Adaptive Aspen Management Experiment (AAME)

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Can strategic management of aspen-dominated forests better prepare them for climate related threats?

As part of the Adaptive Aspen Management Experiment (AAME), mature aspen and select other species are being harvested around the Honeysuckle Creek Watershed. The project, led by primary investigator and UMBS Associate Research Scientist Luke Nave, aims to produce immediate changes in forest composition and structure that would otherwise play out over time in the successional trajectory of harvested stands. Removal of mature aspen will allow regeneration of new aspen and birch trees, increased growth of non-dominant species, and succession to a more structurally and compositionally diverse cover type. Removal of aspen at the extreme end of their lifespan will also make these wooded areas safer for runners, bikers, and recreationists.

Broader goals of the experiment include leveraging total-ecosystem research to better inform forest management strategies, especially in the context of the environmental changes brought on by a warming climate. The project fits into the wider Climate Change Response Framework through the USDA Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science.

AAME was recently featured in a full-length Michigan News article.