You are here

Video: Heating Up the Forest

Printer-friendly version

Maintained by HF post-doc Shannon Pelini, Frank Bowles, HF senior ecologist Aaron Ellison, Nick Gotelli, Nate Sanders and Rob Dunn, the Warm Ants Hot Plants climate change experiment uses octagonal, 5-meter diameter (~ 22 m3) open-top chambers to simulate warming at northern (Harvard Forest) and southern (Duke Forest, North Carolina) hardwood forest sites to determine the effects of warming on ant and other arthropod populations and communities near the edges of their ranges.

Because the focus of this study is on mobile, litter- and soil-dwelling arthropods, standard methods for warming chambers (e.g., soil warming cables or infrared heaters applied to relatively small areas) were inappropriate and new technological approaches using hydronic heating and forced air movement were developed. Chambers have been heated continuously since January 2010.Thus far the research group has observed changes in ant abundance and composition, and plant phenology and herbivory in the heated plots. 

Shannon Pelini