Wednesday, August 4, 2010: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
301-302, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Forests across much of the Eastern Deciduous Forest (EDF) are characterized by ongoing dynamics in species composition, structure and ecosystem function. The drivers of these dynamics are complex, and likely interactive. Tree-ring analysis allows for the simultaneous assessment of long-term forest dynamics, and the factors driving these dynamics. In recent years, tree-ring analysis has been used in new ways, and in new ecosystems, to understand the causes and consequences of dynamics in the EDF. In this session, we bring together newly established scientists and some of the most well-known voices in eastern forest dendroecology, representing a variety of perspectives, with the intention of synthesizing scientific understanding, and seeking new paths forward. The session will begin with a review of the history and progress in eastern forest dendroecology by Dr. Dave Orwig, who will also present ideas for new research directions. Then consecutive presentations by Drs. Dave Stahle and Neil Pederson will set the climatic context by reviewing climate dynamics in eastern North America over the last 500-1,000 years. These talks will also present data on how stand dynamics at local and regional scales might be tied to climatic variation. While focusing on different systems, Drs. Amy Hessl and Tony D’Amato will give consecutive talks that address short and long-term carbon storage in deciduous forests as influenced by stand dynamics. Following the break, we lead off with a talk by Dr. Carolyn Copenheaver, who works on forest dynamics in the southern Appalachian region. We then have two open spots to be filled by the program chair. To summarize the session, we have consecutive talks by two well-known tree-ring scientists, Drs. Alan White and Rich Guyette, who focus on dynamics at broad spatial scales. Dr. White’s work focuses primarily on gap-phase disturbance processes (other than fire) in the cooler and moist northeastern region of the EDF, while Dr. Guyette’s work has been focused on fire histories of the drier and continental climate of the western edge of the EDF. The planned contrast of dynamics at the extremes of the EDF climatic spectrum, with contrasting disturbance regimes, ought to highlight the diversity of ecological processes at work in these systems and highlight potential for collaboration among researchers.