Restoration of UMR floodplain forest

Climate change will impact ecological communities via direct effects on species performance, and by altering species interactions and disturbance regimes. In the absence of comprehensive information about which species interactions and disturbances will prove critically sensitive to climate change, an alternate strategy is to focus on those already known to have strong effects on community dynamics.

My work evaluates how flooding – a form of disturbance directly affected by climate – impacts interactions that determine community structure and function in the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) floodplain. Results from field experiments will be used in conjunction with larger-scale hydrodynamic models to predict the success of management actions across the landscape and under alternative hydrological regimes.

This work is being carried out in collaboration with my students, UMESC scientists Nathan De Jager and Eileen Kirsch, my UW-L colleague Eric Strauss, and with the generous cooperation of the Environmental Stewardship staff at the La Crescent Office of the USACE, St. Paul District. See Collaborators or my 2013 ESA poster for more information.