Trees of the future – A field experiment simulating future climate to understand how conifers will respond to climate change

Ingo Ensminger and his group have established an experiment which aims understand how economically important forest trees such as White pine will respond to climate change. In their experiment, temperature is manipulated to simulate future warmer climate. Their infrastructure is capable of elevating air temperature while all other environmental factors remain constant. This is achieved through a temperature free-air controlled enhancement experiment (T-FACE). Using infrared heaters controlled by a sophisticated sensor and datalogger-network, air temperature is elevated in experimental plots during daytime by 1.5°C and during nighttime by 3°C compared to ambient temperature in their unheated control plots. In the current experiment Ensminger and his co-workers examine if various genotypes of White pine seedlings show different responses in photosynthesis, growth and survival when exposed to long term warming. This research will help to identify mechanisms that make some trees more suitable grow in a future climate than others

Principal Investigator: Ingo Ensminger

Researchers: Christine Chang, Emmanuelle Frechette, Daniel Marsden, Chris Juliao, Alexandra Zubilewitch, Kayla Dias

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