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    Nicola J. Day

    Postdoctoral Fellow, Biology Department, Wilfrid Laurier University (Supervisor: Jennifer Baltzer)

    Post-fire forest regeneration in NWT


    As a postdoc, I am involved in many projects in the lab. My main focus is investigating aspects of post-fire forest regeneration in the Northwest Territories, which experienced a record year in terms of area burned in 2014. In 2015, our team established over 200 permanent monitoring plots in order to assess forest regeneration over the coming years. In 2016, we reassessed some of these plots, and established further plots in areas that burned at different times throughout history (i.e. a burn chronosequence).

    Little is known about impacts of fire on soil microbial communities, particularly mycorrhizal fungi, which have species-specific effects on plant growth and are important for forest structure. Anticipated increases in fires in boreal regions mean that heat-resistant fungi may play increasingly important roles in post-fire forest regeneration. However, information about their identities, abundance, longevity, or effects on plants in regenerating forests post-fire is sparse. Interactions between soil fungi and regenerating trees are likely to differ with fire severity and frequency, permafrost conditions, soil moisture, and pre-fire forest type; gradients that characterise the boreal landscape. To address the knowledge gap of the roles of soil fungi in post-fire regeneration in heterogeneous environments with variable permafrost conditions, I am combining landscape-scale observations with targeted experiments and molecular work.

    Publications


    Peer-reviewed publications:

    Day, N. J., Dunfield, K. E., & Antunes, P. M. (2016) Fungi from a non-native invasive plant increase its growth but have different growth effects on native plants. Biological Invasions 18: 231–243. DOI:10.1007/s10530-015-1004-2

    Day, N. J., Dunfield, K. E., & Antunes, P. M. (2015) Temporal dynamics of plant-soil feedbacks and root-associated fungal communities over 100 years of invasion by a non-native plant. Journal of Ecology 103: 1557-1569. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12459

    Day, N. J., Antunes, P. M., & Dunfield, K. E. (2015) Changes in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities during invasion by an exotic invasive plant. Acta Oecologica 67: 66-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2015.06.004

    Sanderson, L. A., Day, N. J., & Antunes, P. M. (2015) Edaphic factors and feedback do not limit range expansion of an exotic invasive plant. Plant Ecology 216: 133-141. DOI: 10.1007/s11258-014-0422-z

    Gaiero, J. R., McCall, C. A., Thompson, K. A., Day, N. J., Best, A. S., & Dunfield, K. E. (2013) Inside the root microbiome: bacterial root endophytes and plant growth promotion. American Journal of Botany 100: 1738-1750. DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1200572

    Day, N. J., & Buckley, H.L. (2013) Twenty-five years of plant community dynamics and invasion in New Zealand tussock grasslands. Austral Ecology 38: 688-699. DOI: 10.1111/aec.12016

    Day, N. J., & Buckley, H.L. (2011) Invasion patterns across multiple scales by Hieracium species over 25 years in tussock grasslands of New Zealand’s South Island. Austral Ecology 36: 559-570. DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2010.02191.x 

    Unpublished reports:

    Day, N. J., Carriere, S., & Baltzer, J. (2016) Pre-fire forest type drives long-term changes in understory plant communities post-fire, Taiga shield, Northwest Territories. Unpublished report prepared for the Government of the Northwest Territories, Canada, 28 pp.

    Baltzer, J., Day, N., Walker, X. (2015) Establishment of a permanent sample plot network to enhance our understanding of forest and permafrost dynamics following a severe fire year – a report on 2015 activities. Unpublished report prepared for the Government of the Northwest Territories, Canada, 16 pp.

    Day, N. & Buckley, H. L. (2009) Colonisation and spread of Hieracium spp in the South Island high country over 25 years: A Report for Land Information New Zealand. 41 pp. Available at: http://www.linz.govt.nz/crown-property/crown-pastoral-land/tenure-review/guide-for-leaseholders (Accompanied by a summary brochure and invited oral presentation for end-users, conservation managers, and policy makers)

    Day, N. & Buckley, H. L. (2007) Two decades of vegetation change across tussock grasslands of New Zealand’s South Island: A Report for Land Information New Zealand. 63 pp. Available at: http://www.linz.govt.nz/crown-property/crown-pastoral-land/tenure-review/guide-for-leaseholders (Accompanied by a summary brochure and invited oral presentation for end-users, conservation managers, and policy makers)

    Day, N. & Buckley, H. L. (2007) Two decades of vegetation change across tussock grasslands of New Zealand’s South Island: A Report for the New Zealand Department of Conservation. 63 pp.

    Theses: 

    Day, N. J. (2015) Temporal Dynamics and Function of Root-Associated Fungi During a Non-Native Plant Invasion: A Thesis presented to The University of Guelph In partial fulfilment of requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Biology. University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 150pp.

    Day, N. J. (2008) Two Decades of Vegetation Change Across Tussock Grasslands in New Zealand’s South Island: A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science At Lincoln University. Lincoln University, New Zealand, 111pp.

    Awards & Scholarships


    Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2016-2018             
    Michele C. Heath Award for Best Postdoctoral Fellow Presentation at the 32nd Great Lakes Mycology Meeting, Ontario, Canada, 2016                                                                             
    Richard Protz Memorial Scholarship, Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 2015              
    Travel award from the Soil Section of the Ecological Society of America, 2014   
    Robb Graduate Travel Grant, Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 2014                          
    Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters/Oakville and District Rod & Gun Club Conservation Research Grant Award, Ontario, Canada, 2013                                                                   
    New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women Fellowship, 2013                           
    International Graduate Scholarship, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 2011, 2012, 2013  
    University of Guelph Travel Grant Award, Ontario, Canada, 2013                        
    Margaret Watling Scholarship, 2012                                                                       
    Arthur D. Latornell Graduate Scholarship, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 2012                                                                                                         
    Robb Graduate Travel Grant, Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 2012                          
    Taffy Davison Memorial Research Travel Grant, Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 2012                                                                                                       
    Writing Scholarship, BioProtection and Ecology Department, Lincoln University, 2007   
    Lincoln University Postgraduate Scholarship, 2006                                               
    Summer Research Scholarship, University of Canterbury, 2004

    Other


    Website: nicolajday.weebly.com