skip to main content

Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 1832210

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    Fragmentation transforms the environment along forest edges. The prevailing narrative, driven by research in tropical systems, suggests that edge environments increase tree mortality and structural degradation resulting in net decreases in ecosystem productivity. We show that, in contrast to tropical systems, temperate forest edges exhibit increased forest growth and biomass with no change in total mortality relative to the forest interior. We analyze >48,000 forest inventory plots across the north-eastern US using a quasi-experimental matching design. At forest edges adjacent to anthropogenic land covers, we report increases of 36.3% and 24.1% in forest growth and biomass, respectively. Inclusion of edge impacts increases estimates of forest productivity by up to 23% in agriculture-dominated areas, 15% in the metropolitan coast, and +2% in the least-fragmented regions. We also quantify forest fragmentation globally, at 30-m resolution, showing that temperate forests contain 52% more edge forest area than tropical forests. Our analyses upend the conventional wisdom of forest edges as less productive than intact forest and call for a reassessment of the conservation value of forest fragments.

  2. Land-use history is the template upon which contemporary plant and tree populations establish and interact with one another and exerts a legacy on the structure and dynamics of species assemblages and ecosystems. We use the first census (2010–2014) of a 35-ha forest-dynamics plot at the Harvard Forest in central Massachusetts to describe the composition and structure of the woody plants in this plot, assess their spatial associations within and among the dominant species using univariate and bivariate spatial point-pattern analysis, and examine the interactions between land-use history and ecological processes. The plot includes 108,632 live stems ≥ 1 cm in diameter (2,215 individuals/ha) and 7,595 standing dead stems ≥ 5 cm in diameter. Live tree basal area averaged 42.25 m 2 /ha, of which 84% was represented by Tsuga canadensis (14.0 m 2 / ha), Quercus rubra (northern red oak; 9.6 m2/ ha), Acer rubrum (7.2 m 2 / ha) and Pinus strobus (eastern white pine; 4.4 m 2 / ha). These same four species also comprised 78% of the live aboveground biomass, which averaged 245.2 Mg/ ha. Across all species and size classes, the forest contains a preponderance (> 80,000) of small stems (<10-cm diameter) that exhibit a reverse-Jmore »size distribution. Significant spatial clustering of abundant overstory species was observed at all spatial scales examined. Spatial distributions of A. rubrum and Q. rubra showed negative intraspecific correlations in diameters up to at least a 150-m spatial lag, likely indicative of crowding effects in dense forest patches following intensive past land use. Bivariate marked point-pattern analysis, showed that T. canadensis and Q. rubra diameters were negatively associated with one another, indicating resource competition for light. Distribution and abundance of the common overstory species are predicted best by soil type, tree neighborhood effects, and two aspects of land-use history: when fields were abandoned in the late 19th century and the succeeding forest types recorded in 1908. In contrast, a history of intensive logging prior to 1950 and a damaging hurricane in 1938 appear to have had little effect on the distribution and abundance of present-day tree species. Our findings suggest that current day composition and structure are still being influenced by anthropogenic disturbances that occurred over a century ago.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  3. Disney, Mat ; Boyd, Doreen (Ed.)
  4. Abstract Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (EcM) associations are critical for host-tree performance. However, how mycorrhizal associations correlate with the latitudinal tree beta-diversity remains untested. Using a global dataset of 45 forest plots representing 2,804,270 trees across 3840 species, we test how AM and EcM trees contribute to total beta-diversity and its components (turnover and nestedness) of all trees. We find AM rather than EcM trees predominantly contribute to decreasing total beta-diversity and turnover and increasing nestedness with increasing latitude, probably because wide distributions of EcM trees do not generate strong compositional differences among localities. Environmental variables, especially temperature and precipitation, are strongly correlated with beta-diversity patterns for both AM trees and all trees rather than EcM trees. Results support our hypotheses that latitudinal beta-diversity patterns and environmental effects on these patterns are highly dependent on mycorrhizal types. Our findings highlight the importance of AM-dominated forests for conserving global forest biodiversity.
  5. null (Ed.)
  6. Terrestrial ecosystems are an important carbon store, and this carbon is vulnerable to microbial degradation with climate warming. After 30 years of experimental warming, carbon stocks in a temperate mixed deciduous forest were observed to be reduced by 30% in the heated plots relative to the controls. In addition, soil respiration was seasonal, as was the warming treatment effect. We therefore hypothesized that long-term warming will have higher expressions of genes related to carbohydrate and lipid metabolism due to increased utilization of recalcitrant carbon pools compared to controls. Because of the seasonal effect of soil respiration and the warming treatment, we further hypothesized that these patterns will be seasonal. We used RNA sequencing to show how the microbial community responds to long-term warming (~30 years) in Harvard Forest, MA. Total RNA was extracted from mineral and organic soil types from two treatment plots (+5°C heated and ambient control), at two time points (June and October) and sequenced using Illumina NextSeq technology. Treatment had a larger effect size on KEGG annotated transcripts than on CAZymes, while soil types more strongly affected CAZymes than KEGG annotated transcripts, though effect sizes overall were small. Although, warming showed a small effect on overall CAZymesmore »expression, several carbohydrate-associated enzymes showed increased expression in heated soils (~68% of all differentially expressed transcripts). Further, exploratory analysis using an unconstrained method showed increased abundances of enzymes related to polysaccharide and lipid metabolism and decomposition in heated soils. Compared to long-term warming, we detected a relatively small effect of seasonal variation on community gene expression. Together, these results indicate that the higher carbohydrate degrading potential of bacteria in heated plots can possibly accelerate a self-reinforcing carbon cycle-temperature feedback in a warming climate.« less