Katie H. GreenbergResearch Ecologist
Asheville, NC 28806-9561
My research focus includes (1) effects of forest management practices and natural disturbances on plant and animal communities, (2) amphibian population dynamics and use of ephemeral ponds in relation to climate, hydrology, and condition of surrounding uplands, and (3) production of forest food resources, such as native fleshy fruit and hard mast, in relation to forest types and silvicultural disturbances. Disturbance types are varied and include high-intensity wind events, timber harvest, and wildfire or prescribed fire, among others. The impact of disturbances varies with site conditions such as moisture, fertility, and forest communities that are associated with environmental gradients across complex topography and geology. Conditions resulting from disturbance are dynamic, with habitat structure and associated wildlife communities changing over time as forests grow. My past and current studies focus on bird, reptile, amphibian, and small mammal community response to disturbance types including hurricane-related wind downbursts, prescribed fire, and timber harvests. Concern over apparent declines in amphibian populations due to climate change, disease, reduced habitat amount and quality, and other factors, has focused attention on the need for long-term, landscape-level studies to distinguish between true population declines and natural fluctuations. A long-term study in Florida longleaf pine-wiregrass sandhills addresses population dynamics and life history of several amphibian species, and how populations are influenced by habitat quality in the surrounding uplands, climate, and hydrological patterns in ephemeral ponds. Acorns and native fruits are important food resources for both game and nongame wildlife species. Past and ongoing studies in managed and unmanaged forests of the upper Coastal Plain and the southern Appalachians help land managers to predict amounts of nuts and native fruits that are potentially produced on a given stand or landscape, and how that may change with forest age or among different forest types.
Effect of forestry practices on biotic communities; fire ecology; disturbance ecology; forest food resources for wildlife (fruit and hard mast production); Importance of fruit to wildlife; wetland ecology; restoration ecology; plant and animal ecology; exotic plant species invasions.
Why This Research is Important
Tools that forest managers use for sustainable forest management, ecosystem restoration, and other purposes include disturbances such as timber harvest and prescribed fire. Understanding how these disturbance types – both anthropogenic and natural - affect the diversity and abundance of different wildlife species and communities is an important component of science-based land management. Similarly, understanding and predicting how amounts of wildlife food resources such as acorns and native forest fruits vary among forest types and age classes over time is an important component of forest management for healthy and diverse wildlife populations. Amphibians are declining worldwide, yet long-term population and metapopulation studies are rare, especially linked to potential causal factors such as climate and the suitability of breeding and upland habitat quality. This information can only be obtained through long-term studies, and is important for developing conservation strategies for many amphibian species.
- Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology, 1993
- University of Florida
- M.S. in Wildlife Ecology, 1987
- University of Tennessee
- B.A. in Philosophy, 1981
- George Washington Univ
- Natural Areas Association, Member (1994—Current)
- Ecological Society of America, Member (1992—Current)
- The Association of Southeastern Biologists, Lifetime Member (1988—Current)
- The Wildlife Society, Member (1987—Current)
- Society for Conservation Biology, Member (1982—Current)
Awards and Recognition
- Director's Award, 2010
- USFS, SRS. 2010. Director’s Award - Natural Resource Stewardship
Featured Publications and Products
- Matthews, Charlotte E.; Moorman, Christopher E.; Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Waldrop, Thomas A. 2010. Response of Reptiles and Amphibians to Repeated Fuel Reduction Treatments.
- Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Walter, Scott T. 2010. Fleshy fruit removal and nutritional composition of winter-fruiting plants: a comparison of non-native invasive and native species.
- Roznik, Elizabeth A.; Johnson, Steve A.; Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Tanner, George W. 2009. Terrestrial movements and habitat use of gopher frogs in longleaf pine forests: a comparative study of juveniles and adults.
- Matthews, Charlotte E; Moorman, Christopher E; Greenberg, Cathryn H. 2009. Response of soricid populations to repeated fire and fuel reduction treatments in the southern Appalachain Mountains.
- Greenberg, Katie; Keyser, Tara; Zarnoch, Stan; Connor, Kris. 2012. Acorn viability following prescribed fire in upland hardwood forests.
- Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Collins, Beverly S.; Thompson III, Frank R. 2011. Sustaining Young Forest Communities: Ecology and Management of Early Successional Habitats in the Central Hardwood Region, USA.
- Campbell, Joshua W.; Grodsky, Steven M.; Halbritter, Dale A.; Vigueira, Patrick A.; Vigueira, Cynthia C.; Keller, Oliver ; Greenberg, Cathryn H. 2019. Asian needle ant ( Brachyponera chinensis ) and woodland ant responses to repeated applications of fuel reduction methods.
- Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Keyser, Tara L.; McNab, Henry; Scott, Patrick . 2019. Breeding bird response to season of burn in an upland hardwood forest.
- Button, Sky T.; Sovie, Adia R.; Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Austin, James D. 2019. Evaluating the ecology of tantilla relicta in Florida pine–wiregrass sandhills using multi-season occupancy models.
- Greenberg, C.H.; Zarnoch, S.J. 2018. A test of the predator satiation hypothesis, acorn predator size, and acorn preference.
- Greenberg, C.H. ; Zarnoch, S.J. ; Austin, J.D. . 2018. Long term amphibian monitoring at wetlands lacks power to detect population trends.
- Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Tomcho, Joseph ; Livings-Tomcho, Aimee ; Lanham, J. Drew; Waldrop, Thomas A.; Simon, Dean ; Hagan, Donald . 2018. Long-term avian response to fire severity, repeated burning, and mechanical fuel reduction in upland hardwood forest.
- Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Seiboldt, Tyler; Keyser, Tara L.; McNab, W. Henry; Scott, Patrick; Bush, Janis; Moorman, Christopher E. 2018. Reptile and amphibian response to season of burn in an upland hardwood forest.
- Campbell, Joshua W.; Grodsky, Steven M.; Keller, Oliver ; Vigueira, Cynthia C.; Vigueira, Patrick A.; Waite, Evan S.; Greenberg, Cathryn H. 2018. Response of beetles (Coleoptera) to repeated applications of prescribed fire and other fuel reduction techniques in the southern Appalachian Mountains.
- Campbell, Joshua ; Vigueira, Patrick ; Viguiera, Cynthia ; Greenberg, Cathryn H. 2018. The effects of repeated prescribed fire and thinning on bees, wasps, and other flower visitors in the understory and midstory of a temperate forest in North Carolina.
- Greenberg, C.H.; Johnson, S.A.; Owen, R.; Storfer, A. 2017. Amphibian breeding phenology and reproductive outcome: an examination using terrestrial and aquatic sampling.
- Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Moorman, Christopher E.; Matthews-Snoberger, Charlotte E.; Waldrop, Thomas A.; Simon, Dean ; Heh, Amanda ; Hagan, Donald . 2017. Long-term herpetofaunal response to repeated fuel reduction treatments.
- Westby-Gibson, Jr., John.; Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Moorman, Christopher E.; Forrest, T.G.; Keyser, Tara L.; Simon, Dean M.; Warburton, Gordon S. 2017. Short-term response of ground-dwelling macroarthropods to shelterwood harvests in a productive Southern Appalachian upland hardwood forest.
- Campbell, Joshua W.; Viguiera, Cynthia C.; Viguiera, Patrick; Hartgerink, John E.; Greenberg, Cathryn H. 2017. The use of root plates for nesting sites by Anthophora abrupta (Hymenoptera: Apidae) may be common within forested habitats.
- Greenberg, C. H.; Zarnoch, S. J.; Austin, J. D. 2017. Weather, hydroregime, and breeding effort influence juvenile recruitment of anurans: implications for climate change.
- Keyser, Tara L.; Greenberg, Katie; Simon, Dean; Warburton, Gordon S. 2016. Assessing the regeneration potential of productive mixed-hardwood stands following single and repeated prescribed fire.
- Raybuck, Amy L.; Moorman, Christopher E.; Fritts, Sarah R.; Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Deperno, Christopher S.; Simon, Dean M.; Warburton, Gordon S. 2015. Do silvicultural practices to restore oaks affect salamanders in the short term?.
- Greenberg, C. H.; Goodrick, S.; Austin, J. D.; Parresol, B. R. 2015. Hydroregime prediction models for ephemeral groundwater-driven sinkhole wetlands: a planning tool for climate change and amphibian conservation.
- Greenberg, Katie; Franzreb, Kathleen; Keyser, Tara; Zarnoch, Stan; Simon, Dean; Warburton, Gordon. 2015. Short-term response of breeding birds to oak regeneration treatments in upland hardwood forest.
- Greenberg, Katie; Weeks, Kendrick; Warburton, Gordon. 2015. Young Forests and Farming Practices Can Benefit Wildlife.
- McCord, M.; Harper, C.; Greenberg, Katie. 2014. Brood cover and food resources for wild turkeys following silvicultural treatments in mature upland hardwoods.
- Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Perry, Roger W.; Franzreb, Kathleen E.; Loeb, Susan C.; Saenz, Daniel; Rudolph, D. Craig; Winters, Eric; Fucik, E.M.; Kwiatkowski, M.A.; Parresol, B.R.; Austin, J.D.; Tanner, G.W. 2014. Climate change and wildlife in the southern United States: potential effects and management options.
- Keyser, T.L.; Greenberg, C.H.; McNab, H. 2014. Prescribed fire in upland harwood forests.
- Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Keyser, Chad E.; Rathburn, Leah C.; Rose, Anita K.; Fearer, Todd M.; McNab, Henry W. 2013. Forecasting long-term acorn production with and without oak decline using forest inventory data.
- Waldrop, Thomas A.; Yaussy, Daniel A.; Boerner, Ralph E.J.; Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Simon, Dean M. 2013. Fuel-reduction treatments for restoration in eastern hardwoods: impacts on multiple ecosystem components.
- Cantrell, Andrew W.; Wang, Yong; Schweitzer, Callie J.; Greenberg, Cathryn H. 2013. Short term response of herpetofaunal to oak-regeneration treatments on the mid-Cumberland Plateau of southern Tennessee.
- Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Waldrop, Thomas A.; Tomcho, Joseph; Phillips, Ross J.; Simon, Dean. 2012. Bird response to fire severity and repeated burning in upland hardwood forest.
- Cantrell, Andrew W.; Wang, Yong; Schweitzer, Callie J.; Greenberg, Cathryn H. 2012. Herpetofaunal response to oak-regenerating silvicultural practices in the mid-Cumberland plateau of southern Tennessee.
- Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Levey, Douglas J.; Kwit, Charles; McCarty, John P.; Pearson, Scott F.; Sargent, Sarah; Kilgo, John. 2012. Long-term patterns of fruit production in five forest types of the South Carolina upper coastal plain.
- Rose, Anita K.; Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Fearer, Todd M. 2011. Acorn Production Prediction Models for Five Common Oak Species of the Eastern United States.
- Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Collins, Beverly S.; Thompson, Frank R., III; McNab, William H. 2011. Introduction: what are early successional habitats, why are they important, and how can they be sustained? Chapter 1.
- Greenberg, Cathryn; Keyser, Tara L.; Speer, James. 2011. Temporal Patterns of Oak Mortality in a Southern Appalachian Forest (1991-2006).
- Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Perry, Roger W.; Harper, Craig A.; Levey, Douglas J.; McCord, John M. 2011. The role of young, recently disturbed upland hardwood forest as high quality food patches.
- Kilpatrick, Eran S.; Waldrop, Thomas A.; Lanham, Joseph D.; Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Contreras, Tom H. 2010. Short-term effects of fuel reduction treatments on herpetofauna from the southeastern United States.
- Speer, James H; Grission-Mayer, Henry D; Orivs, Kenneth H; Greenberg, Cathryn H:. 2009. Climate response of five oak species in the eastern deciduous forest of the southern Appalachain Mountains, USA.
- Lashley, Marcus A.; McCord, John M.; Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Harper, Craig A. 2009. Masting characteristics of white oak: implications for management.
- Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Harris, Lawrence D.; Neary, Daniel G. 1995. A comparison of bird communities in burned and salvage-logged, clearcut, and forested Florida Sand Pine scrub.
- Regional Oak Regeneration Study (2010)
- SRS scientists are partnering with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the Stevenson Land Company to initiate a regional study that focuses on the ecosystem response (regeneration of oakand other hardwood species, and plant diversity) to three recommended, but not widely tested, treatments.
- Research Addresses Decline of Young Forests in Central Hardwood Region (2012)
- Report details how young forests can be sustainably created and managed in a landscape context
- Southern Research Station and Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Partner in Wildlife Research (2014)
- Two graduate and three undergraduate students from the University of Texas at San Antonio, a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), worked with scientists at the Bent Creek Experimental Forest to study how reptiles and amphibians respond to prescribed fire and other forest management practices. This partnership between the Forest Service's Southern Research Station and a HACU University is providing valuable field experience to students and addressing important research questions that support science-based forest management.
- Wildlife response to prescribed fires and mechanical fuel reduction treatments in an upland hardwood forest (2018)
- Prescribed burning is a common forest management tool, with fuel reduction, ecosystem restoration, and wildlife habitat improvement often cited as primary goals. Mechanical fuel reduction by cutting shrubs and small trees is sometimes used instead to reduce risks to property, safety, and air quality. Southern Research Station scientists studied how breeding birds, reptiles, amphibians, pollinating insects, and beetles responded to repeated fuel reduction treatments in upland hardwood forests.