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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2010

  • Title: Observational, comparative, and experimental studies of foundation species in eastern forests
  • Primary Author: Aaron Ellison (Harvard University)
  • Abstract:

    Foundation species define and structure ecological systems. In forests around the world, foundation tree species are declining due to overexploitation, pests, and pathogens. In the northeastern United States, eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is threatened regionally by the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). On Cape Cod and especially Martha's Vineyard, widespread death of oaks (Quercus spp.) has occurred following several years of insect infestation and drought. Eastern oaks also may be susceptible to sudden oak death (Phytophthora ramorum). I describe the observational, comparative, and experimental studies that Harvard Forest researchers are using to study responses of forest ecosystems to the loss of foundation species.

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