Forestry Hanover Seminar Series: Ines Ibanez, School of Natural Resources & Environment, U of M

Date: February 18, 2014
Location: 225 Natural Resources Bldg.

Forestry Hanover Seminar Series:

The Role of Biotic Interactions in Tree Range Expansion

Presented by Ines Ibanez
School of Natural Resources & Environment
University of Michigan

4 p.m. (Refreshments at 3:50 p.m.)


Understanding the dynamics of tree establishment is critical to assess forests’ composition, management practices and current responses to global change. The aim of our research group is to identify and quantify the key drivers determining tree species recruitment success in a time of change. Global warming is changing local climatic conditions and opening higher latitudinal regions to plant and animal species. Yet, to make realistic predictions and move beyond simplified generalizations climate change research should acknowledge that a combination of drivers, beyond just climate, will control the composition and functioning of future ecosystems. In particular, biotic processes (e.g., competition, herbivory, pathogens and symbiosis) can influence where trees can grow and could then be essential to maintaining current populations and facilitating or impeding colonization of new areas by species tracking climate change. Results from our experiments illustrate how the combination of direct, indirect and combined effects of driving variables better represents the complexity of the processes determining tree species recruitment than simple resource availability mechanisms.