Global Change and Forest Regeneration

We are evaluating forest regeneration in both the south-central Rocky Mountains (Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho) and the southern Appalachian Mountains (western North Carolina and Virginia) under current global change scenarios that include warming temperature, precipitation, and cloud cover regimes. This work attempts to identify points of sensitivity in the regeneration process by using quantitative comparisons of limitations on different life history stages from one year to the next.. Photosynthetic carbon acquisition is used as a common denominator for the life stage comparisons of growth and seed production, along with measurements of seed production, dispersal, and germination success. Seedling establishment is of particular interest due to the high mortality measured for this life stage in both of these forest ecosystems. (Dan Johnson and Keith Reinhardt)