Participating Students - Brady Hardiman

Brady Hardiman

Ohio State University

Enrollment in BART: 2007

Email: brady.hardiman at gmail.com

 

Atmospheric Mentor: Steve Bertman

Biospheric Mentor: Peter Curtis

 

 

Research Topic:

 

Resource allocation in forest canopies and consequences for succession and

atmospheric interactions

 

Aspen and birch senescence over the next century throughout the Upper Great Lakes Region will prompt forest succession from even aged, aspen-birch dominated forests to uneven aged, more diverse forests with deeper canopies and higher levels of net ecosystem production (NEP). The Forest Accelerated Succession ExperimenT (FASET) will study the mechanisms and effects of this ecological shift by girdling 33 ha of aspen and birch. I propose to study changes in nitrogen and light distribution in the forest as a result of aspen and birch mortality and the subsequent successional release of the understory. I hypothesize that aspen and birch mortality will increase nitrogen and light availability to understory trees, prompting an increase in canopy-level CO2 assimilation and volatile organic compound (VOC) production. I will accomplish this by constructing a series of nitrogen addition plots throughout the experimental and control stands to evaluate the roles of both nitrogen and light in driving the development of a new canopy and its interactions with the atmosphere.