Brad Oberle

Brad Oberle
New College of Florida | NCF · Natural Sciences

PhD

About

62
Publications
9,663
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (62)
Preprint
Full-text available
Urbanization displaces agriculture and natural ecosystems, constraining food security and carbon (C) sinks. A proposed solution, Urban Food Forestry (UFF), promises local food from trees that can sequester C faster than other land cover types as long as soil function improves. We compared fine-scale variation in soil physical, chemical and biologic...
Article
Microbial organisms, environmental conditions, and their interactions govern many ecosystem processes. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of priority effects, that is, the identity of potential decomposers present early in community assembly, in determining resulting decay rates especially for wood. In diverse forests, available woody s...
Article
Full-text available
Amphicarpic plants produce both above-ground and below-ground seeds. Because below-ground seeds are protected in the soil and may maintain viability when above-ground conditions are stressful, they were proposed as an adaptation to recolonize a site after disturbance. However, whether below-ground seeds are the main colonizers after a disturbance r...
Article
Full-text available
We introduce the AusTraits database - a compilation of values of plant traits for taxa in the Australian flora (hereafter AusTraits). AusTraits synthesises data on 448 traits across 28,640 taxa from field campaigns, published literature, taxonomic monographs, and individual taxon descriptions. Traits vary in scope from physiological measures of per...
Article
Coastal habitats are important and imperiled. To mitigate climate change impacts, carbon (C) sequestration has joined established restoration objectives including habitat diversity, public access and native vegetation. Changing topography, maintaining trails and removing invasive plants may influence coastal C production and retention in different...
Preprint
Full-text available
We introduce the AusTraits database - a compilation of measurements of plant traits for taxa in the Australian flora (hereafter AusTraits). AusTraits synthesises data on 375 traits across 29230 taxa from field campaigns, published literature, taxonomic monographs, and individual taxa descriptions. Traits vary in scope from physiological measures of...
Chapter
Assessment of endophytic and saprotrophic microbial communities from wood-extracted DNA presents challenges due to the presence of surface microbes that contaminate samples and plant compounds that act as inhibiting agents. Here, we describe a method for decontaminating, sampling, and processing wood at various stages of decay for high-throughput e...
Article
Full-text available
Fungal endophytes play important roles in vascular plants, especially for grass relatives and species in extreme habitats. We investigated the presence and diversity of endophytic fungi within healthy leaves of Tillandsia recurvata (Bromeliaceae), a widespread neotropical epiphyte in the plant order Poales. Microscopy confirmed the presence of fung...
Preprint
Full-text available
Amphicarphic species produce both aboveground and belowground seeds; the belowground seeds have been proposed to be an adaptation to disturbed sites because they are protected belowground, enabling them to persist and recolonize a site after disturbance. However, it is unknown whether such seeds indeed serve as the main colonizers after a disturban...
Article
Diverse communities of fungi and bacteria in deadwood mediate wood decay. While rates of decomposition vary greatly among woody species and spatially‐distinct habitats, the relative importance of these factors in structuring microbial communities and whether these shift over time remain largely unknown. We characterized fungal and bacterial diversi...
Article
As the primary decomposers of organic material in terrestrial ecosystems, fungi are critical agents of the global carbon cycle. Yet our ability to link fungal community composition to ecosystem functioning is constrained by a limited understanding of the factors accounting for different wood decomposition rates among fungi. Here we examine which tr...
Article
Whether global change will drive changing forests from net carbon (C) sinks to sources relates to how quickly deadwood decomposes. Because complete wood mineralization takes years, most experiments focus on how traits, environments and decomposer communities interact as wood decay begins. Few experiments last long enough to test whether drivers cha...
Article
Environmental forces and biotic interactions, both positive and negative, structure ecological communities, but their relative roles remain obscure despite strong theory. For instance, ecologically similar species, based on the principle of limiting similarity, are expected to be most competitive and show negative interactions. Specious communities...
Preprint
Full-text available
Deadwood is a large aboveground carbon (C) pool that regulates how forests respond to global change. Due to slow decomposition, CWD delays C emissions following major forest disturbances so predicting how carbon balance will respond to changing disturbance regimes requires identifying factors that influence the full temporal trajectory of wood deca...
Article
Full-text available
When standing dead trees (snags) fall, they have major impacts on forest ecosystems. Snag fall can redistribute wildlife habitat and impact public safety, while governing important carbon (C) cycle consequences of tree mortality because ground contact accelerates C emissions during deadwood decay. Managing the consequences of altered snag dynamics...
Data
Detailed description of model simplification procedure. (DOCX)
Data
The predicted proportion of snags standing closely corresponds to the observed proportion of snags standing when aggregated within 151 1.7°x1.7° spatial grid cells. Symbol diameter is scaled by the abundance of snags per grid cell. (PDF)
Data
Snags occurring in physiographic settings with loose or disturbed soils are significantly more likely to fall compared to snags in settings with standing water. The final column indicates subsets of the data where the 95% CI for the effect excluded 0. (DOCX)
Data
BUGS language code for the simplified snag fall model. (DOCX)
Data
The predicted proportion of snags standing closely corresponds to the observed proportion of snags standing when aggregated by 205 species. Symbol diameter is scaled by species abundance. (PDF)
Data
The predicted proportion of snags standing closely corresponds to the observed proportion of snags standing when aggregated within 16 physiographic classes. Symbol diameter is scaled by the abundance of snags per physiographic class. (PDF)
Data
Model selection criteria applied to all first-order non-hierarchical models for snag persistence in every subset of the data. The set of parameters selected via backwards elimination from the fully hierarchical model is indicated in bold. (XLSX)
Data
Snags of intermediate decay class are less likely to fall in locations with faster average wind speeds. Thick central curve corresponds to the posterior mean for the effect of average wind speed at 10m on decay class 2 snag persistence and the transparent curve overlay represents uncertainty by showing 100 curves drawn from the posterior distributi...
Data
R code for the simple forest C model. (DOCX)
Data
Compilation of wood durability estimates for species in the eastern United States drawn from various sources. The least resistant category was set as 0 and the most resistant category as 4. Sources that used ambiguous designations (e.g. non-resistant or slightly resistant) were given the average numeric score of the corresponding categories (i.e. 0...
Article
Full-text available
Pest outbreaks are driving tree dieback and major influxes of deadwood into forest ecosystems. Understanding how pulses of deadwood impact the climate system requires understanding which factors influence greenhouse gas production during wood decay. Recent analyses identify stem diameter as an important control, but report effects that vary in magn...
Article
The carbon cycle pulses with life. Each year, atmospheric CO2 concentrations rise and fall as the balance of photosynthesis and respiration shifts with the seasons. The related exchanges of carbon between atmosphere, land, and oceans may balance such that atmospheric CO2 and the greenhouse effect change little between years. Over long time scales,...
Article
Full-text available
Deadwood, long recognized as playing an important role in storing carbon and releasing it as CO2 in forest ecosystems, is more recently drawing attention for its potential role in the cycling of other greenhouse trace gases. Across three Northeastern and Central US forests, mean methane (CH4) concentrations in deadwood were 23 times atmospheric lev...
Article
Mutualistic symbioses with mycorrhizal fungi are widespread in plants. The majority of plant species associate with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. By contrast, the minority associate with ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi, have abandoned the symbiosis and are nonmycorrhizal (NM), or engage in an intermediate, weakly AM symbiosis (AMNM). To understand...
Article
Full-text available
Vessel length is an important but understudied dimension of variation in angiosperm vascular anatomy. Among other traits, vessel length mediates an important tradeoff between hydraulic efficiency and safety that could influence how plants respond to extreme weather with climate change. However, the functional significance of vessel length variation...
Article
Full-text available
Deadwood plays important roles in forest ecosystems by storing carbon, influencing hydrology, and provisioning countless organisms. Models for these processes often assume that deadwood does not move and ignore redistribution that occurs when trees fall. To evaluate the effects of treefall, we provide the first direct estimates for the magnitude, d...
Article
Woody plants store large quantities of carbon (C) and nutrients. As plants senesce and decay, these stores transfer to the soil or other organisms or are released to the atmosphere. Exogenous factors such as topographic position and microclimatic and edaphic conditions tied to locations affect decay rates; however, we know less about how exogenous...
Article
Full-text available
Intraspecific trait variation is hypothesized to influence the relative importance of community assembly mechanisms. However, few studies have explicitly considered how intraspecific trait variation among ontogenetic stages influences community assembly across environmental gradients. Because the relative importance of abiotic and biotic assembly m...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Microorganisms mediate key ecosystem processes. Mechanistic models typically represent them using fixed parameters and simple functional relationships. In models of the carbon cycle, this approach reduces the complexity of microbial decomposition to the kinetics of idealized enzymes. Contrary to this simplified view, e...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods: The disturbance-recovery hypothesis posits that current structural changes in tropical forests, such as increasing stem density and biomass, are due to successional recovery from past disturbances. This hypothesis has typically been tested using taxon analyses to assess increases in abundance of shade-tolerant or late-s...
Article
Coarse woody debris (CWD) plays important roles in forests including carbon storage. Calculating the size of this carbon pool from survey data entails estimating the volume and density of dead wood. Density is highly correlated with other mechanical parameters in intact wood, explaining how penetrometers, which measure a mechanical parameter relate...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The forests in the Central Hardwoods Region will be affected directly and indirectly by a changing climate over the next 100 years. This assessment evaluates the vulnerability of terrestrial ecosystems in the Central Hardwoods Region of Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri to a range of future climates. We synthesized and summarized information on the c...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The abundance, structure and distribution of deadwood provide wildlife habitat, tree regeneration sites, and carbon and nutrient storage in forests. Usually evaluated per hectare, deadwood distribution is heterogeneous at much smaller spatial scales. The fine scale location of a tree can have important implications for...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Wood-rotting fungi are important agents of lignocellulose decay. Fungal enzymes catalyze the degradation of carbon fractions in wood and facilitate nutrient uptake to support fungal growth. We are exploring the effects of plant traits, environmental conditions, and fungal community structure and function on the decay r...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Forest trees represent a major terrestrial carbon pool. When a tree falls, increased exposure to soil moisture and saprobes may accelerate decay. How frequently trees fall, and associated changes in forest carbon stocks, may depend on variation in the mechanical properties of their wood. We examined relationships between...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Over the last century, tree growth has offset a large fraction of human carbon emissions. However, forests may not sequester this carbon indefinitely. Recent climate change has contributed to dramatic tree mortality in many regions. As these trees decay, they release stored carbon back into the atmosphere. Whether fore...
Article
Polyploidy may promote diversification by generating reproductive isolation between ploidy levels, but this reproductive barrier may not be absolute. Several recent analyses of diploid–tetraploid contact zones have found evidence for hybridization. In these cases, inter‐cytotype gene flow is often associated with morphologically intergrading popula...
Article
In taxa with few diagnostic characters, highly variable populations pose a major challenge to delimiting species. This is especially true in Dodecatheon (Primulaceae), which has a notoriously complex taxonomic history. Previous biosystematic studies of Dodecatheon in southern Illinois support the recognition of two species: D. frenchii, a diploid s...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Forests contain approximately half of the carbon (C) held in the terrestrial biosphere. A large fraction of this C is locked up in woody stems, both living and coarse woody debris. The rate of carbon release from these pools depends on two factors: plant senescence and wood decomposition. These factors, in turn, are mod...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic climate change may threaten many species with extinction. However, species at risk today survived global climate change in recent geological history. Describing how habitat tracking and adaptation allowed species to survive warming since the end of the Pleistocene can indicate the relative importance of dispersal and natural selection...
Article
Full-text available
West Nile virus, which was recently introduced to North America, is a mosquito-borne pathogen that infects a wide range of vertebrate hosts, including humans. Several species of birds appear to be the primary reservoir hosts, whereas other bird species, as well as other vertebrate species, can be infected but are less competent reservoirs. One hypo...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Species richness has been observed to increase with productivity at large spatial scales, though the strength of this relationship varies among functional groups. In forests, canopy trees shade understorey plants, and for this reason we hypothesize that species richness of canopy trees will depend on macroclimate, while species richness of shor...
Article
In order to predict how species will respond to global climate change, scientists must understand the relationships between traits, fitness, environments and distributions. Niche theory provides a useful framework. Niche breadth describes the range of environmental conditions necessary for population growth. Among these conditions, climate is espec...
Article
Full-text available
The following taxa from the Colombia, mostly from the Department of Antioquia, are described as new to science: Anthurium acanthospadix Croat & Oberle, A. atramentarium Croat & Oberle, A. chrysolithos Croat & Oberle, A. hodgei Croat, Oberle & Mora, A. johnmackii Croat & Oberle, A. licium Croat & Oberle, A. macphersonii Croat & Oberle, A. modicum Cr...

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Project (1)
Project
Characterize variation in life history across Bromeliaceae Test evolutionary life history models with biomathematics Understand conservation implications of life history of bromeliads.