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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

Invasive Norway Maple Competitiveness and the Impact on an Old-growth Forest Community

A Rochester, NY park has been found to have the nonnative Norway maple (Acer platanoides) present within its forest community. The Norway maple has been documented to be an invasive species in many areas of the northeastern US. We hypothesized that the forest trajectory in this area is shifting to a Norway maple dominated forest. The forest was surveyed at random points along four parallel transects. At each point we measured canopy and subcanopy trees, seedlings, saplings, herbaceous cover, and shrub cover. In addition to this a soil seed bank study and seed rain study were performed. The results showed that the native trees were still primarily the most important trees in the forest canopy. However, the Norway maple was the most important species in the subcanopy, sapling, and seedling portions of the grove. The seed bank analysis had approximately 300 seeds germinated, and the seed rain study collected almost 400 seeds. The competition experiment was designed to measure the interactions between the Norway maple, sugar maple (Acer saccharum), and red oak (Quercus rubra) trees in variable shade environments. This study was conducted in the Brockport greenhouse where stem height, stem diameter, leaf counts, and photosynthesis were measured for a period of several months. Initial interpretations of the reported data have found performance differences among the shade environments and species arrangements. We believe the Norway maple is more competitive for resources than the native species and that it will continue to shape the forest it has invaded in to a non-native dominated stand.

Presenter: Justin Rogers (The College at Brockport) -- jrogers@brockport.edu
Topic: Environmental Science/Anthropology
Location: 219 Hartwell
Time: 3:35 pm (Session IV)