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Harvard Forest REU Symposium Abstract 2021

  • Title: Assessing need and potential for assisted allele migration in the Northeast
  • Author: Nautica T Jones (University of Louisiana at Monroe)
  • Abstract:

    Shifts in climate have been implicated as a cause for increases in disease spread, drought and flooding events, strength and frequency of storms, and offsets in seasonal progressions(Korner & Basler, 2010). Seasonal progressions stimulate the phenological responses of plants and thus are vital to the timing of their life cycle(Korner & Basler, 2010). Understanding phenological responses to climate change is fundamental to conservation and climate change prediction and mitigation(Fahey et al., 2010).These responses are dictated by both genetic and environmental factors and a forest’s ability to adapt varies according to species composition, gene flow, and genetic variation, among others(Aitken et al., 2008). Given that trees are highly locally adapted and phenology is an adaptive trait, we would expect phenological timing to vary significantly among allopatric populations(Aitken et al., 2008). To investigate this I will analyze phenocamera images from several temperate forest sites across northeastern North America in RStudio using package Phenopix and extract the phenological data of the northern red oak (Quercusrubra) trees pictured. My report on the phenological data will use the amount of standard deviation between start of season dates as a proxy measure of standing genetic variation; allowing me to ascertain populations' potential to adapt to a warmer climate.

  • Research Category: Conservation and Management; Forest-Atmosphere Exchange; Group Projects; Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics