UMaine researchers incorporate “chemical phenology” into their studies of the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems.
In this interview, Ivan J. Fernandez, Professor of Soil Science, School of Forest Resources and Climate Change Institute, discusses research in which he and graduate student Erin Redding set out to discover if the chemical composition of forest foliage could be used to monitor climate change effects on nutrient cycling in forest, a concept dubbed “chemical phenology”.
Fernandez has spent nearly 30 years studying the response of ecosystems to perturbations, or abrupt changes that set a system out of equilibrium. He has been involved with the Bear Brook Watershed project since the late 1980’s when experiments conducted there helped guide policy decisions related to the reauthorization of the Clean Air Act of 1990.
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Image Description: Picture of Prof. Ivan Fernandez collecting data in the woods