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CONSERVATION PALEOBIOLOGY ON ACADIA’S MOUNTAINS – Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie

February 3 @ 12:00 pm

CONSERVATION PALEOBIOLOGY ON ACADIA’S MOUNTAINS

Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie

Second Century Stewardship Fellow

University of Maine

Monday, February 3, 2020, 12pm

138 Sawyer Conference Room

Abstract:  Conservation practitioners depend on accurate assessments of climate change vulnerability in allocating limited resources to protect and steward natural resources. The subalpine plants on Acadia National Park’s open granite ridges have been interpreted as post-glacial tundra relicts, however paleoecological records above treeline are sparse and this assumption remains untested. Could subalpine plant communities in Acadia represent persistent microrefugia, perhaps indicating high resilience in the face of regional and global climate change? Globally, montane and alpine communities are highly vulnerable to climate change, however there is evidence that high elevations and coastal mountains in the northeastern United States are not warming as rapidly as the rest of the region. I combine historical ecological data from a 19th century flora and paleoecological data from lake sediment cores to reconstruct vegetation assemblages on Mount Desert Island’s eponymous bare mountain tops throughout the Holocene. This ongoing work includes species-level floristic change over the past century and decadal-to-centennial vegetation dynamics from new pollen and macrofossil records collected at Sargent Mountain Pond and supports conservation management in the park.

 

Details

Date:
February 3
Time:
12:00 pm
Event Category:

Venue

138 Sawyer Environmental Research Building
138 Sawyer Env. Res. Building, University of Maine