Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32722
Simulating Climate Change (Temperature and Soil Moisture) in a Mixed-Deciduous Forest, Ontario, Canada

Authors: David Goldblum, Lesley S. Rigg


To simulate expected climate change, we implemented a two-factor (temperature and soil moisture) field design in a forest in Ontario, Canada. To manipulate moisture input, we erected rain-exclusion structures. Under each structure, plots were watered with one of three treatments and thermally controlled with three heat treatments to simulate changes in air temperature and rainfall based on the climate model (GCM) predictions for the study area. Environmental conditions (including untreated controls) were monitored tracking air temperature, soil temperature, soil moisture, and photosynthetically active radiation. We measured rainfall and relative humidity at the site outside the rain-exclusion structures. Analyses of environmental conditions demonstrates that the temperature manipulation was most effective at maintaining target temperature during the early part of the growing season, but it was more difficult to keep the warmest treatment at 5º C above ambient by late summer. Target moisture regimes were generally achieved however incoming solar radiation was slightly attenuated by the structures.

Keywords: Acer saccharum, climate change, forest, environmental manipulation.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1676


[1] J. Harte and R. Shaw. "Shifting dominance within a montane vegetation community: results of a climate-warming experiment," Science, Vol.. 267, pp. 876-880, February 10, 1995.
[2] J. Harte et al. "Shifting dominance within a montane vegetation community: results of a climate-warming experiment," Ecological Applications, Vol. 51, pp. 132-150, 1995.
[3] F.S. Chapin III and G.R. Shaver. "Physiological and growth responses of arctic plants to a field experiment simulating climatic change," Ecology, Vol. 77, pp. 822-840, 1996.
[4] N. Edwards and R. J. Norby. "Below-ground respiratory responses of sugar maple and red maple saplings to atmospheric CO2 enrichment and elevated air temperature," Plant and Soil, Vol. 206, pp. 85-97, 1999.
[5] C. A. Gunderson, R. J. Norby, and S.D. Wullschleger. "Acclimation of photosynthesis and respiration to simulated climatic warming in northern and southern populations of Acer saccharum: laboratory and field evidence," Tree Physiology, Vol. 20, pp. 87-96, 2000.
[6] M.V, Price and M.N. Waser. "Responses of subalpine meadow vegetation to four years of experimental warming," Ecological Applications, Vol. 10, pp. 811-823. 2000.
[7] R.J. Norby, J.S. Hartz-Rubin, and M.J. Vergbrugge. "Phenological responses in maple to experimental atmospheric warming and CO2 enrichment," Global Change Biology, Vol. 9, pp. 1792-1801. 2003
[8] S. Wan, R.J. Norby, K.S. Pregitzer, J. Ledford, and E.G. O-Neill. "CO2 enrichment and warming of the atmosphere enhance both productivity and mortality of maple tree fine roots," New Phytologist. Vol. 162, pp. 437-446. 2004.
[9] N. Barras and M. Kellman. "The supply of regeneration micro-sites and segregation of tree species in a hardwood/boreal forest transition," Journal of Biogeography. Vol. 25, pp. 871-881. 1998.
[10] D. Goldblum and L.S. Rigg. "Age structure and regeneration dynamics of sugar maple at the deciduous/boreal forest ecotone, Ontario, Canada," Physical Geography, Vol. 23, pp. 115-129. 2002.
[11] D. Goldblum and L.S. Rigg. "Tree growth response to climate change at the deciduous/boreal forest ecotone, Ontario, Canada," Canadian Journal of Forest Research. Vol. 35, pp. 2709-2718. 2005.
[12] M. Kellman. Sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) establishment in boreal forest: the results of a transplantation experiment. Journal of Biogeography. Vol. 31, pp. 1515-1522. 2004.
[13] Environment Canada. Canadian climate normals or averages 1971- 2000.Available: dex_e.html. 2002.
[14] D.A. Plummer et al. "Climate and climate change over North America as simulated by the Canadian RCM," Journal of Climate. Vol. 19, pp. 3112-3132. 2006.