I study the dynamics of plant communities and populations. Most of my research has been concerned with the ecological characteristics of woody species in the eastern United States. Of particular interest to me are processes associated with tree death (creating holes or gaps in the forest canopy) and replacement in old-growth mesic forests. Research sites, many revisited periodically, include the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee and North Carolina) and nearby Research Natural Areas (U.S. Forest Service), Hueston Woods State Park (Ohio), sites in Pennsylvania and New York, the Wright State University woods, and stands of old-growth southern beech in New Zealand. I also have studied woody plant distribution in the Galapagos Islands. My students and I have examined variations in species abundance associated with differences in soils and topography and with differences in human land use such as past cutting history and position in the landscape (woodlot, fencerow, etc.). We have looked at several invasive plant species including Ailanthus altissima, Lonicera maackii, and Ranunculus ficaria. Current projects include succession in streamside forests, tree species distribution and changes over time in south central Ohio, and the effectiveness of pollination in fragmented woodlots. These studies typically involve the collection of much field data followed by statistical analysis on personal or mainframe computers, using self-written or packaged programs (e.g., PC-ORD and SAS).
Baumer, M., and J.R. Runkle. 2010. Tree seedling establishment under the native shrub, Asimina triloba. Castanea (“acceptable with minor revisions”).
Zimmerman, C.L., and J.R.Runkle. 2010. Using ecological land units for conservation planning in a southwestern Ohio watershed. Natural Areas Journal 30:27-38.
Wendeln, K.L. J.R.Runkle, and G.T.Watters. 2009. The freshwater mussels (Unionidae) of Twin Creek, southwest Ohio. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 24:451-460.
Espenschied-Reilly, A., and J.R.Runkle. 2008. Distribution and changes in abundance of Ailanthus altissima (Miller) Swingle in a southwest Ohio woodlot. Ohio Journal of Science 108:16-22.
Woods, J.N., J. Wilson, and J.R. Runkle. 2008. Influence of climate on butterfly community and population dynamics in western Ohio. Environmental Entomology 37:696-706.
Runkle, J.R., A. DiSalvo, Y. Graham-Gibson, and M. Dorning. 2007. Vegetation release eight years after removal of Lonicera maackii in west-central Ohio. Ohio Journal of Science 107:125-129.
Runkle, J.R. 2007. Impacts of beech bark disease and deer browsing on the old-growth forest. American Midland Naturalist 157:241-249.
Drury, S.A., and J.R.Runkle . 2006. Forest vegetation change in southeast Ohio: Do older forests serve as useful models for predicting the successional trajectory of future forests? Forest Ecology and Management. 223:200-210.
Runkle, J.R., L.A.Fairbanks, K.H.Armstrong, T.S.Campbell, and A.L.Espenschied-Reilly 2005. Changes in older and younger woods in west-central Ohio. Ohio Journal of Science 105:116-124.
Runkle, J.R. and W.A.Runkle. 2005. Local distribution patterns of Opuntia echios echios, Bursera graveolens and Scalesia crockeri on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. Galapagos Research 63:26-31.
Runkle, J.R. and W.A.Runkle. 2005. Structure and development of a Scalesia pedunculata stand in the Galapagos Islands. Galapagos Research 63:12-15.
Runkle, J.R. 2005. Twenty-four years of change in an old Tsuga canadensis woods affected by beech bark disease. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 132:483-491.
Kupfer, J.A. and J.R. Runkle. 2003. Edge-mediated effects on stand dynamic processes in forest interiors: a coupled field and simulation approach. Oikos 101:135-146.
Forrester, J.A. and J.R. Runkle. 2000. Mortality and replacement patterns of an old-growth Acer-Fagus woods in the Holden Arboretum, northeastern Ohio. Naturalist 144: 227-242.
Runkle, J.R., 2000. Canopy tree turnover in old-growth mesic forests of eastern North America. Ecology 81:554-567.
Canfield, B. and J.R. Runkle. 1999. Size structure and composition of trees in Oakwood, Ohio: historical and environmental determinants. Ohio Journal of Science 99:102-110.
Runkle, J.R., 1998. Changes in southern Appalachian canopy tree gaps sampled thrice. Ecology 79:1768-1780.
Runkle, J.R., G.H. Stewart, and J.R. McClenahen. 1997. Temporal changes in height and diameter growth for two Nothofagus species in New Zealand. Journal of Vegetation Science 8:437-446.
Kupfer, J.A. and J.R. Runkle. 1996. Early gap successional pathways in a Fagus-Acer forest preserve: pattern and determinants. Journal of Vegetation Science 7:247-256.
Runkle, J.R. 1996. Central mesophytic forests. EASTERN OLD-GROWTH FORESTS. Mary B. Davis, ed. Island Press. Washington, D.C. pp. 161-177.