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Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Advisor 1

Thomas Pypker

Advisor 2

Joseph Wagenbrenner

Committee Member 1

Rodney Chimner

Committee Member 2

Randall Kolka

Committee Member 3

Alex Mayer


Two major threats to the health of forests around the globe are climate change, and exotic invasive insect outbreaks. These threats on their own or concurrently may negatively impact the plethora of ecosystem services forests provide society. As temperatures continue to rise and precipitation patterns alter across climate zones, it is important to understand the drivers of atmospheric greenhouse gas levels. Furthermore, it is important to understand the sources and sinks of each greenhouse gas so that future mediation may occur and the climate dynamics can be accurately modeled. The current knowledge of tree stem atmospheric gas exchange is very limited. As global connectivity increases through shipping and travel the risk of exotic insect introductions increases and vegetation responses to exotic invasive insect outbreak are not well understood. This work investigates i) methane (CH4) exchange between tree stems of black ash (Fraxinus nigra Marshall) in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan; ii) methane, carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrous oxide (N2O) exchange between tree stems of red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), black mangrove (Avicennia marina), and white mangrove (Lanuncularia racemosa) and the atmosphere in northeastern Brazil; and iii) the efficacy of planting alternative wetland tree species within black ash dominated forests of Michigan and Wisconsin partly through a multiyear manipulative study that simulated the short- and long-term effects of an exotic invasive insect outbreak caused by the emerald ash borer (EAB, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)). Our results indicate that tree stems are a significant emitter of greenhouse gases and that underplanting may be a means to mitigate the impacts of EAB.