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Henry Howe

Henry F. Howe

Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences
UIC Biological Sciences, 3460 SES, M/C 066
845 West Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60607

Office: (312) 996-0666
Lab: (312) 413-0023
Fax: (312) 413-2435
Email: hfhowe@uic.edu

Complete CV | Biological Sciences
Please read this if you are interested in being a grad student in the Howe lab.

I am interested in biotic and abiotic forces that alter the interactions of species in established and restored communities. My primary research now entails tests of dispersal limitation in tropical trees in the restoration of plant dispersal processes in an agricultural mosaic in southern Mexico. Recent projects include a large exclosure project at the Morton Arboretum with Joel Brown in which we tested the effects of seed-eating by birds and foliage consumption by voles on the density, productivity, dominance, species richness, and diversity of synthetic tallgrass communities. Other projects along these lines involve rodent exclosures in Wisconsin, and several studies of the effects of burn season on the population and community ecology of tallgrass restorations. The point of all of the above is to use experimental restoration to explore the ramifications of biotic animal effects or abiotic fire effects in shaping community composition and biodiversity, using replicated communities that receive the same seeding composition.

Other research interests involve established communities. Presently I am collaborating with my former student Maria Miriti and S. Joseph Wright of the Smithsonian Institution on the spatial demography and interactions of Colorado Desert perennials in southern California. An earlier interest explored the interactions of tropical trees with insect seed predators and the birds and mammals that promoted or precluded seed dispersal in Central America. This was re-visited with my former student Norbert Cordeiro with studies of fragmentation, seed dispersal, and seedling recruitment of endemic trees in the Usambara Mountains of Tanzania. My graduates are doing or have recently done research in Brazil, India, Kenya, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Tanzania, and the USA.

A productive collaboration with John Lyne of the University of Iowa, now at the University of Pittsburgh, explored the rhetoric of science, including debate among scientists and the projection of expertise to non-scientists. Over the next few years I hope to explore issues of environmental ethics and issues of reductionism and epistemology with competent help in the humanities.

Current Doctoral / MS Students

Erika Arnold (biogeography of bat flies)
Luca Borghesio (African bird communities)
Kesha Braunskill (seed dispersal by rodents)
Marinés de la Peña-Domene (dispersal and recruitment limitation in Mexico)
Crystal Guzman (seed dispersal in Mexico)
Pia Sethi (hunting and seed dispersal in northeastern India)
Carrie Seltzer (bat ecology)
Amy Taylor Sullivan (animal effects on plant interactions)
Mariana Valencia (mycorrhizae and tropical plant interactions)
Jenny Zambrano (recruitment of animal-dispersed tropical trees)

Recent Publications

Howe, H. F. and J. Lyne. 1992. Gene talk in sociobiology. Social Epistemology 6:109-163.

Howe, H. F. 1993. Aspects of variation in a neotropical seed dispersal system. Vegetatio 107/108:149-162.

Howe, H. F. 1994. Response of early- and late-flowering plants to fire season in experimental prairies. Ecological Applications 4:121-133.

Howe, H. F. 1994. Managing species diversity in tallgrass prairie: assumptions and implications. Conservation Biology 8:691-704.

Dow, B. D., M. V. Ashley, and H. F. Howe. 1995. Isolation and characterization of highly variable (GA/CT)n microsatellites in the bur oak, Quercus macrocarpa. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 91:137-141.

Howe, H. F. 1995. Succession and fire season in experimental prairie plantings. Ecology 76:1917-1925.

Howe, H. F. and L. C. Westley. 1997. Ecology of pollination and seed dispersal. In Plant Ecology, M. Crawley (Ed). Second Edition. Blackwell Scientific, London. pp 262-281.

Miriti, M., H. F. Howe, and S. J. Wright. 1998. Spatial patterns of mortality in a Colorado Desert plant community. Plant Ecology 136:41-51.

Howe, H. F. and J. S. Brown. 1999. Effects of birds and rodents on synthetic tallgrass communities. Ecology 80:1776-1781.

Howe, H. F. 1999.Response of Zizia aurea to seasonal fire and mowing in a restored prairie. American Midland Naturalist 141:373-380.

Howe, H. F. 1999. Dominance, diversity and grazing in tallgrass restoration. Ecological Restoration (North America) 17:59-66.

Maina, G. and H. F. Howe. 2000. Inherent rarity in community restoration. Conservation Biology, 14:1335-1340.

Howe, H. F. 2000. Grass response to seasonal burns in experimental plantings. Journal of Range Management 53:437-441.

Howe, H. F. and J. S. Brown. 2000. Early consequences of rodent granivory on synthetic dicot communities. Ecological Applications 10:917-924.

Howe, H. F. and M. Miriti. 2000. No question: Seed dispersal matters. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 15:434-436.

Miriti, M., S. J. Wright, and H. F. Howe. 2001. The effects of neighbors on the mortality of a dominant desert shrub (Ambrosia dumosa). Ecological Monographs 71:491-510.

Howe, H. F. and J. S. Brown. 2001. Ghost of granivory past. Ecology Letters 4:371-378.

Cordeiro, N. and H. F. Howe. 2001. Low recruitment of animal-dipsersed trees in Montane African forest fragments. Conservation Biology 15: 1733-1741.

Saha, S. and H. F. Howe. 2001. The bamboo fire cycle hypothesis: A comment. American Naturalist 158: 659-664.

Howe, H. F., J. S. Brown, and B. Zorn-Arnold. 2002. A rodent plague on tallgrass diversity. Ecology Letters. 5: 30-36.

Copeland, T., W. J. Sluis, and H.F. Howe. 2002. Fire season and dominance in an Illinois tallgrass prairie restoration. Restoration Ecology 10: 315-323.

Martinez-Garza, C. and H.F. Howe. 2003. Restoring tropical diversity: beating the time tax on species loss. Journal of Applied Ecology. 40:423-429.

Saha, S. and H. F. Howe. 2003. Species composition and fire in a deciduous dry forest. Ecology 84:3118-3123.

Cordeiro, N. and H. F. Howe. 2003. Forest fragmentation severs mutualism between seed dispersers and an endemic African tree. Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences (USA) 100:14052-14054.

Howe, H.F. and D. Lane. 2004. Vole-driven succession in experimental wet-prairie restorations. Ecological Applications 14:1295-1305.

Howe, H.F. and M. N. Miriti. 2004. When seed dispersal matters. Bioscience 54:651-660.

Martínez-Garza, C., V. Peña, M. Ricker, A. Campos and H. F. Howe. 2005. Restoring tropical biodiversity: Leaf traits predict growth and survival of late-successional mid-canopy trees in early-successional environments. Forest Ecology and Management 217: 365-379.

Zorn-Arnold, B., J.S. Brown, and H.F. 2006. Obvious and cryptic vole suppression of Desmanthus illinoiensis in experimental restorations. International Journal of Plant Sciences. 167(5): 961-968.

Howe, H.F., B. Zorn -Arnold, A. Sullivan, and J.S. Brown. 2006. Massive and distinctive effects of meadow voles on grassland vegetation. Ecology 87(12): 3007-3113.

Howe, H. F. 2006. Is curiosity good for anybody? The George Wright Forum 23: 57-62.

Miriti, M. N., S. Rodríguez-Buriticá, S. J. Wright, and H. F. Howe. 2007. Episodic death across species of desert shrubs. Ecology 88(1): 32-36.

Nunez-Iturri , G. and H.F. Howe. 2007. Bushmeat and the fate of trees with seeds dispersed by large primates in a lowland rainforest in western Amazonia. Biotropica 39(3): 348-254.

Zorn-Arnold, B., and H. F. Howe. 2007. Density and seed set in a self-compatible forb, Penstemon digitalis (Plantaginaceae), with multiple pollinators. American Journal of Botany 94(10): 1594-1602.

Kramer, A. T., J. L. Ison, M. V. Ashley, and H. F. Howe. 2008. The paradox of forest fragmentation genetics. Conservation Biology. 22(4): 878-885.

Nunez-Iturri, G., O. Olsson, and H. F. Howe. 2008. Hunting reduces recruitment of primate-dispersed trees in Amazonian Peru. Biological Conservation 141: 1536-1546.

Howe, H. F. 2008. Reversal of fortune: Plant suppression and recovery after vole herbivory. Oecologia. 157: 279-286.