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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2017

  • Title: Invaded forests in a changing world: tree seedlings growth responses and plant-soil feedbacks under climate change and invasion
  • Primary Author: Julia Wheeler (University of Massachusetts - Amherst )
  • Additional Authors: Serita Frey (University of New Hampshire - Main Campus); Kristina Stinson (University of Massachusetts - Amherst )
  • Abstract:

    Understanding tree seedling responses to interacting abiotic and biotic change factors is crucial, as temperate forest ecosystems are increasingly being modified by climate change and biological invasions. We examined seedling growth responses and arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization in a common and increasingly dominant tree species, Acer rubrum (red maple) under the interaction of climate change factors (soil warming and chronic nitrogen fertilization) and a biotic change agent, invasion by Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard). Acer rubrum seedlings leafed out earlier in spring and produced more biomass above and belowground under soil warming conditions. However, the positive growth responses to soil warming were moderated by chronic N fertilization and A. petiolata invasion. Work to characterize effects of climate change and invasion on mycorrhizal colonization is ongoing. Our results highlight the importance of understanding tree seedling responses and plant-soil feedbacks to multiple environmental change factors in concert, and help characterize the complexity of predicting red maple performance and recruitment under climate change.

  • Research Category: Invasive Plants, Pests & Pathogens, Large Experiments and Permanent Plot Studies