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Professor Robert Bradley, University of Sherbrooke, Quebec

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10 April 2012, 11am
at The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen
for scientists, students and other interested parties
Image of the 2012 seminar series logo

Robert Bradley, Professor of Soil Ecology, University of Sherbrooke, Quebec will deliver this seminar entitled "A pedocentric perspective on the causes and consequences of jack pine–trembling aspen mixed wood stands" as part of the James Hutton Institute seminar series.

Jack pine and trembling aspen are early-seral boreal tree species, with similar growth rates and habitats, but with distinct life history traits and contrasting nutrient cycling strategies. Both species can be found growing either in naturally regenerated mono-specific stands, or in mixed-wood stands.

We first present evidence that soil fertility controls the mixing of jack pine with trembling aspen, and that fertilisation increases the likelihood of encroachment of aspen into areas formerly dominated by jack pine. In a second study, we show that mixing of these two tree species increases the stability (i.e. resistance and resilience) of microbial biomass in the forest floor. In a third study, we show that sharp compositional boundaries between adjacent mono-specific stands of each species result in wide (24 m) functional ecotones in the forest floor. Taken collectively, the three studies underline the ecological value of maintaining naturally occurring mixedwood stands as well as patchy landscapes in the southern boreal forest.

This seminar will take place at The James Hutton Institute Aberdeen and will be broadcast live to the Dundee site.

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.