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Simulating Climate Change (Temperature and Soil Moisture) in a Mixed-Deciduous Forest, Ontario, Canada

Authors: David Goldblum, Lesley S. Rigg

Abstract:

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): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1073269

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