November 1, 2019 at 11:50 pm

Plant Biology Colloquium | Fine-Scale Shifts in Forest Composition from 1800 to 2100, Nov. 1

James Dyer, portrait

Dr. James Dyer

The Environmental & Plant Biology Colloquium Series presents Dr. James Dyer on “Fine-Scale Shifts in Forest Composition, 1800-2100” on Friday, Nov. 1, at 11:50 a.m. in Porter 104.

Dyer is a Professor of Geography at Ohio University.

Abstract: When public lands were surveyed in the U.S., “witness trees” were often recorded to facilitate the relocation of property boundaries; these records provide a snapshot of forest conditions prior to Euro-American settlement and land clearing.  In this talk, we will compare witness trees and present-day plot data to explore long-term vegetation changes in the central Appalachians.  Compositionally, topographic distinctiveness is apparent in both the presettlement and contemporary forest, but over the past two centuries several taxa revealed changes in site affinities.  Shifts in their realized niches suggest diverse individualistic responses to a multiple set of interacting drivers, including changes in land use, drought, N deposition, and fire at the time of the original surveys.  We will also consider future climate change on forest composition, through the application of a GIS-based water balance tool.

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