Effects of Drought on Seed Germination and Biomass Allocation in Seedlings of Bottomland Hardwood Trees
January 2018 - June 2021
- Texas Parks and Wildlife
Global changes to floodplain hydrology for flood control and water-management coupled with increased climatic variability has led to intensified drought conditions in riparian forest communities, including bottomland hardwood forests of the southern United States. Bottomland hardwoods are experiencing range wide shifts in species composition to less flood tolerant species but there is a lack of process-level understating regarding the effects of altered hydrology on bottomland hardwood community structure. This project will evaluate the effects of drought, or differing levels of water availability, on seed germination of select bottomland hardwood species. In addition, greenhouse and field experiments will evaluate how different species of bottomland hardwood seedlings allocate carbon among roots, stems, and leaves under varying soil moisture conditions. This research will begin to allow us to understand how the mechanisms of bottomland hardwood regeneration are affected by drought and to develop more effective forest management approaches under changing hydrologic and soil moisture conditions.