US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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D. Jean Lodge

Sabana Station, Rt. 988 and 983
Luquillo, PR 00745
Phone: 787-889-7445
Contact D. Jean Lodge

Current Research

Current research examines:

  • Rebuilding the phylogenetic and systematic understanding of basidiomycete fungi
  • Contributing to the All Taxon Biotic Inventory of the Great Smoky Mt. National Park
  • Fungal decomposer responses to disturbance (storms and silvicultural practices)
  • The roles of different decomposer fungal groups in maintaining soil carbon and fertility
  • Use of decomposer fungi in restoration

Research Interests

I am gathering data on fungal phylogeny that can be applied to biogeography to gain a better understanding of how fungi spread and evolve. I am always on the lookout for new or emerging forest disease problems caused by fungi. I am also interested in the fate of soil carbon derived from different fungal decomposition processes (how much is lost to the atmosphere as CO2 or stored, the form, and the function/value to forest productivity), especially in light of their responses to regional and global change.

Why This Research is Important

Molecular methods are increasingly being used to detect forest pathogens and changes in microbial communities in response to disturbance or stress, but use of those methods is dependent on having a strong backbone provided by DNA sequences and phylogenetic trees that are based on them. The All-Taxon Biotic Inventory of the Great Smoky Mt. National Park serves to establish benchmarks for an important forested recreational area that is changing rapidly because of introduced pathogens and insects, air pollution and climate change, while simultaneously providing genetic material for rebuilding the fungal tree of life. Fungi and other microbes regulate the release of nutrients from debris as well as the availability of soil nutrient pools, so determining how fungi respond to storm damage or silvicultural practices is critical for predicting the availability of nutrients for tree growth. Furthermore, different types of decay result in different types of soil organic matter, which is critical in the maintenance of soil fertility and forest productivity. On steep forest slopes, fungi are critical for maintaining leaf litter in place which then protects the soil from erosion, and slows siltation of water reservoirs.


  • North Carolina State University, Ph.D. Botany/Ecology program,
  • North Carolina State University, M.S. Department of Plant Pathology,
  • Kent State University, B.S. Department of Biology,

Professional Organizations

  • Mycological Society of America
  • British Mycological Society
  • Puerto Rican Mycological Society
  • Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
  • Society for Conservation Biology

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

Last updated on : 04/08/2014