02 de mayo de 2021

What will the forests look like in 50 years?

I essentially live in a forest, surrounded by trees, and am very thankful for that. The dominant trees on my 12 acres are red oak, red maple, white pine, Eastern hemlock, black birch and beech.
The forests are changing though. In the past two years, we have had 2 substantial wind storms in October 2019 and 2020 that toppled thousands of mature trees in my general area, at least 100 on my property alone. We have climate change pushing the temperatures ever higher and the winters and snow cover shorter. The trees near my eastern line have been growing undisturbed and unlogged for close to 100 years, and are starting to show signs of age. Many of the trees near me have some type of new restrictions - diseases, insects and changes in the weather patterns that used to keep them alive. They are not all going to survive for hundreds of years as they might once have.
I am interested in what species will be replacing the trees here? I know the standard laws of ecology, first you have the colonizers then the ones that can withstand some shade, then the ones that prefer shade when young. Simple. Except that you also have to have the trees there to supply the seed or a seed bank.
To look at that in a simple, not so scientific manner, because I am just too scattered, I have started to try to photogragh saplings where I'm walking and not just mature trees (I can leave the mature trees to my husband Jack Cadwell, who loves mature trees shapes and bark). I have also picked an area on the Arthur Iverson Conservation Area where a large blowdown occurred atop a rock outcrop (it is located on a fault line). A rough estimate is that 50 mature trees were felled at this site, roots and all, pulling off any soil, roots, mosses so now those rocks are bare once again. What will be colonizing this area? So I'll go back to it and document it in iNaturalist over time several times I hope. I chose one other are to look at and document regularly in iNaturalist - a predominantly hemlock forest, north facing slope, again on the AICA, infested with wooly adelgid (and hungry porcupines in the winter!) These trees will not survive long term, but what will be able to grow here? It is a challenging environment, with the dominant species now just Eastern hemlock and the liverwort, Bazzania trilobata. These are some questions that monitoring in iNaturalist will answer, though probably not fast enough for the changes that area occurring in our world.

Publicado el 02 de mayo de 2021 a las 01:01 PM por karro_frost karro_frost | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario