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DunnsWoods-IndianaUniversity exported.mov

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Published on Oct 4, 2011

This movie introduces a project at Indiana University focused on mitigation of exotic invasive plant species and promotion of native biodiversity in Indiana University Bloomington's iconic Dunn's Woods. It is also a call for action to facilitate the project and ensure the heart of the university is retained.

Dunn's Woods is a 9-acre deciduous woodland that has been situated at the heart of Indiana University's Bloomington campus since 1820. Once part of the Dunn family farm, the area was likely once pastureland for cattle and hogs. Parts were also quarried for limestone used in campus buildings. Archival photos show a park-like state that was gradually allowed to return to more natural woodland. The woods are now host to a diverse spring ephemeral wildflower community and numerous species of birds, including a nesting pair of Cooper's hawks, Yellow-throated Warblers, and vireos. Unfortunately, this native biodiversity is seriously threatened by numerous exotic invasive plant species, especially the evergreen groundcover Purple Wintercreeper, that have invaded the woods.

In May of 2011, a major storm destroyed hundreds of trees on the campus and Dunn's Woods suffered a major loss of trees, which has opened large gaps in the canopy. With more light reaching the forest floor, invasive species are likely to spread more rapidly. To thwart the invasion and maintain a native species-rich environment, quick action is needed as explained in the movie.

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