Date of Submission

Fall 2012

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Felicia Keesing

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Eastern hemlock is experiencing widespread mortality across its range in the eastern United States due to hemlock woolly adelgid infestation. Although the patterns of decline of this important coniferous species have been studied, many questions about predictive factors and characteristics of mortality remain unanswered. I used dendrochronology to investigate the declines of two different groups of trees — one group that was dead by 2002, and another group that is still alive. I found significant differences in growth, size, and age between the two groups of trees. While the hemlock woolly adelgid infestation significantly affected the growth of both groups, it did not have a different effect on the two groups. However, prior research and examination of the data suggest a possible difference in the declines of these two groups. In particular, moisture availability seemed to be a predictor of damage incurred, as did overall tree performance. I was unable to separate location and demographics as possible causative agents, so future work should focus on isolating these two factors.

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