R. E., Le Corff, J., and J. B. Whitfield. 2019. Declines and resilience of communities of leaf chewing insects on Missouri oaks following spring frost and summer drought. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2019.00396
Forkner, R. E. 2014. Simulated herbivory advances autumn plant phenology in Acer rubrum. International Journal of Biometeorology, 58: 499-507. DOI: 10.1007/s00484-013-0701-8.