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Auburn University’s Donald E. Davis Arboretum earns national recognition for oak collection


As the College of Sciences and Mathematics Donald E. Davis Arboretum prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary, it has other big news to also celebrate. The Auburn landmark has been recognized as a member of the North American Plant Collections Consortium, or NAPCC, Multi-Site Quercus Collection, or MSQC. “This recognition of the arboretum's oak collection is really exciting for the university,” Dee Smith, curator of the Davis Arboretum, said. “It integrates Auburn University into a national organization of collections and increases the visibility of our research and conservation efforts.”

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Auburn researchers: climate change plays major role in decline of blackbird species


Populations of the rusty blackbird, a once-abundant North American species, have declined drastically in recent years, and Auburn University researchers say climate change is to blame. That’s the finding of graduate students Chris McClure, Brian Rolek and Kenneth McDonald published recently in the scientific journal Ecology and Evolution. Under the direction of ornithology professor Geoffrey Hill, McClure, Rolek and McDonald studied the blackbird decline and wrote the paper “Climate change and the decline of a once common bird.” The group analyzed rusty blackbird breeding data and climate indices and examined temperature oscillations in the Pacific Ocean, and concluded that climate change does in fact play a major role in the recent decline of the population.

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