Spatial distribution by size and age and allometric relationships of a spruce population in west Greenland

Open Access
Author:
Mistrick, Janine
Area of Honors:
Biology
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Eric S Post, Thesis Supervisor
  • James Harold Marden, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Picea glauca
  • P. glauca
  • Kangerlussuaq
  • Greenland
  • climate change
  • ecology
  • Arctic
  • spruce
  • white spruce
  • novel ecosystem
Abstract:
In the Arctic, climate change is altering the assemblages of species able to survive in this system. Several white spruce (Picea glauca) trees, planted in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland beginning in 1976, have persisted well beyond the latitudinal treeline. New individuals appear to have recruited naturally from seeds produced by these initial trees. I collected morphometric and spatial data for individuals from two forest stands as well as data on habitat characteristics. My findings allowed me to analyze how age and size are spatially structured in these populations; investigate environmental conditions that may be influencing this distribution; and compare the allometric relationships in these populations to a population in the native range of Picea glauca. This information provides baseline knowledge enabling investigation into future questions about the individual- and population-level growth of Picea glauca occurring outside the range of their presumed natural distribution. With findings from studies such as this, we can better understand how these trees are responding to dynamic systems and the factors that may be influencing the colonization of new ecosystems in response to climatic changes.