Testing the effects of climate change on the early developmental stages of tree species in the Acadien forest

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University of New Brunswick


In this study, I experimentally simulated winter and summer climate change to determine the effects on seeds and seedlings of commercially and ecologically important tree species in the Acadian Forest Region. Objectives were to determine: 1) the effects of simulated winter warming on germination success of six Acadian Forest tree species with heated outdoor plots; and 2) the interactive effects of summer warming, elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and reduced soil moisture on growth and survival of balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.), red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) and red maple (Acer rubrum L.) with chambers in a greenhouse. Winter warming did not significantly reduce germination success at the species level, but I observed high intraspecific variations in seedlot germination success and sensitivity to warming. Red maple displayed better survival and greater absolute growth under projected summer warming and drought, while red spruce exhibited some tolerance and balsam fir was the least adapted.