Robert T. Eckert

Research

NHAES research project MS-40 (Co-PI with Dr. Thomas Lee). This project is supporting analysis of forest community structure as a continuing research effort to understand forest communities in the context of ecological reserve design. Work was completed in 2001 examining the impact of a woody exotic species, Rhamnus frangula (glossy buckthorn) a common invader in NH woodlands (Frappier, MS). We concluded that without control measures, this species affects tree understory abundance which could alter forest structure where the plant is present. Research currently underway at Pawtuckaway State Park is investigating the impact of trail use on woody vegetation health adjacent to trails (Speltz, M.S.). In addition, research in the Ossippee pitch pine barrens is investigating how pitch pine colonizes a site over time and what the community structure is at various stages (Howard, Ph.D.). Last, an investigation was begun to evaluate the rare Atlantic white-cedar communities in NH for structure and composition in relation to water level change (Gengarally, Ph.D.).

NHAES project H-288. This project supported research, in conjunction with a grant from the National Park Service beginning in 1987, of tropospheric ozone effects on native vegetation at Acadia National Park. A set of indicator species was identified in controlled exposure chambers and follow-up field studies. An elevational gradient of ozone exposure was identified. Threshold levels of 30-60ppb ozone were identified for visible injury to these indicator plants. Soil moisture was identified as a critical factor in plant response to ozone exposure during field studies. Tree-ring analysis of eastern white pine indicated that ozone exposure affects ring width in the year following exposure. Injury was described and a set of field manuals was developed for Acadia National Park personnel to use. Field work was continued in NH to identify populations of the indicator species for monitoring. Problems in identifying sufficient acceptable field test sites due to indicator species range limitations has precluded the establishment of a rigorous field monitoring program in New Hampshire. The last year for project H-288 is 2002.

Education

  • 1978 Ph.D. Botany and Forestry, The Ohio State University
  • 1974 M.S. Forest Genetics, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • 1967 B.S. General Forestry, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Teaching Responsibilities

  • NR 784/884: Sustainable Living
  • NR 785/885: Systems Thinking/Sustainable Living
  • NR 735/835: Land Conservation Principles and Practices

Robert Eckert

Professor,
Natural Resources

Environmental Conservation Studies Undergraduate Program Coordinator

r.eckert@unh.edu
603-862-2508


Selected Publications

Frappier, B., R.T. Eckert, and T.D. Lee. 2003. Potential impacts of the invasive exotic shrub Rhamnus frangula L. (Glossy Buckthorn) on forests of southern New Hampshire. Northeastern Naturalist 10(3):277-296.
Frappier, B., T.D. Lee, K.F. Olson, and R.T. Eckert. 2003. Small-scale invasion pattern, spread rate, and lag-phase behavior of Rhamnus frangula L. Forest Ecology and Management. 186:1-6.
Frappier, B., R. T. Eckert. 2003. Utilizing the USDA PLANTS database to predict exotic woody plant invasiveness in New Hampshire. Forest Ecology and Management. 185:207-215.
Kohut, R.J., R.T. Eckert, and T.D.Lee. 2000. Field survey handbook background and methodology used to conduct field assessment of ozone injury on native plants at Acadia National Park . Technical Report NPS/BSO-RNR/NRTR/00-14. 67pp.
Eckert, R. 1998. Population genetics of Chaemacyparis thyoides in New Hampshire and Maine , USA . In: Coastally Restricted Forests (A. Laderman, Ed.), Oxford University Press, New York . pp. 171-184.
Bartholomay, G.A., R.T. Eckert, and K.T. Smith. 1997. Reduction in tree-ring widths of white pine following ozone exposure at Acadia National Park, Maine , USA . Can. J. For. Res. 27:361-368.
Bobola, M.S., R.T. Eckert, A.S. Klein, K. Stapelfeldt, D.E. Smith, and D. Geunette. 1996. Using nuclear and organelle DNA markers to discriminate among Picea rubens, Picea mariana, and their hybrids. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 26: 433-443.
Theisen, A., B. Rock, and R. Eckert. 1994. Short-term response in steady-state chlorophyll fluorescence detected in Pinus strobus following ozone exposure. The Journal of Plant Physiology 144: 410-419.

Selected Service Activities

  • Center for Integrative Regional Problem Solving, Steering Committee Member
  • State of New Hampshire Ecological Reserve Steering Committee