University of Kentucky College of Agriculture


Professor of Forest Ecology

Chair, Natural Resources and Environmental Science Steering Committee

Co-Director, Greenhouse Living Learning Community

Mary ArthurContact me:
214 T.P. Cooper Building (office 103)
Lexington, KY 40546-0073 
Tel: 859-257-2852 
Fax: 859-323-1031 
Curriculum Vita

Ph.D. 1990, Cornell University
M.F.S. 1983, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
B.A. 1979, Colby College

Courses taught:
Forest Ecology
Senior Capstone for Natural Resources and Environmental Science
Forestry graduate seminars

Professional affiliations:
Members: Ecological Society of America, Natural Areas Association, Society of American Foresters, Soil Science Society of America

Students and Staff working in the Forest Ecology Lab Group:
Senior Laboratory Technician: Millie Hamilton
Field and Laboratory Technicians: Nic Williamson, Nicolas Body
Forest Research Ecologist: Beth Blankenship
Undergraduate student: Kali Mattingly
MS Student: Suraj Upadhaya
PhD Students: Todd Rounsaville, Zhijie Yang

Current projects
Fire in the southern Appalachians:
Our research spanning two decades examines the effects of repeated prescribed fire and wildfire on fuel loading, stand structure, and forest regeneration in upland oak ecosystems on the Cumberland Plateau in eastern Kentucky. Conducted in sites in the Daniel Boone National Forest, our work relies on ground-based experimentation and sampling as well as the use of Landsat and LiDAR to detect changes in forest structure through time.

Invasive species and the alternation of ecosystem dynamics:
Invasive species are an increasing threat to forest community and species diversity, and have the potential to alter forest ecosystem dynamics in profound ways. Our research in this area addresses questions regarding the spatial distribution and spread of invasive plants species, including examination of the ecophysiological attributes that enhance success of invasive plants, potential for chemically enhanced suppression of native species, and alteration to ecosystem function.  Our lab also investigates effects of invasive insects on forest community structure and ecosystem function.

Role of forest change and species composition in ecosystem processes:
Research conducted in northern and Appalachian hardwood forests addresses questions regarding the role of individual tree species in forest ecosystem processes, including nitrogen and carbon cycling.  Elements of forest change examined in my research group include the impacts of shifts in tree species composition on forest ecosystem function, such as alterations to decomposition and soil microbial communities and tree-specific effects on forest hydrology.

Selected publications (2009-2013)
Littlefield, T., C. Barton, M. Arthur, and M.Coyne.   2013.  Factors controlling carbon distribution on reforested minelands and regenerating clearcuts in Appalachia, USA.  Science of the Total Environment 465: 240-247.

Lovett, G.M., M.A. Arthur, K.C. Weathers, R.D. Fitzhugh, P.H. Templer.  2013. Nitrogen addition increases carbon storage in soils, but not in trees, in an eastern deciduous forest. Ecosystems 16:980-1001.

Lovett, G.M., M.A. Arthur, K.C. Weathers, J.C. Griffin.  2013.  Effects of introduced insects and diseases on forest ecosystem in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1298:66-77

Wilson, H.N., M.A. Arthur, A. Schorgendorfer, R.D. Paratley, B.D. Lee, and R.W. McEwan. 2013.Site characteristics as predictors of Lonicera maackii and other invasive plants in second growth forests of central Kentucky, USA.  Natural Areas Journal 33: 189-198.

Yanai, R.D., M.A. Vadeboncoeur, S.P. Hamburg, M.A. Arthur, C.B. Fuss, P.M. Groffman, T.G. Siccama, and C.T. Driscoll.  Environmental Science and Technology 47: 11440-11448.

Arthur, M.A., H.D. Alexander, D.C. Dey, C.J. Schweitzer, and D.L. Loftis.  2012. Refining the oak-fire hypothesis for management of oak-dominated forests of the eastern United States.  J. Forestry 110: 257-266.

Arthur, M.A., Bray, S.R., C. Kuchle, and R.W. McEwan.  2012.  The influence of the invasive shrub, Lonicera maackii, on leaf decomposition and microbial community dynamics.  Plant Ecology 213: 1571-1582.

Blum, J.D., S.P. Hamburg, R.D. Yanai, and M.A. Arthur.  2012.  Determination of foliar Ca/Sr discrimination factors for six tree species and implications for Ca sources in northern hardwood forests.  Plant and Soil 356: 303-314.

Crowley, K.F., B.E. McNeil, G.M. Lovett, C.D. Canham, C.T. Driscoll, L.E. Rustad, E. Denny, R.A. Hallett, M.A. Arthur, J.L. Boggs, C.L. Goodale, J.S. Kahl, S.G. McNulty, S.V. Ollinger, L.H. Pardo, P.G. Schaberg, J.L. Stoddard, M.P. Weand, and K.C. Weathers.  2012.  Do nutrient limitation patterns shift from nitrogen toward phosphorus with increasing nitrogen deposition across the northeastern United States?  Ecosystems 15:940-957.

McEwan, R.W., M.A. Arthur, S.E. Alverson.  2012.  Throughfall chemistry and soil nutrient effects of the invasive shrub Lonicera maackii in deciduous forests.  Am. Midl. Nat. 168: 43-55.

Poulette*, MM. and M.A. Arthur.  2012.  The impact of the invasive shrub Lonicera maackii on the decomposition dynamics of a native plant community.  Ecological Applications 22:412-424.

Srinivasan,M.P., S.K. Gleeson, and M.A. Arthur.  2012. Short-term impacts of nitrogen fertilization on a montane grassland ecosystem in a South Asian biodiversity hotspot.  Plant Ecology and Diversity 5:289-299.

Yanai, R.D., M.A. Arthur, M. Acker, C.R. Levine, and B.B. Park. 2012.  Variation in mass and nutrient concentration of leaf litter across years and sites in a northern hardwood forest.  Canadian Journal of Forest Research 42: 1597-1610.

Fatemi, F.R., R.D. Yanai, S.P. Hamburg, M.A. Vadeboncoeur, M.A. Arthur, R.D. Briggs, and C.R. Levine.  2011. Allometric equations for young northern hardwoods:  the importance of age-specific equations for estimating aboveground biomass.  Canadian Journal of Forest Research 41:881-891.

Alexander, H.D. and M.A. Arthur.  2010.  Implications of a predicted shift from upland oaks to red maple on forest hydrology and nutrient availability.  Canadian Journal of Forest Research:  40:  716-726.

Green, S.R. and M.A. Arthur.  2010.  Oak and red maple seedling survival and growth following periodic prescribed fire on xeric ridgetops on the Cumberland Plateau.  Forest Ecology and Management 259:  2256-2266.

Lovett, G.M., M.A. Arthur, K.C. Weathers and J.M. Griffin.  2010.  Long-term changes in forest carbon and nitrogen cycling caused by an introduced pest/pathogen complex.  Ecosystems 13:  1188-1200.

McEwan, R.W., L.G. Arthur-Paratley, L.K. Rieske and M.A. Arthur.  2010.  A multi-assay comparison of seed germination inhibition by Lonicera maackii and co-occurring native shrubs.  Flora 205:475-483.

Royse, J., M.A. Arthur, A. Schorgendorfer, and D.L. Loftis.  2010.  Establishment and growth of oak (Quercus alba, Quercus prinus) seedlings in burned and fire-excluded upland forests on the Cumberland Plateau. Forest Ecology and Management 260: 502-510. Doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2010.05.005.

Weand, M.P., M.A. Arthur, G.M. Lovett, F. Sikora and K.C. Weathers.  2010.  The phosphorus status of northern hardwoods differs by species but is unaffected by nitrogen fertilization.  Biogeochemistry 97:2-3.

Weand, M.P., M.A. Arthur, G.M. Lovett, K.C. Weathers, R.L. McCulley.  2010.  Effects of tree species on forest floor microbial communities and extracellula4r enzyme activities. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42:  2161-2173.

McEwan, R.W., L.G. Arthur-Paratley, L.K. Rieske, M.A. Arthur.  2009.  A multi-assay comparison of seed germination inhibition by Lonicera maackii and co-occurring native shrubs.  Flora, doi:10.1016/j.flora/209.12.031.

Alexander, H.A. and M.A. Arthur.  2009.  Foliar morphology and chemistry of upland oaks red maple, and sassafras seedlings in response to single and repeated prescribed fire.  Canadian Journal of Forest Research 39:  740-754.

Christensen, L.M., G.M. Lovett, K.C. Weathers, and M.A. Arthur.  2009.  The influence of tree species, nitrogen fertilization, and soil C to N ratio on gross soil nitrogen transformations.  Soil Science Society of America Journal 73:  638-646.

Fabio, E.S., M.A. Arthur, and C.C. Rhoades.  2009.  Influence of moisture regime and tree species composition on nitrogen cycling dynamics in hardwood forests of Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky, USA.  Canadian Journal of Forest Research 39:  330-341.

McEwan, R.W., M.K. Birchfield, A. Schoergendorfer, M.A. Arthur.  2009.  Leaf phenology and freeze tolerance of the invasive shrub Amur honeysuckle and potential native competitors.  Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 136:  212-220.

McEwan, R.W., L.K. Rieske, and M.A. Arthur. 2009  Potential interaction between invasive woody shrubs and the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), an invasive insect herbivore.  Biological Invasions 11:  1053-1058.