Coffee Hour: Influences of global change on central Appalachian forest assembly

Friday, February 7, 2014 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm
3:30 p.m. Refreshments are offered in the E. Willard Miller seminar room, 319 Walker Building 4:00 p.m. The lecture begins in the John J. Cahir Auditorium, 112 Walker Building

Influences of global change on central Appalachian forest assembly

About the talk

Forest productivity and diversity in the northeastern US are cornerstones of forest resilience and fundamental to ecosystem services and wood product economies. Yet over the next century global change stressors are expected to alter forest species composition dramatically. As temperatures rise, habitat suitability for tree species in northeastern forests is projected to migrate northward. The response of tree species to this shift in climate envelopes is uncertain due to the longevity of tree species and the interacting influence of human land use on forest assembly. Our research group focuses on the influence of climate, land use, and disturbance on forest composition and functioning. Through experimental and observational approaches we ask the question of how forest composition in the central Appalachians may change due to global change stressors. Our research shows that projected warmer and wetter conditions may not have a strong direct effect on tree species. In contrast, indirect effects of projected climate change on biotic interactions and forest ecosystems process will bring about surprising changes in forest dynamics. Our ability to project future forest composition in response to global change requires an aggregate understanding of how climate, biotic interactions, and species autogeny will affect forest assembly.

Suggested reading

• Microclimate and ecological threshold responses in a warming and wetting experiment following whole tree harvest PDF

• Experimental warming alters spring phenology of certain plant functional groups in an early successional forest community PDF

About the speaker
Margot KayeMargot Kaye:

Undergraduate in Environmental Sciences and Spanish at University of Virginia, 1993
M.S. at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona, 1997
Ph.D. in Ecology at Colorado State University, 2002
Fulbright in Madrid, Spain, 2001
Post-doc at Arizona State University, 2002–2004
Assistant Professor of Forest Ecology at Penn State since 2008 (Angela Rogers)