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Monday, April 9 • 11:00am - 11:15am
SYMPOSIA-05: Simulating the Effects of Flood Inundation on Forest Succession in the Upper Mississippi River Floodplain Using the LANDIS-II Modelling Platform

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AUTHORS: Nathan R. De Jager, Molly Van Appledorn, Jason J. Rohweder, Yao Yin, Timothy J. Fox – USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Lyle J. Guyon, Andrew R. Meir, Robert J. Cosgriff, Benjamin J. Vandermyde – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

ABSTRACT: Patterns of forest succession in floodplains are difficult to predict given the stochastic nature of flooding and its importance in shaping different aspects of plant community dynamics (e.g., germination, recruitment, competition, and survival). Observational and greenhouse studies have focused on developing a quantitative understanding of how different plant species perform during flooded conditions (i.e., flood tolerance). Meanwhile, increasingly sophisticated hydraulic and geospatial modelling approaches have been developed to simulate water movement across complex landscapes. However, it remains unclear how spatial and temporal variability in patterns of inundation alter long-term and broad-scale patterns of forest succession in floodplains, because there are no simulation models that link forest successional processes with inundation dynamics. We adapted the LANDIS-II forest succession model for use in floodplains by developing a flood disturbance extension to simulate the effects of annual spatial patterns of flood inundation on the survival of tree species-age-cohorts. A case study was conducted along 1335 km (95,321 ha) of the Upper Mississippi River floodplain, USA to illustrate the functionality of the extension and evaluate potential future successional trajectories in a system with a modified hydrological regime. Results suggest that the modelling approach may be broadly applicable for efforts aimed at: 1) disentangling effects of internal stand dynamics from effects of inundation, 2) Identifying locations within complex landscapes expected to be suitable for certain species and to display certain succession trajectories, 3) evaluating whether current species distributional patterns are at equilibrium with the hydrological regime of river-floodplains, and 4) simulating effects of alternative hydrological regimes on forest succession, and in the context of other disturbances.

Monday April 9, 2018 11:00am - 11:15am CDT
Water Tower Parlor