Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Biology

Supervisor

Dr. Hugh Henry

Abstract

Climate change and increased atmospheric nitrogen deposition over the next century may alter the ability of woody species to germinate and compete with grasses and forbs in temperate old fields. To investigate the responses of seed germination and seedling growth to warming and nitrogen addition, I transplanted seeds and seedlings into plots of a field experiment and conducted a greenhouse experiment. The combination of warming and nitrogen allowed seeds to germinate earlier, although there was no effect on final germination. In the greenhouse nitrogen increased seedling growth, and warming had little effect. However, in the field, warming significantly decreased the growth and survival of M. coronaria seedlings. Overall, my results suggest that while warming and nitrogen may have direct effects on germination and establishment of seedlings, these effects may be outweighed by indirect effects via interactions with drought and herbivory.


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