White pine is a denizen of the southern boreal forest. Our work in the southern boreal forest examines regeneration patterns as a function disturbance – wind, fire or both – in addition to climate change.
Anthropogenic climate change will likely result in shifts in tree species ranges and abundances. Our research in experimentally warmed plots at sites in northern Minnesota examines the effect of warming on tree seedling growth and function.
Tree leaves come in various forms and sizes but follow similar rules. Trait-based approaches help us look beyond the individual characteristics of ecosystems to uncover underlying mechanisms that shape properties of forests and that may be used to predict how forests will change with time.
Wildflowers such as Trillium are disappearing from hardwood forests in Minnesota as earthworms invade. Our research on earthworms and buckthorn seeks to understand factors that control invasion patterns, the relative importance of these factors and the direction of relationships between factors controlling invasions of non-native species.
This research examines the effects of functional diversity on ecosystem productivity and the mechanisms behind it. This project hopes to answer one of the most important theoretical and practical questions in ecology: what is the role of biodiversity in maintaining productivity and resilience of natural ecosystems?