College of the Redwoods is proud to announce that Dr. Mickey Jarvi, Assistant Professor of Forestry and Natural Resources, had an article titled Adenylate Control Contributes to Thermal Acclimation of Sugar Maple Fine-root Respiration in Experimentally Warmed Soil published in the scientific journal “Plant, Cell and Environment.” The article is currently available online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pce.13098/full
This work reflected the first half of Jarvi’s PhD (ca. 2011-2013) at Michigan Technological University where he was investigating the mechanisms in which sugar maple trees were able to seemingly adjust to long-term changes in moisture and temperature. The trees were induced to mimic future climate change conditions to try and understand how trees can, if possible, adjust to rapid warming and changes in moisture conditions. Jarvi, along with Andrew Burton (professor at Michigan Technological University), found, during his masters work of 2009-2011, that sugar maple trees were able to adjust to short-term changes in experimentally increased soil temperatures.
The current paper found that the mechanisms responsible for long-term changes found previously were at least partially due to trees either obtaining their required soil nutrients and then slowing their metabolic processes or not being able to obtain more soil nutrients and thus slowing down their metabolic processes.
“This could be analogous to humans either "eating their fill" and refusing to eat more or just not being able to obtain more food and slowing down their workload so they don't die of starvation” said Jarvi. “This is good news for certain tree species as time moves forward. At least sugar maple seem to be able to adjust to rapid changes in its environment and may be able to adjust to rapid climate change.”
Future work will involve investigating if this adjustment can be conducted by all sugar maple throughout its native range in the eastern United States. This work will involve genetic testing throughout the native range of sugar maple to determine if all sugar maple are genetically similar or if there are distinct genetic populations that could potentially react differently to environmental changes.
Jarvi started teaching at College of the Redwoods in August 2016. He is originally from the upper peninsula of Michigan, but lived in Florida during his childhood and early adulthood. Jarvi holds degrees in forestry, forest ecology, and wildlife ecology from Michigan Technological University. During his graduate work he studied root systems and below-ground processes of sugar maple forests in northern Michigan. He then did his postdoctoral studies at the University of Washington where he was helping investigate carbon dioxide and methane emissions from peat bogs near Fairbanks Alaska. It was during his masters and doctoral studies that he taught classes to help assist with costs associated with graduate school. This is where Jarvi fell in love with teaching forestry and natural resources and then knew his place in society was helping educate the next round of natural resource managers.