USING STRUCTURAL AND THERMAL HETEROGENEITY TO MINIMIZE OR REVERSE THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN TERRESTRIAL SYSTEMS

Project Details

Description

Current forest management techniques have reduced structural heterogeneity at broad ecological scales, likely having a major impact on species diversity and ecosystem function. I will use stage-structured Species Area Distributions and Species Biomass Distributions to quantify differences in structural heterogeneity in forest plots across a latitudinal gradient. Two types of forest stands will be compared: mixed-stage structure (heterogeneous), and single-stage structure (homogenous). By quantifying differences at each site, I hope to show that structural heterogeneity buffers extreme variation in climate, allowing for the maintenance of rare plant and arthropod populations.Synopsis:My research will focus on management and restoration efforts that change structural and thermal heterogeneity in forest ecosystems. By combining theory and management, I hope to quantify levels of structural and thermal heterogeneity that minimize the effects of climate change in forest ecosystems. Highly structured forests are expected to better maintain rare plant and arthropod diversity, compared to single-stage structured forests, even after extreme climatic events.

StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/09/1031/08/13

Funding

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: $111,000.00

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