For the Southeast US, biogeography models predict an increase in aridity with vegetation changes from temperate deciduous forest to southern mixed forest if there are moderate temperature increases, or to savanna landscapes under drier scenarios (Bachelet et al. 2001). Given this forecast, I hypothesize that the colonization potential of coastal and more southern species in the North Carolina Piedmont and southern Appalachians will be enhanced by a warmer and drier climate. The nature of this vegetation shift will mainly depend on the adaptability of these species to the specific characteristics of the sites. Considering that recruitment is the limiting stage for successful establishment of tree populations (Harper 1977), I propose to study recruitment limitation of potential migrant species relative to local trees in two regions in North Carolina, the Piedmont and the southern Appalachian mountains. Experimental manipulations will allow the quantification of recruitment potential of non-native tree species and their performance with respect to native species. Field and greenhouse experiments will be used to develop and parameterize a model of community recruitment. I will employ the model to elucidate potential changes in forest species composition under a suite of future climate scenarios. Both data and modeling work are expected to improve our understanding about the mechanisms that may be involved in restructuring communities in the face of a changing climate.
Copyright 2017 Environmental Data Initiative.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants
#1565103 and #1629233. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations
expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of
the National Science Foundation. Please
with questions, comments, or for technical assistance regarding this web site or the
Environmental Data Initiative.
EDI is proud to be affiliated with the following organizations: