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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2014

  • Title: Group Project: Monitoring Ecosystem Physiology and Vegetation Structure in Recent Clearings within Harvard Forest and its Surrounds
  • Primary Author: Danielle Ignace (Independent)
  • Abstract:

    Ecological disturbances and management activities perturb ecosystem-atmosphere exchanges of water, carbon, and energy in profound ways. Exactly how ecosystems respond to disturbance has important implications for a host of ecosystem services, such as: carbon sequestration, surface albedo, water quality and exchange, climate regulation, and wildlife habitat. However, describing the degree, character, and persistence of such disturbances is hampered by variations in space and time. This group project’s overarching objective is to quantify how clearcut forest harvesting influences ecosystem services. We are approaching this goal with detailed, intensive field measurement techniques, combined with remote sensing and innovative technology. This work will contribute towards quantifying the net effect of forest cover change on the climate. The following linked projects showcase this collaborative effort that bridges various approaches to monitoring vegetation structure and ecosystem function in recent clearings:

    Project 1: Post-Disturbance Dynamics of Carbon, Water and Energy Fluxes Between Land and Atmosphere (Chris Williams lab, Clark University).

    Project 2: Tram Installation and Instrumentation for Semi-Continuous Monitoring of Canopy Microclimate, Physiology, and Structure (Mark VanScoy (Harvard Forest) and Paul Siqueira (UMass)).

    Project 3: Dynamics of leaf-level carbon and water exchange (Danielle Ignace, Smith College).

    As part of this collaborative group project, I am investigating how leaf-level carbon and water fluxes of individual species change over time in a post-clearcut site (Project 3). A LI-6400 portable photosynthesis system will be used to leaf-level photosynthesis and transpiration rates of the dominant species located throughout the clearcut site (Figure 1). This will complement the measurements of ecosystem-atmosphere exchanges of carbon, water and energy and measurements of canopy microclimate, physiology and structure. The data will provide a strong physiological component to quantifying the ecosystem response to clear-cutting.

  • Research Category: Forest-Atmosphere Exchange, Group Projects, Physiological Ecology, Population Dynamics, and Species Interactions