Ohio University | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Environmental and Plant Biology

Porter Hall 315 | Athens OH 45701 | Tel 740 593 1126 | Fax 740 593 1130

Glenn R. Matlack

Associate Professor

Ph.D. University College of North Wales, Bangor, UK 1984

Plant Population Biology, Forest Ecology

Porter Hall 405

740 593 1131

Other Websites

Global Studies 2012 - Ghana

Faculty Research Focus Areas

Eastern Deciduous Forest Ecology


College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award 2008

PBIO 109 Americans and their Forests
PBIO 435/535 Plant Population Biology
PBIO 322/522 Tropical Ecology
PBIO 485/693 Tropical Forest Ecology (Ghana)

Departmental Service

Curriculum Chair
College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee

Professional Service

Associate Editor, Journal of Ecology
Core Faculty, Southeast Asian Studies, Ohio University

Research Program Summary

The spatial and temporal structure of habitat strongly influences the distribution, abundance, and reproductive success of plants. For example, the patchy distribution of forest, agriculture, and suburbs can influence the patterns of invasion by exotic species, regeneration of native species following disturbance, epidemic spread of pathogens, and responses of herb species to human disturbance. The deciduous forests of southern Ohio provide an ideal laboratory to examine these processes. I work primarily with forest herbs (we have a world-class wildflower community), but also with deciduous tree species, invasive exotics, and soil-dwelling invertebrates. Much of this work is directed to forest conservation and management.

I enjoy working with research students, and welcome inquiries from interested undergraduates and graduates.

Selected References

Niederhauser, E.C. and G.R. Matlack. 2015.  All frugivores are not equal: Exploitation competition determines seed survival and germination in a fleshy-fruited forest herb. Plant Ecology, in press.

Schweizer, P.E. and G.R. Matlack. 2014.  Factors driving land use change and forest distribution on the outer coastal plain of Mississippi, USA.  Landscape and Urban Planning, 121: 55–64.

Matlack, G.R.  2013. Reassessment of the use of fire as a management tool in deciduous forests of eastern North America. Conservation Biology, 27: 916-926.

K.E. Hougen and G.R. Matlack. 2012.  Long-term effects of land use history on species composition in post-industrial forests of southeastern Ohio, USA.  Forest Ecology and Management, 269: 279–292..

Matlack, G.R. and J.E. Schaub.  2011.  Long-term persistence and spatial assortment of nonnative plant species in deciduous forests of varying age.  Ecography, 34: 649-658.

Miller, N.P. and G.R. Matlack.  2010. Real-time spread of an invasive grass, Microstegium vimineum: a test of the channeled diffusion model.  Diversity and Distributions, 16: 816-826.

Matlack G.R. 2009 Long-term changes in second-growth forest soils following abandonment from agriculture.  Journal of Biogeography, in press.

Christen D.C. and G.R. Matlack. 2009. The habitat and conduit functions of roads in the spread of three invasive plant species.  Biological Invasions, 11: 453-465.

Matlack, G.R. and R. McEwan. 2008. Forest In My Neighborhood: Using Personal Experience To Engage Students In Land Use History.  American Biology Teacher, 70: 13-17. (listed as “Editors Choice” in the Botanical Society of America’s Plant Science Bulletin, Summer 2008, Volume 54, Number 2).

Matlack, G.R. and Nicolae Leu (2007). Persistence of dispersal-limited species in structured dynamic landscapes.  Ecosystems, 10: 1287-1298.

Glasgow, L.S. and G.R. Matlack. 2007. The effects of prescribed burning and canopy openness on establishment of two non-native plant species in a deciduous forest, southeast Ohio, USA. Forest Ecology and Management, 238: 319–329.

Glasgow, L.S. and G.R. Matlack. 2007. Prescribed burning and understory composition in a temperate deciduous forest, Ohio, USA. Forest Ecology and Management, 238: 54–64.

Harrelson, S.M. and G.R. Matlack. 2006. Influence of stand age and physical environment on the herb composition of second-growth forest, Strouds Run, Ohio, USA. Journal of Biogeography, 33: 1139-1149.

Christen, D. and G.R. Matlack. 2006. Do invasive plant species use roadsides as conduits, or just habitat? A demographic approach. Conservation Biology, 20: 385-391.

G.R. Matlack. 2005. Slow plants in a fast forest: Local dispersal as a predictor of species frequencies in a dynamic landscape. Journal of Ecology 93: 50-59.

G.R. Matlack and J.Monde. 2004. Consequences of low mobility in spatially and temporally heterogeneous ecosystems. Journal of Ecology 92: 1025-1035.

Current and Recent Student Research Projects

-Interactions of plant mobility, habitat turnover, and habitat spatial structure (modeling).

- Long-term impacts of land use in forests of SE Ohio

- Watershed dynamics: the role of hydrology as an integrating factor in human-shaped landscapes

- Plant invasions as a community assembly process

- Interactions of clonal growth and local environmental heterogeneity

- Dispersal of forest herbs by animals

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