See below for several highlighted projects that are ongoing at the Temple Ambler Field Station.


Solidago Herbivory Trial

Solidago Herbivory Trial

The Ambler Arboretum has partnered with Mt. Cuba Center's research trials. Mt. Cuba Center trials native plants to determine suitability in home gardens and pollinator support. The one factor absent in their trials, and very important to those home gardeners, is figuring out whether deer eat the plants. The Ambler Arboretum, with its significant deer population and no fencing, has taken on the task of determining whether or not these plants get eaten by deer.   The plants in trial this year are Solidagos and Euthamias, also known as goldenrods.  Each week we assess the goldenrods, like the 'Baby Gold' Goldenrod pictured here, looking for deer browse and report the data to Mt. Cuba Center using an online survey tool. In addition to being fascinated by the diversity within the genus, we have also already noticed deer preferring some goldenrods to others. This selective browsing, eating one plant while ignoring the one right next to it, is very important to determining which goldenrod may prove to be a "deer resistant" plant in the landscape. 

Spotter latern fly trap
Spotted latern fly traps

Spotted Lanternfly Impacts on Forest Trees

A newly invasive insect pest known as the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) poses an important, emerging threat to forest habitats in Pennsylvania.  The spotted lanternfly (SLF) is a planthopper native to northern China but was recorded for the first time in the Americas in Berks County, southeastern Pennsylvania in 2014, suggesting a recent human-mediated introduction.  Since then, it has spread across much of southern and eastern Pennsylvania and to neighboring states.   The SLF is of particular concern as it has the potential to cause harm to a wide variety of tree, shrub and vine species, but much remains unknown about these potential impacts.  Drs. Brent Sewall (Assoc. Professor of Biology) and Amy Freestone (Assoc. Professor of Biology; Director, Temple Ambler Field Station) are leading a team of researchers and students to explore impacts of the spotted lanternfly on some of Pennsylvania's native plants.  This research involves SLF trapping (black mesh circle traps) and rearing experiments (white mesh bags) attached to trees around the Field Station (see photos).  This research is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), as impacts will inform the management of DMVA properties including the Ft. Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center, which commissioned this research.