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Department of Environmental Conservation

Novel Species Interactions: Effects of Invasive Plants on Butterflies, Birds, and Soil Biota

A focal species of this work is the widespread invasive biennial plant, Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) which disrupts nativeplant-fungal interactions in Northeastern deciduous forests of North America. Unique plant chemicals exuded by the roots ofgarlic mustard disrupt symbioses between native plants and mycorrhizal fungi that live on their roots (Stinson et al., 2006), alterthe diversity and composition of the soil microbiome (Barto et al., 2012; Anthony et al.

Increasing Forest Resiliency

Forest resiliency is not just an ecological challenge. To increase forest resiliency, we must inform the decisions of those that own and control the forests. Family forest owners (FFOs) control 263 million acres (or 35%) of U.S. forests. In the eastern U.S, FFOs own 43% of the forest and in Massachusetts they control more than 70% of the forests (Butler, 2008).

Advancing Understanding and Process-based Prediction of Northeastern Forest Regeneration

The project combines intensive field sampling with an advanced statistical model to compile an extensive, statewide regeneration data set and improve understanding of the factors leading to successful regeneration of desired species and communities following management intervention. Our approach allows for novel understanding of the complete range of factors impacting forest regeneration in Massachusetts and tests alternative management approaches to sustain valuable forest resources under global change.

Accounting for Carbon: The Potential of New and Innovative Technology to Store Forest Carbon and Allow for New Growth

As Massachusetts faces increasing pressure from population expansion, along with increasing challenges due to climate change, we seek a solution to the growing demand in housing that supports the local timber industry and rural economies and also creates an opportunity to store more carbon both in our buildings and across our regional forested landscape. Recent advances in timber technology have produced promising new methods for meeting some of the demand for building materials, as well as the need to store carbon.

Understanding the Future of Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Gulf of Maine

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the resiliency and plan for future changes for New England fisheries and aquaculture ina rapidly changing ocean. Through field data collection, laboratory experiments, and stakeholder engagement, we will examinehow climate change will influence key fisheries and aquaculture species using a multi-pronged approach. First, we will examinehow climate will affect critical life history stages of key fisheries species by examining larval supply in New England waters andthe potential for a match-mismatch between larvae and their food sources.


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