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Abstract Detail


Golz, Haley [1], Etterson, Julie [2], Haines, Dustin [3], Dymond, Salli [4].

Response of Forest Understory Species to Experimental Treatments that Mimic Climate Change.

The climate of northeast Minnesota has already warmed by 0.6-1.7 C and this, in combination with other environmental stressors, has led to mass tree die offs in the coastal forests of Lake Superior, especially of paper birch. Tree mortality affects water quality by increasing streamflow and nutrient influx into streams and lakes. In contrast, forest habitat restoration, including both trees and understory species, can ameliorate these problems by restoring hydrological function. This research asks: What is the best source material to use for habitat restoration? A collaboration between the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) and the Nature Conservancy showed that trees sourced from more southern locations have higher survival and exhibit traits that make them more adapted to warmer and drier climate conditions, such as thicker leaves and a protracted growing season. Forest understory species are less well studied than trees, despite the fact that they also play a vital role in water dynamics and can account for >15% of annual evapotranspiration in forested systems. Our hypothesis is that herbaceous understory species sampled from more southern climates will also be better adapted to warmer and drier growing seasons and will lead to better restoration success and hydrological outcomes. To test this hypothesis, a graduate student, Haley Golz, will work with a plant geneticist (Dr. Julie Etterson), a plant ecologist (Dr. Dustin Haines) and a forest ecohydrologist (Dr. Salli Dymond) to study two herbaceous forest understory species sampled from a local and a more southern site that are grown out-of-doors in experimental conditions with manipulated temperature and water treatments at the UMD Research and Field Studies Center. If our hypothesis is correct, restoration efforts may be more effective if southern seed sources of herbaceous plant species are also planted into coastal environments during habitat restoration, ultimately enhancing forest health and restoring hydrological patterns in Lake Superior watersheds after climate-driven tree die-offs.

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1 - University of Minnesota Duluth, Integrated Biosciences, 207 Swenson Science Building, 1035 Kirby Drive, Duluth, MN, 55812, USA
2 - University Of Minnesota Duluth, 207 Swenson Science Building, 1110 Kirby Drive, 207 Swenson Science Building, 1035 Kirby Drive, Duluth, MN, 55812, United States
3 - University Of Minnesota Duluth, Biology, 207 Swenson Science Building, 1035 Kirby Drive, Duluth, MN, 55812, USA
4 - University of Minnesota Duluth, Earth and Environmental Sciences, 229 Heller Hall, 1114 Kirby Drive, Duluth, MN, 55812, USA

Climate change
herbaceous layer.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Ecology
Location: Grand Ballroom - Exhibit Hall/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEC024
Abstract ID:840
Candidate for Awards:None

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