Herbaceous species are often overlooked in forest ecosystems, especially concerning regeneration during temperate forest restorations. Therefore, we compared intact to logged plots across Northeastern Minnesota to examine the regeneration of the herbaceous layer. Logged plots had more species and cover but less even communities with more non-natives. Evidence also suggests a lack of late-successional species. Accordingly, understory plantings may be needed to maintain the diversity of these forests. Therefore, we also examined the impact of climate change on two herbs from NE MN; to elucidate potential climate-informed restoration. A northern and southern population of Symphyotrichum ciliolatum and Maianthemum canadense were grown in a factorial combination of temperature (ambient, +2°C) and water availability treatments (well-watered, -15% soil moisture). Population differences were apparent, while elevated temperature and low water had a uniquely detrimental effect on the northern populations. Therefore, restoration plantings using southern seeds may be more effective under a changing climate.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. December 2019. Major: Integrated Biosciences. Advisor: Julie Etterson. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 89 pages.
The understudied understory: restoration with herbaceous species under climate change.
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