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Project ID: 14-3-01-16

Year: 2014

Date Started: 05/01/2014

Date Completed: 05/16/2016

Title: Fire-based management for promoting drought resistance of woody seedlings in a changing climate

Project Proposal Abstract: Expected changes in rainfall patterns with climate change may have substantial negative impacts on forest productivity and stand development. Adapting land management practices to mitigate potential forest declines represents a major challenge for researchers and land practitioners. Addressing this problem will require both an understanding of the impact of drought on tree vital rates and the role of management practices in mediating this impact. The vital rates of tree seedlings are of particular importance because of the observed vulnerability of seedlings to drought and their status as demographic bottlenecks to overstory recruitment. Furthermore, woody seedlings are highly impacted by management practices, such as prescribed surface fires, suggesting land management could play an important role in their survival under drought. Fire is hypothesized to improve the water relations of woody seedlings and thus their survival under drought by increasing root to shoot ratios and the pit membrane thickness of root xylem. To our knowledge, however, no study to date has tested these hypotheses in the field. We propose to address this gap by (1) comparing the water relations of Quercus alba seedlings under prescribed and suppressed fire regimes and (2) assessing the survivorship of seedlings under each regime during an experimentally imposed drought. We predict that fire-exposed Q. alba seedlings will have improved water relations and thus higher survivorship after drought than seedlings growing in fire suppressed areas. The survivorship data produced from this study will be valuable for constraining estimates of seedling vital rates under future drought conditions, as well as informing land managers of practices that may help to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Principal Investigator: Jennifer M. Fraterrigo

Agency/Organization: University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

Branch or Dept: Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Walter K. Knorr

University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

OSPRA-Office of Sponsored Programs & Research Admin

Budget Contact

David W. Richardson

University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

OSPRA-Office of Sponsored Programs & Research Admin

Stage 2 Lead Reviewer

Brian J. Harvey

University of Colorado-Boulder

Department of Geography

Stage 2 Reviewer

Sara H. Brown

New Mexico Highlands University

Natural Resources Management

Stage 2 Reviewer

Fernando Garcia Menendez

North Carolina State University-Raleigh

College of Engineering

Stage 2 Reviewer

Jeffrey M. Kane

Humboldt State University

Department of Forestry & Wildland Resources

Stage 2 Reviewer

Monique E. Rocca

Colorado State University

Department of Forest, Rangeland & Watershed Stewardship

Student Investigator

Tyler K. Refsland

University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences


Project Locations

Consortium

Oak Woodlands


Level

State

Agency

Unit

REGIONAL

Northeast

FS


Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
  go to website 7740 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Potential for prescribed fire to promote drought resistance of seedlings in a changing climate
    7741 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Drought vulnerability of tree seedlings may be exacerbated by fire disturbance
view or print   7742 Final Report Summary Fire-based management for promoting drought resistance of woody seedlings in a changing climate
  go to website 7743 Website Webinar:Potential for prescribed fire to promote drought resistance of seedlings in changing climate
view or print   7744 Photo Rainout shelter design
view or print   7745 Photo Measuring leaf physiological rates with LICOR instrument
view or print   7746 Photo Comparison of ambient and drought plots

Supporting Documents

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