In the Trammell lab, Tara Trammell studies how biophysical and sociological factors affect urban ecosystem structure and function. Specifically, she investigates how urban forests respond to threats such as climate change, pollution, and invasive species, and in-turn how co-production of land management practices can enhance urban forests resilience. Additionally, Tara studies ecosystem function in residential lawns where the majority of urban residents interact with their environment. She uses a variety of field, lab, and modeling techniques to understand carbon and nitrogen cycling in urban ecosystems.
Industry Expertise (2)
Areas of Expertise (5)
Media Appearances (5)
Spotted lanternflies spreading across North America by latching onto humans
Study Finds online
“Spotted lanternflies can spread quickly into suitable habitat and have the potential to cause significant economic damage to crops and hardwood trees,” says Tara Trammell, a John Bartram associate professor of Urban Forestry in the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, in a statement.. “Studying potential dispersal mechanisms, such as human transportation, can help us develop management approaches to reduce further spread.”
Researchers find human transportation largely responsible for spread of invasive spotted lanternfly
"Spotted lanternflies can spread quickly into suitable habitat and have the potential to cause significant economic damage to crops and hardwood trees," said Tara Trammell, John Bartram Associate Professor of Urban Forestry in UD's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. "Studying potential dispersal mechanisms, such as human transportation, can help us develop management approaches to reduce further spread."
Ability of urban trees, soils to maintain critical ecosystem services
In a research article published in Scientific Reports, University of Delaware researchers investigated the pressures of urbanization on SMC associated with specific tree species. The research team included UD faculty member Tara Trammell and former postdoctoral research fellow Carl Rosier.
Force of nature
University of Delaware UDaily online
In a study recently published in PLOS One, McDermot and a team of researchers — including his former adviser Tara Trammell, UD’s John Bartram Assistant Professor of Urban Forestry — studied red maple, a resilient native tree known to thrive in urban environments. For this research, McDermot examined whether urban red maples acclimate to environmental shifts and whether that response is impacted by the size of the city.
Human Impact on the Global Nitrogen Cycle
University of Delaware UDaily online
UD’s Tara Trammell to study ecological effects of excess nitrogen in small forests. Nitrogen is an essential element required by all life — vital for plant and animal growth and nourishment. But, an overabundance of nitrogen can cause negative ecological effects.
Carabid specialists respond differently to nonnative plant invasion in urban forestsUrban Ecosystems
2023 Forests within urban areas are important for the survival of some native plant and animal communities. Urban forests are negatively affected by human-mediated disturbances, including those that increase nonnative plant invasion. Nonnative plants alter forest structure, and can contribute to dense understory vegetation, more open canopy structure, and less leaf litter volume. This modified vegetation structure alters resources urban forests provide for native forest species.
High soil carbon sequestration rates persist several decades in turfgrass systems: A meta-analysisScience of The Total Environment
2023 Managed turfgrass is a common component of urban landscapes that is expanding under current land use trends. Previous studies have reported high rates of soil carbon sequestration in turfgrass, but no systematic review has summarized these rates nor evaluated how they change as turfgrass ages.
Human-mediated dispersal drives the spread of the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula)Scientific Reports
2023 The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is a novel invasive insect from Asia now established and spreading throughout the United States. This species is of particular concern given its ability to decimate important crops such as grapes, fruit trees, as well as native hardwood trees. Since its initial detection in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014, spotted lanternfly infestations have been detected in 130 counties (87 under quarantine) within Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Plant community dynamics following non-native shrub removal depend on invasion intensity and forest site characteristicsEcosphere
2023 Globally, temperate deciduous forests are threatened by invasion of non-native (exotic) plant species. In the eastern United States, Rosa multiflora is a dominant shrub invader in forests, which often forms dense thickets that reduce sunlight availability in the understory, where decreased native plant diversity and abundance are observed. Management and restoration are difficult but desirable, especially when invasion intensity is still low.
Saturated, Suffocated, and Salty: Human Legacies Produce Hot Spots of Nitrogen in Riparian ZonesJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
2022 The compounding effects of anthropogenic legacies for environmental pollution are significant, but not well understood. Here, we show that centennial-scale legacies of milldams and decadal-scale legacies of road salt salinization interact in unexpected ways to produce hot spots of nitrogen (N) in riparian zones. Riparian groundwater and stream water concentrations upstream of two mid-Atlantic (Pennsylvania and Delaware) milldams, 2.4 and 4 m tall, were sampled over a 2 year period. Clay and silt-rich legacy sediments with low hydraulic conductivity, stagnant and poorly mixed hydrologic conditions, and persistent hypoxia in riparian sediments upstream of milldams produced a unique biogeochemical gradient with nitrate removal via denitrification at the upland riparian edge and ammonium-N accumulation in near-stream sediments and groundwaters.
Research Grants (3)
Silviculture in the City: Advancing urban and climate adapted management strategies for forested natural areas in the Northeastern U.S. through science and training
USDA Forest Service, Urban and Community Forestry Program $299,465
2021 – present
Multiple global change factors control forest nitrogen cycling – remote sensing and machine learning identify forest function across developed landscapes
NSF EPSCoR RII Track-4 $203,346
2018 – present
Collaborative Research: Macrosystems Biology-FRA: Alternative ecological futures for the American Residential Macrosystem
2017 – present
Doctoral Dissertation Completion Award (professional)
US – International Association for Landscape Ecology Student Travel Award (professional)
Biology Graduate Student Research Presentation Award (professional)
Biology Graduate Student Research Publication Award (professional)
Beechmont Garden Club Award for Outstanding Research (professional)
Presidential Academic Fitness Award (professional)