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Carolina Backyard Naturalist (10/13/21)

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Introduction to Ecology and Ecosystem Concepts

An important first step in understanding the complexity of your own backyard is understanding how plants and animals interact with each other and their environment. By giving a broad background on basic ecological concepts, this presentation will survey some of the complexities of natural systems, including the roles different organisms play in their environment as producers and consumers, how plants and animals navigate their surroundings and come together as communities, and how communities change over time. We’ll also cover useful tools for thinking about species diversity and its role in natural (and manmade!) landscapes.

Presenter: Dr. Ashley Troth

Agriculture Extension Agent, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDurham County Center

Dr. Ashley TrothAshley Troth has been the Agriculture Extension Agent in Durham County since 2018. Her outreach program focuses broadly on helping Durham County residents with everything from crop and livestock problems to cultivating better home gardens, and includes overseeing over 100 Master Gardener℠ volunteers. As part of her graduate work at Duke University, she spent multiple field seasons in the Oregon Cascades conducting field research on how environmental conditions shape flowering time and flower size in a west coast wildflower. Firmly back in North Carolina, she’s happy to investigate her own 1/10 acre under the watchful eye of her two beagles.

Presentation Slides

Additional Resources

Ecology: Concepts and Applications

Crossroads of the Natural World: Exploring North Carolina with Tom Earnhardt

New Hope Audubon Society Plants Lists

NC Audubon Bird-friendly plant lists

Native Planting Overview (NCSU)

N.C. Cooperative Extension Chatham Mills “Pollinator Paradise” Garden Resources

NC Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox

NC WRC Ecoregions

Soil: The Foundation of Everything (Our State)