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Harvard Forest REU Symposium Abstract 2017

  • Title: Explaining what causes the intraspecific variation of phenological events of Quercus rubra L. and Acer rubrum L.
  • Author: Johnny Buck (Northwest Indian College)
  • Abstract:

    It is important to improve our understanding of individual tree phenology strategies to increase our knowledge of the associations between vegetation canopy and the periodic changes of photosynthetic uptake of CO2. To gain this insight, we looked at two dominant hardwood species (a ring porous and a diffuse porous) in the Harvard Forest (Petersham, MA), Quercus rubra L. and Acer rubrum L. From five different PhenoCam sites, I isolated and created individual masks for 24 Q. rubra L. and eight A. rubrum L. crowns. Information extracted from these masks were used to produce an individual Green chromatic coordinate (Gcc), that was utilized to identify seasonal phenology patterns and length of growing season. The trees masked were located out in the forest, cored and the diameter at breast height was recorded. In the tree lab, the cores were dated and the tree rings measured. Currently, tests are being conducted to measure variation of phenology patterns that will inform us of the range of days when we can expect Q. rubra. and A. rubrum trees to begin spring leaf out, their mean length of the growing season and range of days when we can expect their senescence to end. We are also testing to see if trees that have a longer growing season will have a greater growth rate, and test whether younger trees leaf out earlier than older trees. Due to the ambition of this project, results aren’t currently available and will be shared at the Harvard Forest 2017 Summer Symposium.

  • Research Category: Physiological Ecology, Population Dynamics, and Species Interactions; Group Projects; Forest-Atmosphere Exchange; Ecological Informatics and Modelling; Conservation and Management; Biodiversity Studies