Forestry Hanover Seminar Series presents: Nina Lany, Department of Forestry, MSU

Date: March 3, 2015
Location: 225 Natural Resources

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

Forestry Hanover Seminar Series presents:


Spring tree phenology, caterpillar abundance, and the timing of breeding by a migratory songbird in a northern hardwoods forest

Presented by:

Nina Lany
Department of Forestry
Michigan State University


Abstract: Human activities are increasing greenhouse gases and thereby raising temperatures in ways that affect the structure and functioning of ecosystems. Here, I describe a long-term study conducted in the northern hardwoods at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in Thornton, NH that explores how temperature affects the breeding phenology of a migratory songbird relative to the phenology of its caterpillar prey and the foliage on which caterpillars feed, and evaluates how plasticity in the timing of its breeding affects fecundity. I also examine whether temperature-related variation in the nitrogen content of leaves can cause synchronous population fluctuations of the diverse Lepidoptera species in this community, thus lowering the stability of primary consumer biomass. Taken together, these projects address the ways diversity can buffer against trophic mismatches and other consequences of climate change, as well as the degree to which shared responses of ecologically similar species to environmental fluctuations can limit this buffering.