Horticulture Senior Seminar Presents: Dr. Joshua Caplan

Horticulture Senior Seminar Presents Dr. Joshua Caplan


Water water everywhere, but not so much to drink: Limitations on plant water use in green stormwater infrastructure systems

Cities rely on green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) to achieve two primary aims: preventing sewer overflows into nearby waterways as well as greening streets. However, despite the high volumes of water that flow through GSI systems, plants can experience surprisingly severe water shortages in GSIs. This seminar will describe a series of investigations in Philadelphia's GSIs that focused on water-related challenges faced by plants and what the implications were for plant physiology and water use. Studies span the hydrology of bioswale and tree trench GSIs, the legacy of winter road salt application, and rates of evapotranspiration. The results point to several solutions that can and will be incorporated into GSI design and management practices. 

Josh Caplan is a Research Associate at Temple University in Philadelphia, where his research addresses how plants and soils respond to intensive modification of the abiotic environment. His PhD is from Portland State University, where he worked with Alan Yeakley investigating how a pernicious invasive plant deals with seasonal water shortages. Josh has since held positions at Rutgers University, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and Bryn Mawr College working with plants and soils experiencing an array of conditions (e.g. elevated CO2, altered precipitation regimes, heavy metal exposure, and nutrient pollution). Much of his recent work has been in Philadelphia's green stormwater infrastructure systems, which he'll focus on in this seminar. Josh is also part of a team planning a study at UMBC beginning next year to determine how the water use of urban trees is influenced by species and site characteristics.


Register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.