Projects

    treelines: dynamic, mechanisms involved, response to climate change, and much more...
background: This project started as a collaborative effort, first, between Dr. Lohengrin Cavieres, a renown alpine plant ecologist and I, a forest ecologist.  As we both wanted to work together, we found our "meeting point" just there, at the treeline. I then applied for a post-doctoral fellowship to Conicyt and I obtained it in December 2006.  Later on, Dr. Frida Piper was invited to participate on it because of her expertise in ecophysiology, and particularly in non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) analysis.  I also invited Dr. Eliot McIntire to participate as we have already worked together, and because of his own interest in complex systems.


    merging trees: patterns, positive interactions, group selection...
background: This project begun from casual observations on the more frequent occurrence of multi-stemmed trees at the edge of second-growth forests of Nothofagus pumilio of fire origin.  Back in March 2006, Dr. McIntire and I established a transplanting experiment across a forest-prairie ecotone to determine whether and where seedlings planting in clusters survived better than seedlings planting in isolation.  After 3 years, we found that seedlings growing in clusters had two times higher survival than solitary ones at one end of the stress gradient; the opposite was corroborated under the forest canopy.  This is the first time that intraspecific facilitation (or positive plant-plant interactions) is empirically proved in non-clonal perennial plants.  Furthermore, adult multi-stemmed trees are more frequent at the edge of second-growth forests and survive and growth better than their one-stem trees, and what's more important, they act as if they were one organism, proving group selection.  Finally, these stems belonging to multi-stem trees come from different genetic origin.


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