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

Jared L. DeForest

Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2004

Ecosystem and Soil Ecology

Porter Hall 419

740 593 0742

Other Websites

Forest Soil Ecology Lab
Optimized lab protocols for testing soils

Faculty Research Focus Areas

Eastern Deciduous Forest Ecology


PBIO 2090: Plant Ecology (Spring, 2017)
PBIO 4/5380: Soils & Ecosystems (Fall, 2017)
PBIO 3/5330: Restoration Ecology (Fall, 2017)

Departmental Service

Evaluation Committee

Professional Service

Program Manager, DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research
Subject Editor, Soil Biology & Biochemistry

Research Program Summary

My research goals are to improve our understanding of how the physical environment alters the structure and function of ecosystems, either natural or anthropogenic.  Most of my research involves investigating the influence of soil microorganisms mediating the cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus.  One active project involves understanding the role of soil acidity and phosphorus influencing the carbon and nitrogen cycle in acidic hardwood forests.  My research draws from soil science, ecosystem ecology, microbial ecology, and forestry. 

Selected References

26 publication; 58 avg. citations per publication; h-index = 17 (Google Scholar)

Within the last 5 years:

Stone, M., DeForest, JL, Plante, A. 2014. Changes in extracellular enzyme activity and microbial community structure with soil depth across contrasting parent materials in two tropical forests. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 75: 237-247.

Rinkes, ZL, DeForest JL, Grandy AS, Moorhead DL, Weintraub MN. 2014.  Interactions between leaf litter quality, particle size, and microbial community during the earliest stage of decay.  Biogeochemistry, 117: 153-168.

Jin, L, Son Y, DeForest JL, Kang YJ, Kim W, Chung H. 2014. Single-walled carbon nanotubes alter soil microbial community composition. Science of the Total Environment, 466-467, 533-538.

Burns, RG, DeForest, JL, Marxen JC, Sinsabaugh RL, Stromberger ME, Wallenstein MD, Weintraub MH, and Zoppini A. 2013.  Soil enzyme research: current knowledge and future directions.  Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 58:216-234.

Shaw AN and DeForest JL. 2013. The cycling of readily available phosphorus in response to elevated phosphate in acidic temperate deciduous forests. Applied Soil Ecology, 63:88-93.

Kluber LA, Carrino-Kyker SR, Coyle KP, DeForest JL, Hewins CR, Shaw AN, Smemo KA, Burke DJ. 2012. Mycorrhizal response to experimental pH and P manipulation in acidic hardwood forests. PLos ONE, 7(11): e48946. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048946.

Burke DJ, Smemo KA, López-Gutiérrez JC, DeForest JL. 2012. Soil fungi influence the distribution of microbial functional groups that mediate forest greenhouse gas emissions. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 53:112-119.

DeForest, JL, Smemo KA, Burke DJ, Elliott HL, Becker JC. 2012. Soil microbial responses to elevated phosphorus and pH in acidic temperate deciduous forests. Biogeochemistry,109:189-202.

Rinkes, ZL, Weintraub MN, DeForest JL, Moorhead DL. 2011.  Microbial substrate preference and community dynamics during decomposition of Acer saccharum.  Fungal Ecology, 4(6): 369-407.

Cheng, L, Booker FL, Burkey KO, Tu C, Shew D, Rufty TW, Fiscus EL, DeForest JL, Hu S. 2011.  Soil microbial responses to elevated CO2 and O3 in a nitrogen-aggrading agroecosystem. PLos ONE 6(6): e21377. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021377

DeForest, JL and McCarthy BC. 2011. Diminished soil quality in an old-growth mixed mesophytic forest following chronic acid deposition. Northeastern Naturalist, 18(2): 177-184.

DeForest, JL and Scott LG. 2010. Available organic phosphorus has an important influence on microbial community composition. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.,74: 2059-2066.

Smucker, NJ, DeForest JL, Vis ML. 2009. Difference methods and storage duration affect measurements of epilithic extracellular enzyme activities in lotic biofilms. Hydrobiologia, 636:153-162.

DeForest, JL. 2009. The influence of time, storage temperature, and substrate age on potential soil enzyme activity in acidic forest soils using MUB-linked substrates and L-DOPA.  Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 41:1180-1186.

Yuan W., Luo Y., Richardson RD, Oren R, Luyssaert S, Janssens IA, Ceulemans R, Zhou Z, Grunwald T, Aubinet M, Berhofer C, Baldocchi DD, Chen J, Dunn AL, DeForest JL, Dragon D, Goldstein AH, Moors E, Munger JW, Monson RK, Suyker AE, Starr G, Scott RL, Tenhunen J, Verma SB, Vesala T, Wofsy SC. 2009. Latitudinal patterns of magnitude and interannual variability in net ecosystem exchange regulated by biological and environmental variables.  Global Change Biology, 15: 2905-2920.

DeForest, JL., Chen J., McNulty SG. 2009. Leaf litter is an important mediator of soil respiration in an oak-dominated forest. Int. J. Biometeorol., 53: 127-134.

Li, Q, Moorhead DL., DeForest, JL., Henderson R., Chen J., Jensen R. 2009. Mixed litter decomposition in a managed Missouri Ozark forest ecosystem. For. Ecol. Manage., 257: 688-694.


Ohio University Research Committee (OURC)

Current and Recent Research Projects

A field-based experiment to understand nutrient limitation in eastern deciduous forests.
Using benthic microbial communities to biomonitor acid mine drainage recovery.
Effects of phosphorus availability on the cycling of nitrogen and carbon (decomposition).
Influence of weather and climate on decomposition.

Current and Recent Student Research Projects

How the soil environment alters red maple fecundity.
Understanding how soil acidity and phosphorus alter belowground tree carbon allocation.

Understanding how weather and micro-climate interactions influence leaf litter decomposition.
Determining tree nutrient use efficiency under elevated pH and/or phosphorus.
Human activities and the pre-mature aging of soil at an old growth forest.

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