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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Tree planting is increasingly being adopted as a strategy to address global change, including mitigation, adaptation, and restoration. Although reforestation has long been central to forest management, the desired outcomes of traditional and emerging tree-planting strategies face barriers linked to a lack of ecological diversity in forest nurseries. In the present article, we outline how insufficient diversity in nursery seedlings among species, genotypes, and stock types has impeded and will continue to hinder the implementation of diverse ecological or climate-suitable planting targets, now and into the future. To support this, we demonstrate disparities in seedling diversity among nursery inventories, focusing on the northern United States. To overcome these challenges, we recommend avenues for improving policy and financing, informational resources and training, and research and monitoring. Absent these advances, current seedling production and practices will fall short of ambitious tree-planting goals proposed for forest restoration and global change mitigation and adaptation.

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  3. Abstract

    Alterations in global climate via extreme precipitation will have broadscale implications on ecosystem functioning. The increased frequency of drought, coupled with heavy, episodic rainfall are likely to generate impacts on biotic and abiotic processes across aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Despite the demonstrated shifts in global precipitation, less is known how extreme precipitation interacts with biophysical factors to control future demographic processes, especially those sensitive to climate extremes such as organismal recruitment and survival. We utilized a field‐based precipitation manipulation experiment in 0.1 ha forest canopy openings to test future climate scenarios characterized by extreme precipitation on temperate tree seedling survival. The effects of planting seedbeds (undisturbed leaf litter/organic material vs. scarified, exposed mineral soils), seedling ontogeny, species, and functional traits were examined against four statistically defined precipitation scenarios. Results indicated that seedlings grown within precipitation treatments characterized by heavy, episodic rainfall preceded by prolonged drying responded similarly to drought treatments lacking episodic inputs. Moreover, among all treatment conditions tested, scarified seedbeds most strongly affected seedling survivorship (odds ratio 6.9). Compared with any precipitation treatment, the effect size (predicted probabilities) of the seedbed was more than twice as important in controlling seedling survivorship. However, the interaction between precipitation and seedbed resulted in a 27.9% improvement in survivorship for moisture‐sensitive species. Seedling sensitivity to moisture was variable among species, and most closely linked with functional traits such as seed mass. For instance, under dry moisture regimes, survivorship increased linearly with seed mass (log transformed; adjustedR2 = 0.72,p < 0.001), yet no relationship was apparent under wet moisture regimes. Although precipitation influenced survival, extreme rainfall events were not enough to offset moisture deficits nor provide a rescue effect under drought conditions. The relationships reported here highlight the importance of plant seedbeds and species (e.g., functional traits) as edaphic and biotic controls that modify the influence of extreme future precipitation on seedling survival in temperate forests. Finally, we demonstrated the biophysical factors that were most influential to early forest development and that may override the negative effects of increasingly variable precipitation. This work contributes to refinements of species distribution models and can inform reforestation strategies intended to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem function under increasing climate extremes.

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  4. null (Ed.)