John E. Silvius
Welcome to my faculty emeritus home page. Although I have retired from the Department of Science & Mathematics at Cedarville University, I have been encouraged to maintain some of the internet resources developed in conjunction with colleagues and students. I hope you will find them useful. If you do, or if you would like further information or have questions, I'd love to hear from you.
What's in the Photo?
The photo above represents one of my favorite plant communities in SW Ohio -- an abandoned railroad right-of-way. These narrow "slices" of landscape are remnants of pre-settlement Ohio that are rich in history and biodiversity. As you can see, this right-of-way is bordered by farm fields (left) and is being invaded by a succession of shrubs and trees. This particular "slice" of land stretches across Clark and Madison counties and is now home to the Prairie Grass Trail, part Ohio-Erie Bike Trail. With the cooperation of park districts and local residents, we have sought to conserve plant species in these refuges that were once common in the tallgrass prairies of the great plains. The great plains grassland extended into the midwest as islands of prairie in a landscape otherwise dominated by deciduous forests. My students and I have been privileged to study and assist in the management of "prairie remnants" which not only are valuable remnants of our history but also provide valuable habitat to support a richer biodiversity in our current agricultural and urban landscape. You can read more about prairies, wetlands, and our interest in them by using links to my resources above.