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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Tackaberry, Linda E. [1], Massicotte, Hugues [1], Green, D. Scott [1].

Got the climate change blues? Soil properties may impact mycorrhiza communities, early growth and relocation success of whitebark pine.

Whitebark pine (WBP, Pinus albicaulis Engelm.) is a remote subalpine conifer recently Blue-listed in British Columbia, Canada. The species is vital to slope stabilization, plant succession and watershed protection conditions critical to forest management and silviculture practices on upper slopes. In addition to its decline due to white pine blister rust and mountain pine beetle threats, predicted climate warming might also lead to replacement of WBP forests, changing plant and wildlife diversity, snow capture and watershed hydrology. To survive, WBP may need to expand naturally or by intervention into alpine areas, or north in latitude. Roots of WBP must form symbiotic associations (ectomycorrhizas) with soil fungi that facilitate water and nutrient uptake; however, little is known of the biology of WBP root-soil interactions that could provide important information for the conservation or relocation of WBP, given its limited migratory potential. A greenhouse bioassay will examine how subalpine soils (with WBP) and alpine soils (presently with no WBP) impact seedling growth and root-fungal communities. To explore limits of location and population differences, soils from multiple locations and seed from north-south and east-west WBP populations will be tested. Seed stratification protocols and experimental design will be discussed. Within the context of climate change, study findings will extend our understanding of how WBP may respond to natural or assisted relocation under genetic, soil microbial, and elevation shifts. Where risk of ecological impacts is high, proactive management in high elevation forests might sustain threatened species and ecosystem function.

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1 - University of Northern British Columbia, Ecosystem Science and Management Program, 3333 University Way, Prince George, B.C., V2N 4Z9, Canada

Pinus albicaulis
whitebark pine
climate change
adaptive growth traits
migratory potential.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM
Number: PEC029
Abstract ID:679

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