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January 2012

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Harvard Forest Publication: Presence of HWA reduces hemlock regeneration

New results by Forest Ecologist Dave Orwig and others show that hemlock stands invaded by the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) experience dramatic reductions in regeneration of new hemlock seedlings, making the insect's destruction difficult to reverse. In extensive surveys of 141 hemlock stands in southern New England, hemlock seedling density declined 71% between 2007 and 2009, while HWA infestation continued to increase (91% of the study areas were infested by 2009).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Analyzing Abrupt Ecosystem Change

Abrupt ecosystem transitions--major changes brought on when a critical environmental threshold is passed (such the abrupt shift from an oligotropic lake (clear blue) to a eutrophic lake (muddy green))--can significantly and irreversibly alter an ecosystem. Although such shifts are a major concern in this time of rapid environmental change, short-term data constraints have thus far prevented a common understanding of the processes leading to these shifts.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Forest Landowners and Carbon Markets

Landowners in the Woods

A new article in Ecological Economics, co-authored by UMass professor and HF researcher David Kittredge, identifies "barriers to Massachusetts forest landowner participation in carbon markets". Data from 930 landowner surveys show that price is not the most important factor in landowner decisions about carbon markets.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Book: Flora Nova Angliae

A comprehensive manual for the identification of native and naturalized plants of New England has recently been published by Yale University Press and is available for purchase at the Harvard Forest at a discounted rate. With more than 1,000 pages of plant information researched and written by Arthur Haines, and 945 illustrations by Gordon Morrison and Harvard Forest Research Associate Elizabeth Farnsworth, this new publication is the most authoritative available.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Former Bullard Fellow Featured in NYT Book Review

A recent book by Jerry Jenkins, former Bullard Fellow, warns of the effects of climate change on the biodiversity of the Adirondack Mountain region. A New York Times book review assesses the book and profiles the author.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pitcher Plants in their Evolutionary Context

Pitcher Plant

Scientists at the Harvard Forest are trying to answer a question that is now more than 100 years old: how did the 11 different species of North American pitcher plant evolve? A new paper by Research Fellow Wyatt Oswald, Research Assistant Elaine Doughty, former Bullard Fellows Gidi and Rina Ne'eman, and Senior Ecologist Aaron Ellison, adds new insight to the relationships between these 11 species by showing differences in the shape and size of the plants' pollen.