Photo by Kari Paine
Ben R Lee
University of Michigan
School for Environment and Sustainability
440 Church St. Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Shifts in climate change have been one of the most widely reported responses of organisms to current climate change. However, few studies have addressed the implications that such phenological trends might have on plant communities.
Forward shifts in the onset of spring and earlier environmental cues are disrupting the life cycles of temperate plants that rely on these cues to trigger leaf-out, fruiting, and other events. Furthermore, complex interactions between different species, such as competition for sunlight, are changing, making it harder for ecologists to model the future impacts of climate change and for conservationists to adjust management strategies to promote native forest types.
My work investigates the direct effects that climate change is having on the phenology and carbon assimilation strategies in temperate tree species as well as the effects that such shifts have interspecies interactions.