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Sample records for boreal forest ecosystems

  1. Hydrologic Modeling of Boreal Forest Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haddeland, I.; Lettenmaier, D. P.

    1995-01-01

    This study focused on the hydrologic response, including vegetation water use, of two test regions within the Boreal-Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS) region in the Canadian boreal forest, one north of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and the other near Thompson, Manitoba. Fluxes of moisture and heat were studied using a spatially distributed hydrology soil-vegetation-model (DHSVM).

  2. Storm Effects on Net Ecosystem Productivity in Boreal Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vestin, Patrik; Grelle, Achim; Lagergren, Fredrik; Hellström, Margareta; Langvall, Ola; Lindroth, Anders

    2010-05-01

    Regional carbon budgets are to some extent determined by disturbance in ecosystems. Disturbance is believed to be partly responsible for the large inter-annual variability of the terrestrial carbon balance. When neglecting anthropogenic disturbance, forest fires have been considered the most important kind of disturbance. However, also insect outbreaks and wind-throw may be major factors in regional carbon budgets. The effects of wind-throw on CO2 fluxes in boreal forests are not well known due to lack of data. Principally, the reduced carbon sequestration capacity, increased substrate availability and severe soil perturbation following wind-throw are expected to result in increased CO2 fluxes from the forest to the atmosphere. In January 2005, the storm Gudrun hit Sweden, which resulted in approx. 66 × 106m3storm-felled stem wood distributed over an area of approx. 272 000 ha. Eddy covariance flux measurements started at storm-felled areas in Asa and Toftaholm in central Sweden during summer 2005. Data from the first months suggests increased CO2 fluxes by a factor of 2.5-10, as compared to normal silviculture (clear-cutting). An important question is how long such enhanced CO2 fluxes persist. The BIOME-BGC model will be calibrated against measured CO2 fluxes from both sites for 2005 through 2009. Modeled data will be used to fill gaps in the data sets and annual carbon balances will be calculated. Data from Asa and Toftaholm will be presented at the conference.

  3. Effects of disturbance and climate change on ecosystem performance in the Yukon River Basin boreal forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wylie, Bruce K.; Rigge, Matthew B.; Brisco, Brian; Mrnaghan, Kevin; Rover, Jennifer R.; Long, Jordan

    2014-01-01

    A warming climate influences boreal forest productivity, dynamics, and disturbance regimes. We used ecosystem models and 250 m satellite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data averaged over the growing season (GSN) to model current, and estimate future, ecosystem performance. We modeled Expected Ecosystem Performance (EEP), or anticipated productivity, in undisturbed stands over the 2000–2008 period from a variety of abiotic data sources, using a rule-based piecewise regression tree. The EEP model was applied to a future climate ensemble A1B projection to quantify expected changes to mature boreal forest performance. Ecosystem Performance Anomalies (EPA), were identified as the residuals of the EEP and GSN relationship and represent performance departures from expected performance conditions. These performance data were used to monitor successional events following fire. Results suggested that maximum EPA occurs 30–40 years following fire, and deciduous stands generally have higher EPA than coniferous stands. Mean undisturbed EEP is projected to increase 5.6% by 2040 and 8.7% by 2070, suggesting an increased deciduous component in boreal forests. Our results contribute to the understanding of boreal forest successional dynamics and its response to climate change. This information enables informed decisions to prepare for, and adapt to, climate change in the Yukon River Basin forest.

  4. BOREAS (Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study): Global change and biosphere-atmosphere interactions in the boreal forest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sellers, Piers J.

    1991-01-01

    The Boreal Ecosystems Atmosphere Study (BOREAS) is a cooperative field and analysis project involving elements of land surface climatology, tropospheric chemistry, and terrestrial ecology. The goal of the study is to understand the interactions between the boreal forest biome and the atmosphere in order to clarify their roles in global change. The study will be centered on two 20 by 20 km sites within the North American boreal forest region, located near the northern and southern limits of the biome. Studies based at these sites will be used to explore the roles of various environmental factors in controlling the extent and character of the biome. The sites will be the subject of surface, airborne, and satellite based observations which aim to improve understanding of the biological and physical processes and states which govern the exchanges of energy, water, carbon, and trace gases between boreal forest ecosystems and the atmosphere. Particular reference will be made to those processes and states that may be sensitive to global change. The study also aims to develop the use of remote sensing techniques to transfer understanding of the above process from local scales out to regional scales. The BOREAS project is being planned for 1992-1996, with a major field effort in 1994.

  5. Carbonaceous aerosols from prescribed burning of a boreal forest ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Mazurek, M.A. ); Cofer, W.R. III; Levine, J.S. . Langley Research Center)

    1990-10-01

    The identity and ambient mass concentrations of radiatively important carbonaceous aerosols were measured for a boreal forest prescribed burn conducted in northern Ontario, CAN in August 1989. Nonsize-segregated airborne particles were collected for smoldering-fire and full-fire conditions using a helicopter sampling platform. Total carbon (TC), organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) were measured. Smoke plume mass concentrations of the OC and EC particles were greatest for full-fire conditions and had ranges of 1.560 to 2.160 mg/m{sup {minus}1} (OC) and 0.120 to 0.160 mg/m{sup {minus}3} (EC) with OC:EC ratios of 10 to 18, respectively. Smoldering fire conditions showed smoke plume OC and EC levels of 0.570--1.030 mg/m{sup {minus}3} (OC) and 0.006--0.050 mg/m{sup {minus}3} (EC) and much higher ratios of OC:EC (21 to 95). These aerosol data indicate the formation of EC particles is greatest during full-fire combustion of boreal forest material relative to smoldering combustion. However, EC particles comprise a minor fraction of the particulate carbon smoke aerosols for both full-fire and smoldering conditions; the major component of carbonaceous smoke aerosols emitted during the prescribed burn is OC. Overall, the OC and EC in-plume smoke aerosol data show nonuniform production of these particles during various stages of the prescribed burn, and major differences in the type of carbonaceous aerosol that is generated (OC versus EC).

  6. Characterizing forest fragments in boreal, temperate, and tropical ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Meddens, Arjan J H; Hudak, Andrew T; Evans, Jeffrey S; Gould, William A; González, Grizelle

    2008-12-01

    An increased ability to analyze landscapes in a spatial manner through the use of remote sensing leads to improved capabilities for quantifying human-induced forest fragmentation. Developments of spatially explicit methods in landscape analyses are emerging. In this paper, the image delineation software program eCognition and the spatial pattern analysis program FRAGSTATS were used to quantify patterns of forest fragments on six landscapes across three different climatic regions characterized by different moisture regimes and different influences of human pressure. Our results support the idea that landscapes with higher road and population density are more fragmented; however, there are other, equally influential factors contributing to fragmentation, such as moisture regime, historic land use, and fire dynamics. Our method provided an objective means to characterize landscapes and assess patterns of forest fragments across different forested ecosystems by addressing the limitations of pixel-based classification and incorporating image objects. PMID:19205180

  7. The role of forest floor and trees to the ecosystem scale methane budget of boreal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pihlatie, Mari; Halmeenmäki, Elisa; Peltola, Olli; Haikarainen, Iikka; Heinonsalo, Jussi; Santalahti, Minna; Putkinen, Anuliina; Fritze, Hannu; Urban, Otmar; Machacova, Katerina

    2016-04-01

    Boreal forests are considered as a sink of atmospheric methane (CH4) due to the activity of CH4 oxidizing bacteria (methanotrophs) in the soil. This soil CH4 sink is especially strong for upland forest soils, whereas forests growing on organic soils may act as small sources due to the domination of CH4 production by methanogens in the anaerobic parts of the soil. The role of trees to the ecosystem-scale CH4 fluxes has until recently been neglected due to the perception that trees do not contribute to the CH4 exchange, and also due to difficulties in measuring the CH4 exchange from trees. Findings of aerobic CH4 formation in plants and emissions from tree-stems in temperate and tropical forests during the past decade demonstrate that our understanding of CH4 cycling in forest ecosystems is not complete. Especially the role of forest canopies still remain unresolved, and very little is known of CH4 fluxes from trees in boreal region. We measured the CH4 exchange of tree-stems and tree-canopies from pine (Pinus sylvestris), spruce (Picea abies) and birch (Betula pubescens, Betula pendula) trees growing in Southern Finland (SMEAR II station) on varying soil conditions, from upland mineral soils to paludified soil. We compared the CH4 fluxes from trees to forest-floor CH4 exchange, both measured by static chambers, and to CH4 fluxes measured above the forest canopy by a flux gradient technique. We link the CH4 fluxes from trees and forest floor to physiological activity of the trees, such as transpiration, sap-flow, CO2 net ecosystem exchange (NEE), soil properties such as temperature and moisture, and to the presence of CH4 producing methanogens and CH4 oxidizing methanotrophs in trees or soil. The above canopy CH4 flux measurements show that the whole forest ecosystem was a small source of CH4 over extended periods in the spring and summer 2012, 2014 and 2015. Throughout the 2013-2014 measurements, the forest floor was in total a net sink of CH4, with variation

  8. Interactive effects between N addition and disturbance on boreal forest ecosystem structure and function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nordin, Annika; Strengbom, Joachim; From, Fredrik

    2014-05-01

    In management of boreal forests, nitrogen (N) enrichment from atmospheric deposition or from forest fertilization can appear in combination with land-use related disturbances, i.e. tree harvesting by clear-felling. Long-term interactive effects between N enrichment and disturbance on boreal forest ecosystem structure and function are, however, poorly known. We investigated effects of N enrichment by forest fertilization done > 25 years ago on forest understory species composition in old-growth (undisturbed) forests, and in forests clear-felled 10 years ago (disturbed). In clear-felled forests we also investigated effects of the previous N addition on growth of tree saplings. The results show that the N enrichment effect on the understory species composition was strongly dependent on the disturbance caused by clear-felling. In undisturbed forests, there were small or no effects on understory species composition from N addition. In contrast, effects were large in forests first exposed to N addition and subsequently disturbed by clear-felling. Effects of N addition differed among functional groups of plants. Abundance of graminoids increased (+232%) and abundance of dwarf shrubs decreased (-44%) following disturbance in N fertilized forests. For vascular plants, the two perturbations had contrasting effects on α-(within forests) and β-diversity (among forests): in disturbed forests, N addition reduced, or had no effect on α-diversity, while β-diversity increased. For bryophytes, negative effects of disturbance on α-diversity were smaller in N fertilized forests than in forests not fertilized, while neither N addition nor disturbance had any effects on β-diversity. Moreover, sapling growth in forests clear-felled 10 years ago was significantly higher in previously N fertilized forests than in forests not fertilized. Our study show that effects of N addition on plant communities may appear small, short-lived, or even absent until exposed to a disturbance. This

  9. Vulnerability to climate-induced changes in ecosystem services of boreal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmberg, Maria; Rankinen, Katri; Aalto, Tuula; Akujärvi, Anu; Nadir Arslan, Ali; Liski, Jari; Markkanen, Tiina; Mäkelä, Annikki; Peltoniemi, Mikko

    2016-04-01

    Boreal forests provide an array of ecosystem services. They regulate climate, and carbon, water and nutrient fluxes, and provide renewable raw material, food, and recreational possibilities. Rapid climate warming is projected for the boreal zone, and has already been observed in Finland, which sets these services at risk. MONIMET (LIFE12 ENV/FI/000409, 2.9.2013 - 1.9.2017) is a project funded by EU Life programme about Climate Change Indicators and Vulnerability of Boreal Zone Applying Innovative Observation and Modeling Techniques. The coordinating beneficiary of the project is the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Associated beneficiaries are the Natural Resources Institute Finland, the Finnish Environment Institute and the University of Helsinki. In the MONIMET project, we use state-of-the-art models and new monitoring methods to investigate the impacts of a warming climate on the provision of ecosystem services of boreal forests. This poster presents results on carbon storage in soil and assessment of drought indices, as a preparation for assessing the vulnerability of society to climate-induced changes in ecosystem services. The risk of decreasing provision of ecosystem services depends on the sensitivity of the ecosystem as well as its exposure to climate stress. The vulnerability of society, in turn, depends on the risk of decreasing provision of a certain service in combination with society's demand for that service. In the next phase, we will look for solutions to challenges relating to the quantification of the demand for ecosystem services and differences in spatial extent and resolution of the information on future supply and demand.

  10. Declining plant nitrogen supply and carbon accumulation in ageing primary boreal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Högberg, Mona N.; Yarwood, Stephanie A.; Trumbore, Susan; Högberg, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Boreal forest soils are commonly characterized by a low plant nitrogen (N) supply. A high tree below-ground allocation of carbon (C) to roots and soil microorganisms in response to the shortage of N may lead to high microbial immobilisation of N, thus aggravating the N limitation. We studied the N supply at a Swedish boreal forest ecosystem chronosequence created by new land rising out of the sea due to iso-static rebound. The youngest soils develop with meadows by the coast, followed by a zone of dinitrogen fixing alder trees, and primary boreal conifer forest on ground up to 560 years old. With increasing ecosystem age, the proportion of microbial C out of the total soil C pool from the youngest to the oldest coniferous ecosystem was constant (c. 1-1.5%), whereas immobilised N (microbial N out of total soil N) increased and approached the levels commonly observed in similar boreal coniferous forests (c. 6-7 %), whereas gross N mineralization declined. Simultaneously, plant foliar N % decreased and the natural abundance of N-15 in the soil increased. More specifically, the difference in N-15 between plant foliage and soil increased, which is related to greater retention of N-15 relative to N-14 by ectomycorrhizal fungi as N is taken up from the soil and some N is transferred to the plant host. In the conifer forest, where these changes were greatest, we found increased fungal biomass in the F- and H-horizons of the mor-layer, in which ectomycorrhizal fungi are known to dominate (the uppermost horizon with litter and moss is dominated by saprotrophic fungi). Hence, we propose that the decreasing N supply to the plants and the subsequent decline in plant production in ageing boreal forests is linked to high tree belowground C allocation to C limited ectomycorrhizal fungi (and other soil microorganisms), a strong sink for available soil N. Data on organic matter C-14 suggested that the largest input of recently fixed plant C occurred in the younger coniferous forest

  11. Simulating net ecosystem productivity and the sensitivity of a sub-arctic boreal forest ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ueyama, M.; Harazono, Y.; Kim, Y.; Tanaka, N.

    2005-12-01

    BIOME-BGC was used to examine how air temperature and precipitation affect NEP in a sub-arctic black spruce forest. The model was tuned using data from the eddy correlation measurement site in UAF black spruce forest during 2003 and 2004. The climate dataset of Fairbanks airport between 1949 and 2004 was used for the model spin-up. The model almost reproduced the observed NEE, in which climate in 2003 was normal and that in 2004 was drought in summer. The model, however, failed to simulate the late winter NEE, during which obvious daytime uptake were observed under extreme low temperature. Annual simulation of GPP and ecosystem respiration was 2.2 and 1.8 kg CO2 m-2 yr-1 in 2003 and 2.4 and 1.9 kg CO2 m-2 yr-1 in 2004. While warm growing season temperature enhanced the photosynthesis and respiration in 2004, significant drought in August 2004 were restricted both the photosynthesis and heterotrophic respiration. Simulated annual NEE was 0.2 kg CO2 m-2 yr-1 in 2003 and 0.3 kg CO2 m-2 yr-1 in 2004. The simulation explored the impact of seasonal warmer (+5oC), wetter (120% of precipitation) and drier (80% of precipitation) spells on net ecosystem productivity, comparing the long term Fairbanks weather between 1980 and 2000. Wetter condition in either season did not significantly affect annual NEP. While drought summer decreased annual NEP by 30% mainly due to reduction in GPP by 9%, low snowfall winter also reduced the annual NEP by 19%, in which low snow water brought drought stress in following summer and then suppressed both GPP to 93% and ecosystem respiration to 96%. Warmer summer and autumn decreased annual NEP to 37% and 65%. In this case, GPP did not increase and maintenance and heterotrophic respiration were enhanced to 120% and 126%, respectively, in warmer summer and 103% and 107%, respectively, in warmer autumn. The simulation unambiguously showed productivity of the sub-arctic boreal forest was significantly sensitive to warmer temperature in summer and

  12. Nitrogen fixation in moss-cyanobacteria associations in boreal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rousk, Kathrin

    2014-05-01

    Nitrogen (N) limits the productivity in boreal forests. A major source of 'new' N for these forests is the fixation of atmospheric N2 preformed by cyanobacteria living in association with mosses and lichens. Mosses are a dominant feature in boreal forests, accounting for 60-90% of the groundcover in pristine boreal forests and have been found to be colonized by several N2-fixing cyanobacteria. Given the ubiquitous nature of mosses in these forests, their association with N2-fixing cyanobacteria could characterize the N cycle in these ecosystems. For instance, the feather moss Pleurozium schreberi with its associated cyanobacteria fixes 1-2 kg N ha-1 yr-1, which equals the amount that enters northern boreal forests via atmospheric N deposition. Nitrogen fixation in moss-cyanobacteria associations is affected by numerous abiotic factors that could modulate the N input to the system via the moss-cyanobacteria pathway. For instance, high N availability and dry conditions inhibit N2 fixation in moss-cyanobacteria associations while phosphorus availability and moist conditions promote N2 fixation. Further, N2fixation in moss-cyanobacteria associations is resilient, and can recover from increased N inputs (12 - 15 kg N ha-1 yr-1) as well as from drought stress (moss < 9% field moisture) upon removal of these stressors. Nevertheless, the question as to how important the N2 fixing capability of moss-cyanobacteria associations is as a source of 'new' N for the N cycle in boreal forests remains. For instance, mosses can retain acquired N over long periods of time (> 1 year) and the transfer of N from moss to soil in the short-term has so far only been shown to occur after disturbances (e.g. drying rewetting events, fires). I will present results from laboratory as well as field experiments aimed to elucidate the role moss-cyanobacteria associations play for the N cycle in boreal forests and how abiotic factors control the fixation of atmospheric N2.

  13. Tree Species Linked to Large Differences in Ecosystem Carbon Distribution in the Boreal Forest of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melvin, A. M.; Mack, M. C.; Johnstone, J. F.; Schuur, E. A. G.; Genet, H.; McGuire, A. D.

    2014-12-01

    In the boreal forest of Alaska, increased fire severity associated with climate change is altering plant-soil-microbial feedbacks and ecosystem carbon (C) dynamics. The boreal landscape has historically been dominated by black spruce (Picea mariana), a tree species associated with slow C turnover and large soil organic matter (SOM) accumulation. Historically, low severity fires have led to black spruce regeneration post-fire, thereby maintaining slow C cycling rates and large SOM pools. In recent decades however, an increase in high severity fires has led to greater consumption of the soil organic layer (SOL) during fire and subsequent establishment of deciduous tree species in areas previously dominated by black spruce. This shift to a more deciduous dominated landscape has many implications for ecosystem structure and function, as well as feedbacks to global C cycling. To improve our understanding of how boreal tree species affect C cycling, we quantified above- and belowground C stocks and fluxes in adjacent, mid-successional stands of black spruce and Alaska paper birch (Betula neoalaskana) that established following a 1958 fire near Fairbanks, Alaska. Although total ecosystem C pools (aboveground live tree biomass + dead wood + SOL + top 10 cm of mineral soil) were similar for the two stand types, the distribution of C among pools was markedly different. In black spruce, 78% of measured C was found in soil pools, primarily in the SOL, where spruce contained twice the C stored in paper birch (4.8 ± 0.3 vs. 2.4 ± 0.1 kg C m-2). In contrast, aboveground biomass dominated ecosystem C pools in birch forest (6.0 ± 0.3 vs. 2.5 ± 0.2 kg C m-2 in birch and spruce, respectively). Our findings suggest that tree species exert a strong influence over plant-soil-microbial feedbacks and may have long-term effects on ecosystem C sequestration and storage that feedback to the climate system.

  14. Comparing soil biogeochemical processes in novel and natural boreal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quideau, S. A.; Swallow, M. J. B.; Prescott, C. E.; Grayston, S. J.; Oh, S.-W.

    2013-08-01

    Emulating the variability that exists in the natural landscape prior to disturbance should be a goal of soil reconstruction and land reclamation efforts following resource extraction. Long-term ecosystem sustainability within reclaimed landscapes can only be achieved with the re-establishment of biogeochemical processes between reconstructed soils and plants. In this study, we assessed key soil biogeochemical attributes (nutrient availability, organic matter composition, and microbial communities) in reconstructed, novel, anthropogenic ecosystems, covering different reclamation treatments following open-cast mining for oil extraction. We compared the attributes to those present in a range of natural soils representative of mature boreal forest ecosystems in the same area of Northern Alberta. Soil nutrient availability was determined in situ with resin probes, organic matter composition was described with 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and soil microbial community structure was characterized using phospholipid fatty acid analysis. Significant differences among natural ecosystems were apparent in nutrient availability and seemed more related to the dominant tree cover than to soil type. When analyzed together, all natural forests differed significantly from the novel ecosystems, in particular with respect to soil organic matter composition. However, there was some overlap between the reconstructed soils and some of the natural ecosystems in nutrient availability and microbial communities, but not in organic matter characteristics. Hence, our results illustrate the importance of considering the range of natural landscape variability and including several soil biogeochemical attributes when comparing novel, anthropogenic ecosystems to the mature ecosystems that constitute ecological targets.

  15. Comparing soil biogeochemical processes in novel and natural boreal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quideau, S. A.; Swallow, M. J. B.; Prescott, C. E.; Grayston, S. J.; Oh, S.-W.

    2013-04-01

    Emulating the variability that exists in the natural landscape prior to disturbance should be a goal of soil reconstruction and land reclamation efforts following resource extraction. Long-term ecosystem sustainability within reclaimed landscapes can only be achieved with the re-establishment of biogeochemical processes between reconstructed soils and plants. In this study, we assessed key soil biogeochemical attributes (nutrient availability, organic matter composition, and microbial communities) in reconstructed, novel, anthropogenic ecosystems covering different reclamation treatments following open-cast mining for oil extraction. We compared the attributes to those present in a range of natural soils representative of mature boreal forest ecosystems in the same area of northern Alberta. Soil nutrient availability was determined in situ with resin probes, organic matter composition was described with 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and soil microbial community structure was characterized using phospholipid fatty acid analysis. Significant differences among natural ecosystems were apparent in nutrient availability and seemed more related to the dominant tree cover than to soil type. When analyzed together, all natural forests differed significantly from the novel ecosystems, in particular with respect to soil organic matter composition. However, there was some overlap between the reconstructed soils and some of the natural ecosystems in nutrient availability and microbial communities, but not in organic matter characteristics. Hence, our results illustrate the importance of considering the range of natural landscape variability, and including several soil biogeochemical attributes when comparing novel, anthropogenic ecosystems to the mature ecosystems that constitute ecological targets.

  16. Bryophyte-cyanobacteria associations contribute to ecosystem-N-budget of boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salemaa, Maija; Lindroos, Antti-Jussi; Merilä, Päivi; Mäkipää, Raisa; Smolander, Aino

    2014-05-01

    Bryophytes frequently dominate the ground vegetation on the forest floor in boreal region. Northern ecosystems are often nitrogen limited, and therefore biological nitrogen (N2) fixation of bryophyte-associated microbes is an important source of new N. In this study we estimated the N stock of bryophyte layer and the N input rate by N2 fixation of bryophyte-cyanobacteria associations at the ecosystem level. We studied 12 intensively monitored forest ecosystem plots (ICP Forests Level II) along a latitudinal gradient in Finland during 2009-2013. The total biomass and N stock of the bryophytes varied 700-2000 kg ha-1 and 9-23 kg ha-1, respectively. N2 fixation rate associated to bryophytes increased towards the north and was at highest 1-2 kg N ha-1 year-1 (based on the bryophyte biomass in the monitoring plots). This N input was at the same level as the N deposition in the northern Finland (1.5 kg N ha-1 year-1). In comparison, via needle litterfall and other tree litter c.a. 5 kg N ha-1 is annually returned to the nutrient cycle. In southern Finland, very low rates of N2 fixation were found probably because of inhibition by the anthropogenic N deposition. The upper parts of the bryophyte shoots showed 2-3 times higher N2-fixing rate than the lower parts, but differences between Hylocomium splendens and Pleurozium schreberi were minor. However, Dicranum species showed much lower N2 fixation rates compared to these two species. The moisture level of bryophytes and light/temperature conditions regulated strongly the rate of N2-fixing activity. The results showed that the bryophyte layer significantly contributes to the N input and plays an important role in controlling the N and C balances of boreal forests.

  17. Multi-trophic resilience of boreal lake ecosystems to forest fires.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Tyler L; Lindberg, Mark S; Schmutz, Joel A; Bertram, Mark R

    2014-05-01

    Fires are the major natural disturbance in the boreal forest, and their frequency and intensity will likely increase as the climate warms. Terrestrial nutrients released by fires may be transported to boreal lakes, stimulating increased primary productivity, which may radiate through multiple trophic levels. Using a before-after-control-impact (BACI) design, with pre- and postfire data from burned and unburned areas, we examined effects of a natural fire across several trophic levels of boreal lakes, from nutrient and chlorophyll levels, to macroinvertebrates, to waterbirds. Concentrations of total nitrogen and phosphorus were not affected by the fire. Chlorophyll a levels were also unaffected, likely reflecting the stable nutrient concentrations. For aquatic invertebrates, we found that densities of three functional feeding groups did not respond to the fire (filterers, gatherers, scrapers), while two groups increased (shredders, predators). Amphipods accounted for 98% of shredder numbers, and we hypothesize that fire-mediated habitat changes may have favored their generalist feeding and habitat ecology. This increase in amphipods may, in turn, have driven increased predator densities, as amphipods were the most numerous invertebrate in our lakes and are commonly taken as prey. Finally, abundance of waterbird young, which feed primarily on aquatic invertebrates, was not affected by the fire. Overall, ecosystems of our study lakes were largely resilient to forest fires, likely due to their high initial nutrient concentrations and small catchment sizes. Moreover, this resilience spanned multiple trophic levels, a significant result for ecologically similar boreal regions, especially given the high potential for increased fires with future climate change. PMID:25000757

  18. Multi-trophic resilience of boreal lake ecosystems to forest fires

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lewis, Tyler L.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Bertram, M.R.

    2014-01-01

    Fires are the major natural disturbance in the boreal forest, and their frequency and intensity will likely increase as the climate warms. Terrestrial nutrients released by fires may be transported to boreal lakes, stimulating increased primary productivity, which may radiate through multiple trophic levels. Using a before-after-control-impact (BACI) design, with pre- and postfire data from burned and unburned areas, we examined effects of a natural fire across several trophic levels of boreal lakes, from nutrient and chlorophyll levels, to macroinvertebrates, to waterbirds. Concentrations of total nitrogen and phosphorus were not affected by the fire. Chlorophyll levels were also unaffected, likely reflecting the stable nutrient concentrations. For aquatic invertebrates, we found that densities of three functional feeding groups did not respond to the fire (filterers, gatherers, scrapers), while two groups increased (shredders, predators). Amphipods accounted for 98% of shredder numbers, and we hypothesize that fire-mediated habitat changes may have favored their generalist feeding and habitat ecology. This increase in amphipods may, in turn, have driven increased predator densities, as amphipods were the most numerous invertebrate in our lakes and are commonly taken as prey. Finally, abundance of waterbird young, which feed primarily on aquatic invertebrates, was not affected by the fire. Overall, ecosystems of our study lakes were largely resilient to forest fires, likely due to their high initial nutrient concentrations and small catchment sizes. Moreover, this resilience spanned multiple trophic levels, a significant result for ecologically similar boreal regions, especially given the high potential for increased fires with future climate change.

  19. Projected dynamics of abiotic risks in boreal forest ecosystems (SRES A1B, B1)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panferov, O.; Ahrends, B.; Doering, C.; Sogachev, A.

    2009-04-01

    The ongoing climate change causes an increasing frequency of weather extremes (Leckebusch et al., 2008), which can result in wide area damage events (drought, windthrows/breaks) within boreal forest ecosystem. The damage effects, however, depend not only on the strength of a driving force itself (e.g. wind speed) but also on combinations of effecting agents and forest structure. Thus, the present study investigates the projected future developments of abiotic risks in different boreal forests during the 21st Century under conditions of SRES scenarios A1B and B1. Climate scenario data of coupled ECHAM5-MPIOM were downscaled by the regional climate model (CLM) to the spatial resolution of 0.2° x 0.2°, using daily time- steps. With these input data the small-scale modelling with coupled process based sub-models (Jansen et al., 2008) was carried out e.g. for Solling region, (Germany) calculating the water and energy balance of forest ecosystems with modified BROOK 90 (Ahrends et al., 2009) and wind loading on trees with 3D ABL model SCADIS (Panferov and Sogachev, 2008). Norway spruce and Scots pine of various ages were chosen as typical tree species for boreal forest ecosystems and cambisols, podzolic cambisols and stagnosols as typical soil types. The risks of drought and windthrow/breaks for a certain forest stand result from daily combinations of soil water characteristics, static and gust wind loads and soil texture. Damaged stands show higher vulnerability and thus - positive feedback to climate forcing (Vygodskaya et al., 2008). Therefore differences of microclimatological conditions in the remaining stand after changes in forest structure (Radler et al, 2008) were taken into account. Modell output was aggregated to 30-years periods and compared to "present conditions" of 1981-2010. The results show an increment of drought risks towards 2100 caused by changes in precipitation pattern and increase of mean air temperature, whereas the A1B scenario is

  20. Soil organic matter cycling in novel and natural boreal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norris, C. E.; Mercier Quideau, S.

    2013-12-01

    The uplands of the western boreal forest of Canada are characterized by a mosaic of pure and mixed stands of aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss). In addition to natural ecosystems, the region is now home to novel ecosystems; i.e., ecosystems composed of reclaimed stands formed from trees planted on constructed anthropogenic soils. To understand potential differences in functioning of these novel ecosystems, we must first better understand the functioning of their natural counterparts. Here we present results on both the characterization and cycling of soil organic matter in novel and natural ecosystems found in the Athabasca oil sands region. Soil organic matter from 42 long term monitoring sites was evaluated for long chain (≥ C21) n-alkane composition. The survey showed that n-alkanes were more concentrated and had distinct signatures in natural compared to novel ecosystems. Mineral soils from reclaimed stands showed a distinct microbial community structure from natural aspen and spruce stands, as was demonstrated using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) as microbial biomarkers following addition of 13C-glucose in a laboratory incubation. Further probing by compound specific analysis of the 13C-enriched PLFAs determined that microbial incorporation of 13C-glucose was different among soils. In a field incubation using 15N labeled aspen litter added to the forest floor of reclaimed, harvested and mature natural aspen stands, the microbial community readily incorporated the tracer and nitrogen was cycled to the above-ground vegetation on all sites. In addition, the amendment of leaf litter to the forest floor also increased soil moisture and soil microbial biomass on both the reclaimed and harvested sites. Utilizing stable isotope tracers in addition to a multi-faceted experimental approach has provided insightful results on the development of soil biogeochemical cycling in novel ecosystems.

  1. Importance of the forest canopy to fluxes of methyl mercury and total mercury to boreal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    St Louis, V L; Rudd, J W; Kelly, C A; Hall, B D; Rolfhus, K R; Scott, K J; Lindberg, S E; Dong, W

    2001-08-01

    The forest canopy was an important contributor to fluxes of methyl mercury (MeHg) and total mercury (THg) to the forest floor of boreal uplands and wetlands and potentially to downstream lakes, at the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), northwestern Ontario. The estimated fluxes of MeHg and THg in throughfall plus litterfall below the forest canopy were 2 and 3 times greater than annual fluxes by direct wet deposition of MeHg (0.9 mg of MeHg ha(-1)) and THg (71 mg of THg ha(-1)). Almost all of the increased flux of MeHg and THg under the forest canopy occurred as litterfall (0.14-1.3 mg of MeHg ha(-1) yr(-1) and 110-220 mg of THg ha(-1) yr(-1)). Throughfall added no MeHg and approximately 9 mg of THg ha(-1) yr(-1) to wet deposition at ELA, unlike in other regions of the world where atmospheric deposition was more heavily contaminated. These data suggest that dry deposition of Hg on foliage as an aerosol or reactive gaseous Hg (RGM) species is low at ELA, a finding supported by preliminary measurements of RGM there. Annual total deposition from throughfall and litterfall under a fire-regenerated 19-yr-old jack pine/birch forest was 1.7 mg of MeHg ha(-1) and 200 mg of THg ha(-1). We found that average annual accumulation of MeHg and THg in the surficial litter/fungal layer of soils since the last forest fire varied between 0.6 and 1.6 mg of MeHg ha(-1) and between 130 and 590 mg of THg ha(-1) among sites differing in drainage and soil moisture. When soil Hg accumulation sites were matched with similar sites where litterfall and throughfall were collected, measured fluxes of THg to the forest floor (sources) were similar to our estimates of longterm soil accumulation rates (sinks), suggesting that the Hg in litterfall and throughfall is a new and not a recycled input of Hg to forested ecosystems. However, further research is required to determine the proportion of Hg in litterfall that is being biogeochemically recycled within forest and wetland ecosystems and, thus, does

  2. Effects and Feedbacks of Windthrow/breaks in Boreal Forest Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panferov, O.; Sogachev, A.; Radler, K.; Oltchev, A.; Gravenhorst, G.

    2008-12-01

    The increased frequency of severe storms (Leckebusch et al., 2007) as a result of ongoing climate change, results in a wide area damage events within boreal forest ecosystems. The damage occurs at exposed forest edges as well as inside forest stands creating the gaps. Once a windthrow/break gap occurs, it results in changes of surface albedo and microclimatological conditions and in increasing wind stress on remaining trees around the gap which in turn increase the risk of further wind damage. The self-induced growth of windthrow gap provides other positive as well as negative feedbacks to climate forcing at different spatial and temporal scales as shown in Vygodskaya et al., 2007, e.g. an increase of CO2 efflux (climate warming) and an increase of surface albedo (climate cooling). The present study characterizes the spatial variation of wind load and the changes in radiative regime (surface albedo) within the damaged forest stand. For description of wind field and load on trees the atmospheric boundary-layer two-equation closure model SCADIS based on transport equations for turbulent kinetic energy (E) and specific dissipation (omega) (E-omega model), which accounts for the flow dynamics within a plant canopy (Panferov and Sogachev, 2008; Sogachev and Panferov, 2006) was used. The radiative regime within the damaged forest is described by means of a three-dimensional radiation transfer model SPM3D (Panferov et al., 2005). A series of numerical experiments with circular and rectangular forest gaps with sizes from 3 to 75 tree heights, h, have been carried out for a modelled boreal forest. To evaluate the changes produced by gaps relatively to undisturbed forest all characteristics were normalized by their values for the latter. The results of the study show that the magnitude of wind load on trees surrounding the newly created forest gaps increases with gap size and is app. 7 times higher than the load on trees in an undisturbed forest. The gust component of wind

  3. Ecosystem services of boreal forests - Carbon budget mapping at high resolution.

    PubMed

    Akujärvi, Anu; Lehtonen, Aleksi; Liski, Jari

    2016-10-01

    The carbon (C) cycle of forests produces ecosystem services (ES) such as climate regulation and timber production. Mapping these ES using simple land cover -based proxies might add remarkable inaccuracy to the estimates. A framework to map the current status of the C budget of boreal forested landscapes was developed. The C stocks of biomass and soil and the annual change in these stocks were quantified in a 20 × 20 m resolution at the regional level on mineral soils in southern Finland. The fine-scale variation of the estimates was analyzed geo-statistically. The reliability of the estimates was evaluated by comparing them to measurements from the national multi-source forest inventory. The C stocks of forests increased slightly from the south coast to inland whereas the changes in these stocks were more uniform. The spatial patches of C stocks were larger than those of C stock changes. The patch size of the C stocks reflected the spatial variation in the environmental conditions, and that of the C stock changes the typical area of forest management compartments. The simulated estimates agreed well with the measurements indicating a good mapping framework performance. The mapping framework is the basis for evaluating the effects of forest management alternatives on C budget at high resolution across large spatial scales. It will be coupled with the assessment of other ES and biodiversity to study their relationships. The framework integrated a wide suite of simulation models and extensive inventory data. It provided reliable estimates of the human influence on C cycle in forested landscapes. PMID:27420172

  4. Regional Assessment of soil organic matter profile distribution in the boreal forest ecosystems of Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meshalkina, Joulia; Belousova, Nataliya; Vasenev, Ivan

    2015-04-01

    Boreal forest ecosystems play one of the key roles in the Global Change challenges responses. The soil carbon stocks are principal regulators of their environmental functions. Boreal forest soil cover is characterized by mutually increased spatial variability in soil organic matter content (SOMC) that one need to take into attention in its current and future environmental functions state assessment including the potential of regional soil organic matter stocks changes due to Global Change and inverse ones. Knowledge of the regional regularities in SOMC profile vertical distribution allows improving their soil environmental functions prediction land quality evaluation. More than 900 profiles of SOMC distribution were studied using the database Boreal that contains data on Russian boreal soils developed in drained conditions on loamy soil forming rocks. These soil profiles belong to seven main types of forest soils of Russian classification and six major regions of Russia. The predomination of accumulation profile type was observed for all cases. Thus the vertical distribution of OMC in the profiles of boreal soils can be described as follow: the layer of maximum OMC is replaced by the layer of dramatic OMC reduction; then the layer of minimal OMC extends up to 2.5 m. The layer of maximal OMC accumulation has the low depth of 5-15 cm. It carried out in different genetic horizons: A1, A1A2, A2, B, AB; sometimes it captures the A2B horizon or the upper part of the illuvial horizon. The OMC in this layer increases from the northern taiga to the southern taiga and from the European part of Russia to Siberia. The second layer is characterized by its depth and by the gradient of OMC decreasing. A great variety of the both parameters is observed. The layer of the sharp OMC fall most often fits with the eluvial horizons A2 or А2В or even the upper part of the Вt (textural) or Bm (metamorphic) horizons. The layer of permanently small OMC may begin in any genetic horizon

  5. Natural disturbance impacts on ecosystem services and biodiversity in temperate and boreal forests.

    PubMed

    Thom, Dominik; Seidl, Rupert

    2016-08-01

    In many parts of the world forest disturbance regimes have intensified recently, and future climatic changes are expected to amplify this development further in the coming decades. These changes are increasingly challenging the main objectives of forest ecosystem management, which are to provide ecosystem services sustainably to society and maintain the biological diversity of forests. Yet a comprehensive understanding of how disturbances affect these primary goals of ecosystem management is still lacking. We conducted a global literature review on the impact of three of the most important disturbance agents (fire, wind, and bark beetles) on 13 different ecosystem services and three indicators of biodiversity in forests of the boreal, cool- and warm-temperate biomes. Our objectives were to (i) synthesize the effect of natural disturbances on a wide range of possible objectives of forest management, and (ii) investigate standardized effect sizes of disturbance for selected indicators via a quantitative meta-analysis. We screened a total of 1958 disturbance studies published between 1981 and 2013, and reviewed 478 in detail. We first investigated the overall effect of disturbances on individual ecosystem services and indicators of biodiversity by means of independence tests, and subsequently examined the effect size of disturbances on indicators of carbon storage and biodiversity by means of regression analysis. Additionally, we investigated the effect of commonly used approaches of disturbance management, i.e. salvage logging and prescribed burning. We found that disturbance impacts on ecosystem services are generally negative, an effect that was supported for all categories of ecosystem services, i.e. supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural services (P < 0.001). Indicators of biodiversity, i.e. species richness, habitat quality and diversity indices, on the other hand were found to be influenced positively by disturbance (P < 0.001). Our analyses thus

  6. Characterizing Zinc Speciation in Soils from a Smelter-Affected Boreal Forest Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Jordan G; Farrell, Richard E; Chen, Ning; Feng, Renfei; Reid, Joel; Peak, Derek

    2016-03-01

    HudBay Minerals, Inc., has mined and/or processed Zn and Cu ore in Flin Flon, MB, Canada, since the 1930s. The boreal forest ecosystem and soil surrounding these facilities have been severely impacted by mixed metal contamination and HSO deposition. Zinc is one of the most prevalent smelter-derived contaminants and has been identified as a key factor that may be limiting revegetation. Metal toxicity is related to both total concentrations and speciation; therefore, X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence mapping were used to characterize Zn speciation in soils throughout the most heavily contaminated areas of the landscape. Zinc speciation was linked to two distinct soil types. Group I soils consist of exposed soils in weathered positions of bedrock outcrops with Zn present primarily as franklinite, a (ZnFeO) spinel mineral. Group II soils are stabilized by an invasive metal-tolerant grass species, with Zn found as a mixture of octahedral (Fe oxides) and tetrahedral Mn oxides) adsorption complexes with a franklinite component. Soil erosion influences Zn speciation through the redistribution of Zn and soil particulates from Group I landscape positions to Group II soils. Despite Group II soils having the highest concentrations of CaCl-extractable Zn, they support metal-tolerant plant growth. The metal-tolerant plants are probably preferentially colonizing these areas due to better soil and nutrient conditions as a result of soil deposition from upslope Group I areas. Zinc concentration and speciation appears to not influence the colonization by metal-tolerant grasses, but the overall soil properties and erosion effects prevent the revegetation by native boreal forest species. PMID:27065416

  7. Forest Forecasting with Multiple Ecosystem Models in the Boreal forests of Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuman, Jacquelyn; Tchebakova, Nadezhda; Parfenova, Elena; Soja, Amber; Shugart, Herman; Ershov, Dmitry; Holcomb, Katherine

    2014-05-01

    Forest modeling is an important tool in forecasting land cover response to changing climate and disturbance patterns, and individual tree species are an essential piece. Global simulations have demonstrated profound potential for future climate to impact the distribution of terrestrial ecosystems and individual species. A large scale bioclimatic model (RuBCliM) and a detailed individual based forest gap model (UVAFME) were used to simulate the forests across Russia for current as well as future climate for the A1B scenario from the NCAR CCSM and GEOS CCM. RuBCliM utilizes climate indices to indicate presence and response of the forest to changing conditions over time. UVAFME utilizes climate and site conditions with direct competition between individual trees within a mixed species forest to track forest response over time. Following assessment of modelling for current climate against inventory data, the models are used to forecast the effects of changing climate on the distribution of forests and species. Comparisons measured with Kappa statistic between the models and forest species distribution as shown by the models and inventory data indicates fair to good agreement for species of Pinus slyvestris, Abies sibirica, Picea spp., Pinus sibirica, and Larix spp. (Kappa values from 0.58 to 0.45). For future climate conditions both models indicate a dramatic shift in the dominant biomes of the region and a significant change in biomass in response to changing climate conditions for the NCAR CCSM scenario. Agreement between these different modelling techniques provides increased confidence in the projected forest response to changing climate.

  8. Live and Dead Root Biomass in Alaskan Tundra and Boreal Forest Ecosystems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCulloch, L. A.; Loranty, M. M.; Natali, S.; Kholodov, A. L.

    2015-12-01

    High-latitude ecosystems are important sinks, as well as potentially large sources of carbon as the climate continues to change. Belowground biomass of vegetation can act as both a sink and source of carbon; with live root biomass acting as a sink of carbon stores, and dead root biomass acting as a source of carbon to the atmosphere. There is significant literature citing the large ratio of belowground to aboveground biomass in tundra ecosystems, yet understanding of allocation in forested regions of the artic is less understood. Arctic vegetation is investing more resources and energy into belowground biomass relative to aboveground biomass compared to other ecosystems. However, permafrost ecosystems have low decomposition rates as a result of their cold and saturated soils. This allows for the accumulation of a thick organic layer mainly composed of decomposing belowground biomass. Fine roots are of particular importance because their rapid turnover rates makes them important contributions to soil carbon pools. To quantify the ratio of dead to live roots in tundra and boreal forest ecosystems, soils were collected along a latitudinal gradient throughout Interior Alaska, the Arctic North Slope and Coastal Western Alaska. Several sites located in close proximity were chosen to control for geological and climatic differences among sites, allowing differences to be attributed to the proximal ecosystem. Soil samples were washed, sieved and the roots were sorted into the four categories, including fine-live, fine-dead, coarse-live, and coarse-dead. Classification of these roots followed well established protocols based on visual and physical cues with coarse roots being greater than 2mm. Dead to live ratios of root biomass varied from 4.91 to 45.98, averaging at 14.29 +/- 11.39. Belowground allocation of plant biomass and associated resources may not be significantly larger than aboveground allocation because the majority of the belowground biomass is dead and non

  9. Moss-cyanobacteria associations as biogenic sources of nitrogen in boreal forest ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Rousk, Kathrin; Jones, Davey L.; DeLuca, Thomas H.

    2013-01-01

    The biological fixation of atmospheric nitrogen (N) is a major pathway for available N entering ecosystems. In N-limited boreal forests, a significant amount of N2 is fixed by cyanobacteria living in association with mosses, contributing up to 50% to the total N input. In this review, we synthesize reports on the drivers of N2 fixation in feather moss-cyanobacteria associations to gain a deeper understanding of their role for ecosystem-N-cycling. Nitrogen fixation in moss-cyanobacteria associations is inhibited by N inputs and therefore, significant fixation occurs only in low N-deposition areas. While it has been shown that artificial N additions in the laboratory as well as in the field inhibit N2 fixation in moss-cyanobacteria associations, the type, as well as the amounts of N that enters the system, affect N2 fixation differently. Another major driver of N2 fixation is the moisture status of the cyanobacteria-hosting moss, wherein moist conditions promote N2 fixation. Mosses experience large fluctuations in their hydrological status, undergoing significant natural drying and rewetting cycles over the course of only a few hours, especially in summer, which likely compromises the N input to the system via N2 fixation. Perhaps the most central question, however, that remains unanswered is the fate of the fixed N2 in mosses. The cyanobacteria are likely to leak N, but whether this N is transferred to the soil and if so, at which rates and timescales, is unknown. Despite our increasing understanding of the drivers of N2 fixation, the role moss-cyanobacteria associations play in ecosystem-N-cycling remains unresolved. Further, the relationship mosses and cyanobacteria share is unknown to date and warrants further investigation. PMID:23785359

  10. Effect of stand age on whole ecosystem CO2 exchange in the Canadian boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litvak, Marcy; Miller, Scott; Wofsy, Steve C.; Goulden, Michael

    2003-02-01

    One of the key steps to estimating the current and future contribution of boreal forests to the global carbon cycle is quantifying the role recovery from fire plays in stand level carbon dynamics. We used tower-based eddy covariance to measure the CO2 exchange above five black spruce stands in central Manitoba during the 1999 and 2000 growing seasons (June-September). Fluxes in the four youngest stands (11, 19, 36, and 70 year old burns) were measured using portable eddy flux systems stationed in each burn for 4 to 6 weeks. Fluxes in the oldest stand (˜1870 burn) were measured continuously throughout 1999 and 2000, providing a baseline for interpretation of the fluxes measured simultaneously in the younger stands. Light-saturated CO2 uptake was lowest in the 11 year old stand (-4.1 μmol m-2 s-1), high in the 19 year old stand (-8.9 μmol m-2 s-1), highest in the 36 year old stand (-10.1 μmol m-2 s-1), and moderate in the 70 and 130 year old stands (-6.3 and -7.1 μmol m-2 s-1, respectively). Whole-ecosystem respiration was lowest in the youngest burn and consistently increased with stand age. Integrated daily carbon balance changed from a slight sink at the 11 year old stand (-0.20 g C m-2 d-1) to a modest sink at the 19 year old stand (-1.9 g C m-2 d-1) to a large sink at the 36 year old stand (-3.1 g C m-2 d-1) to a modest sink at the 70 year old stand (-0.53 g C m-2 d-1) to around zero at the 130 year old stand. The results from any single tower in a boreal region are therefore unlikely to be representative of the entire region. Reliable assessments of regional carbon balance will require an approach that incorporates information on the fractional coverage of stands in different age classes and measurements of ecosystem gas exchange by representative stands within each age class.

  11. Vapor pressure deficit controls on fire ignition and fire spread in boreal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sedano, F.; Randerson, J. T.

    2014-01-01

    Climate-driven changes in the fire regime within boreal forest ecosystems are likely to have important effects on carbon cycling and species composition. In the context of improving fire management options and developing more realistic scenarios of future change, it is important to understand how meteorology regulates different fire processes, including ignition, daily fire spread rates, and cumulative annual burned area. Here we combined MODIS active fires (MCD14ML), MODIS imagery (MOD13A1) and ancillary historic fire perimeter information to produce a dataset of daily fire spread maps of Alaska for the period 2002-2011. This approach provided a spatial and temporally continuous representation of fire progression and a precise identification of ignition and extinction locations and dates for each wildfire. The fire-spread maps were analyzed together with daily vapor pressure deficit (VPD) observations from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) and lightning strikes from the Alaska Lightning Detection Network (ALDN). We found a significant relationship between daily VPD and probability that a lightning strike would develop into a fire ignition. In the first 5 days after ignition, above average VPD increased the probability that fires would grow to large or very large sizes. Strong relationships also were identified between VPD and burned area at several levels of temporal and spatial aggregation. As a consequence of regional coherence in meteorology, ignition, daily fire spread rates, and fire extinction events were often synchronized across different fires in interior Alaska. At a regional scale, the sum of positive VPD anomalies during the fire season was positively correlated with annual burned area during the NARR era (1979-2011; R2 = 0.45). Some of the largest fires we mapped had slow initial growth, indicating opportunities may exist for suppression efforts to adaptively manage these forests for climate change. The results of our spatiotemporal

  12. The potentiation of zinc toxicity by soil moisture in a boreal forest ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Owojori, Olugbenga J; Siciliano, Steven D

    2015-03-01

    Northern boreal forests often experience forest dieback as a result of metal ore mining and smelting. The common solution is to lime the soil, which increases pH, reducing metal toxicity and encouraging recovery. In certain situations, however, such as in Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada, liming has yielded only moderate benefits, with some locations responding well to liming and other locations not at all. In an effort to increase the effectiveness of the ecorestoration strategy, the authors investigated if these differences in liming responsiveness were linked to differences in toxicity. Toxicity of metal-impacted Flin Flon soils on the oribatid mite Oppia nitens and the collembolan Folsomia candida was assessed, with a view toward identifying the metal of concern in the area. The effects of moisture content on metal sorption, uptake, and toxicity to the invertebrates were also investigated. Toxicity tests with the invertebrates were conducted using either Flin Flon soils or artificial soils with moisture content adjusted to 30%, 45%, 60%, or 75% of the maximum water-holding capacity of the soil samples. The Relative to Cd Toxicity Model identified Zn as the metal of concern in the area, and this was confirmed using validation tests with field contaminated soils. Furthermore, increasing the moisture content in soils increased the amount of mobile Zn available for uptake with the ion exchange resin. Survival and reproduction of both invertebrates were reduced under Zn exposure as moisture level increased. Thus, moisture-collecting landforms, which are often also associated with high Zn concentrations at Flin Flon, have, as a result, higher Zn toxicity to the soil ecosystem because of increases in soil moisture. PMID:25502519

  13. Photosynthesis and light-use efficiency by plants in a Canadian boreal forest ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Whitehead, D; Gower, S T

    2001-08-01

    Measurements of the photosynthetic response to midsummer irradiance were made for 11 species representing the dominant trees, understory shrubs, herbaceous plants and moss species in an old black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) boreal forest ecosystem. Maximum rates of photosynthesis per unit foliage area at saturating irradiance, A(max), were highest for aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), reaching 16 micromol m(-2) s(-1). For tamarack (Larix laricina (Du Roi) K. Kock) and P. mariana, Amax was only 2.6 and 1.8 micromol m(-2) s(-1), respectively. Values of A(max) for understory shrubs and herbaceous plants were clustered between 9 and 11 micromol m(-2) s(-1), whereas A(max) of feather moss (Pleurozium schreberi (Brid.) Mitt.) reached only 1.9 micromol m(-2) s(-1). No corrections were made for differences in shoot structure, but values of photosynthetic light-use efficiency were similar for most species (70-80 mmol CO2 mol(-1)); however, they were much lower for L. laricina and P. mariana (15 mmol CO2 mol(-1)) and much higher for P. schreberi (102 m;mol CO2 mol(-1)). There was a linear relationship between Amax and foliage nitrogen concentration on an area basis for the broad-leaved species in the canopy and understory, but the data for P. mariana, L. laricina and P. schreberi fell well below this line. We conclude that it is not possible to scale photosynthesis from leaves to the canopy in this ecosystem based on a single relationship between photosynthetic rate and foliage nitrogen concentration. PMID:11498339

  14. Boreal Forest Ecosystems Along Canadian Transect in Central Canada:Multivariate Analysis of Species Composition, Detritus and Soil Carbon Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhatti, J.; Yu, Z.; Apps, M. J.

    2001-05-01

    The species composition, detritus, and soil data from 97 boreal forest stands along a transect (BFTCS) in central Canada were analyzed using (detrended) (canonical) correspondence analysis to determine the dominant environmental/site variables that differentiate these forest stands. The forests include aspen, jack pine, black spruce and mixed wood stands. Black spruce stands are densely clustered together on understory DCA plot, suggesting that they have consistent understory species composition, such as feathermoss and ericades, whereas aspen stands have most diverse understory species composition (~30 species), mostly shrubs and herbs. Jack pine stands have several characteristic species of reindeer lichens (Cladina spp.), but have rare saplings and seedlings of jack pine. Although climatic variables show large variation along the transect, the CCA results indicate that site conditions are more important in determining species composition and differentiating the stand types. Characteristics of forest floor (duff layer, woody debris, and drainage) appear to be among the most important site variables. The black spruce stands have significantly higher average carbon (C) densities in duff layer (43,530 kg C/ha) than aspen (25,500 kg C/ha) and jack pine stands (19,400 kg C/ha). The thick duff layer in lowland black spruce stands plays an important role in regulating soil temperatures and moistures, and organic-matter decomposition, which in turn affect the ecosystem C dynamics. During forest succession after a stand-replacing disturbance (e.g., fires), tree biomass increases in all stand types as forests recover; however, detritus biomass first decreases and then increases after ~80 years. In all stand types, duff layer thickness increases with stand regrowth ages. Soil C densities show slight decrease with ages in aspen stands, but increase in other stand types. These results indicate the complex C transfer processes among different components (tree biomass, detritus

  15. Inclusion of Additional Plant Species and Trait Information in Dynamic Vegetation Modeling of Arctic Tundra and Boreal Forest Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Patil, V.; Roach, J.; Griffith, B.; McGuire, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) have been developed to model the ecophysiological characteristics of plant functional types in terrestrial ecosystems. They have frequently been used to answer questions pertaining to processes such as disturbance, plant succession, and community composition under historical and future climate scenarios. While DVMs have proved useful in these types of applications, it has often been questioned if additional detail, such as including plant dynamics at the species-level and/or including species-specific traits would make these models more accurate and/or broadly applicable. A sub-question associated with this issue is, 'How many species, or what degree of functional diversity, should we incorporate to sustain ecosystem function in modeled ecosystems?' Here, we focus on how the inclusion of additional plant species and trait information may strengthen dynamic vegetation modeling in applications pertaining to: (1) forage for caribou in northern Alaska, (2) above- and belowground carbon storage in the boreal forest and lake margin wetlands of interior Alaska, and (3) arctic tundra and boreal forest leaf phenology. While the inclusion of additional information generally proved valuable in these three applications, this additional detail depends on field data that may not always be available and may also result in increased computational complexity. Therefore, it is important to assess these possible limitations against the perceived need for additional plant species and trait information in the development and application of dynamic vegetation models.

  16. Nutrient fluxes from insect herbivory increase during ecosystem retrogression in boreal forest.

    PubMed

    Metcalfe, Daniel B; Crutsinger, Gregory M; Kumordzi, Bright B; Wardle, David A

    2016-01-01

    Ecological theory, developed largely from ungulates and grassland systems, predicts that herbivory accelerates nutrient cycling more in productive than unproductive systems. This prediction may be important for understanding patterns of ecosystem change over time and space, but its applicability to other ecosystems and types of herbivore remain uncertain. We estimated fluxes of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from herbivory of a common tree species (Betula pubescens) by a common species of herbivorous insect along a -5000-yr boreal chronosequence. Contrary to established theory, fluxes of N and P via herbivory increased along the chronosequence despite a decline in plant productivity. The herbivore-mediated N and P fluxes to the soil are comparable to the main alternative pathway for these nutrients via tree leaf litterfall. We conclude that insect herbivores can make large contributions to nutrient cycling even in unproductive systems, and influence the rate and pattern of ecosystem development, particularly in systems with low external nutrient inputs. PMID:27008782

  17. The boreal forest as a cultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Edward A; Miyanishi, Kiyoko

    2012-02-01

    Because of its generally low density of humans and few settlements, the circumpolar boreal forest is often viewed as an untouched wilderness. However, archeological evidence indicates that humans have inhabited the region since the continental glaciers disappeared 8,000-12,000 years ago. This paper discusses the ecological impacts that humans have had on the boreal forest ecosystem through their activities in prehistoric, historic, and recent times and argues that the boreal forest has always been a cultural landscape with a gradient of impacts both spatially and temporally. These activities include hunting, trapping, herding, agriculture, forestry, hydroelectric dam projects, oil and natural gas development, and mining. In prehistoric times, human impacts would generally have been more temporary and spatially localized. However, the megafaunal extinctions coincident with arrival of humans were very significant ecological impacts. In historic times, the spread of Europeans and their exploitation of the boreal's natural resources as well as agricultural expansion has altered the composition and continuity of the boreal forest ecosystem in North America, Fennoscandia, and Asia. Particularly over the last century, these impacts have increased significantly (e.g., some hydroelectric dams and tar sands developments that have altered and destroyed vast areas of the boreal forest). Although the atmospheric changes and resulting climatic changes due to human activities are causing the most significant changes to the high-latitude boreal forest ecosystem, any discussion of these impacts are beyond the limits of this paper and therefore are not included. PMID:22243366

  18. Integrating modelling and remote sensing to identify ecosystem performance anomalies in the boreal forest, Yukon River Basin, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wylie, B.K.; Zhang, L.; Bliss, Norman B.; Ji, Lei; Tieszen, Larry L.; Jolly, W. M.

    2008-01-01

    High-latitude ecosystems are exposed to more pronounced warming effects than other parts of the globe. We develop a technique to monitor ecological changes in a way that distinguishes climate influences from disturbances. In this study, we account for climatic influences on Alaskan boreal forest performance with a data-driven model. We defined ecosystem performance anomalies (EPA) using the residuals of the model and made annual maps of EPA. Most areas (88%) did not have anomalous ecosystem performance for at least 6 of 8 years between 1996 and 2004. Areas with underperforming EPA (10%) often indicate areas associated with recent fires and areas of possible insect infestation or drying soil related to permafrost degradation. Overperforming areas (2%) occurred in older fire recovery areas where increased deciduous vegetation components are expected. The EPA measure was validated with composite burn index data and Landsat vegetation indices near and within burned areas.

  19. The detection and interpretation of fire-disturbed boreal forest ecosystems in Alaska using spaceborne SAR data

    SciTech Connect

    Bourgeau-Chavez, L.L.; Kasischke, E.S.; French, N.H.F. )

    1993-06-01

    There is great interest in the ability to remotely monitor changes in boreal forest ecosystems for the understanding and balancing of the global carbon budget. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the utility of spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR), particularly the ERS-1 C-VV SAR, for the detection and interpretation of fire-disturbed boreal forest ecosystems in the state of Alaska. The Alaska Fire Service has provided fire maps and records for comparison with the SAR data. Preliminary results have found that the following all have an influence on the detectability of a fire-scar (1) the time elapsed since the fire occurred, (2) the season in which the SAR data is collected, and (3) the geomorphology of the landscape in which the fire occurred. This paper demonstrates the usefulness of SAR in the estimation of the areal extent of fires. It also evaluates the potential usefulness of SAR in providing information on the spatial variability of bum intensity.

  20. Recent Tree-growth Responses to Warming Vary by Geographic Region and Ecosystem Type within the Boreal Forest-tundra Transition Zone in Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherriff, R.; Miller, A. E.

    2015-12-01

    A critical concern for boreal ecosystems centers on broad-scale responses to warming; i.e., where warming will lead to declining growth and mortality, or enhanced growth and greater productivity. However, few studies have synthesized tree growth along biogeographic gradients in an attempt to address this issue. We sought to develop a broader understanding of how trees have responded to recent warming for a dominant conifer species from the southern boreal to the western forest margin, an area expected to show signs of an early-stage boreal biome shift. A new 30-site network of ring-width chronologies (1216 trees >4cm dbh) were evaluated for growth differences in Picea glauca across low-elevation, closed forests, open woodlands, and altitudinal treeline from southern interior boreal forest to the western forest-tundra margin. Regional temperature records were used to evaluate 1) whether tree growth near western treeline, which experiences cooler summers but warmer winters than in the interior, showed greater sensitivity to temperature than interior sites, 2) if the temperature-growth response varied through time, across ecosystem types, and by tree age, and 3) if there was a temperature-growth threshold. Positive growth trends since the 1980s in many open stands were consistent with the predicted expansion of western and altitudinal treeline. However, years with temperatures >13oC corresponded with a growth plateau or decline at all but the altitudinal treeline sites regardless of geographic location. Closed-canopy stands showed growth declines, high spruce beetle activity, and less resiliency to further warming. Warming leads to markedly different responses according to ecosystem type and biogeographical setting at the boreal forest-tundra margin. Low-elevation forests are less resilient to further warming where temperatures have already reached threshold levels and further spruce beetle outbreaks occur, even at the western margin of boreal forest.

  1. Sensitivity of Spruce/Moss Boreal Forest Net Ecosystem Productivity to Seasonal Anomalies in Weather

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frolking, Steve

    1997-01-01

    Abstract. A process-oriented, daily time step model of a spruce/moss boreal ecosystem simulated 1994 and 1995 productivity for a Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study site near Thompson, Manitoba. Simulated black spruce net primary productivity (NPP) was 139 g C m(exp -2) in 1994 and 112 in 1995; feathermoss NPP was 13.0 g C m(exp -2) in 1994 and 9.7 in 1995; decomposition was 126 g C m(exp -2) in 1994 and 130 in 1995; net ecosystem productivity (NEP) was an uptake of 26.3 g C m(exp -2)in 1994 and 2.5 in 1995. A very dry period for the first half of the 1995 summer was the major cause of that year's lower productivity. Sensitivity simulations explored the impact of 2-month long warmer, cooler, wetter, and drier spells on ecosystem productivity. Warmer summers decreased spruce NPP, moss NPP, and NEP; cooler summers had the opposite effect. Earlier snowmelt (due to either warmer spring temperatures or reduced winter precipitation) increased moss and spruce NPP; later snowmelt had the opposite effect. The largest effect on decomposition was a 5% reduction due to a drier summer. One-month droughts (April through October) were also imposed on 1975 base year weather. Early summer droughts reduced moss annual NPP by -30-40%; summer droughts reduced spruce annual NPP by 10%; late summer droughts increased moss NPP by about 20% due to reduced respiration; May to September monthly droughts reduced heterotrophic respiration by about 10%. Variability in NEP was up to roughly +/- 35%. Finally, 1975 growing season precipitation was redistributed into frequent, small rainstorms and infrequent, large rainstorms. These changes had no effect on spruce NPP. Frequent rainstorms increased decomposition by a few percent, moss NPP by 50%, and NEP by 20%. Infrequent rainstorms decreased decomposition by 5%, moss NPP by 50% and NEP by 15%. The impact of anomalous weather patterns on productivity of this ecosystem depended on their timing during the year. Multiyear data sets are necessary to

  2. Fluxes of Dissolved Organic Carbon within Soils across a Boreal Forest Ecosystem Latitudinal Transect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowering, K.; Edwards, K.; Billings, S. A.; Skinner, A.; Warren, J.; Ziegler, S. E.

    2013-12-01

    The movement of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) can represent a significant flux of C within soils, and may be a critical flux of C from the terrestrial into the aquatic environment. Further, these fluxes can represent an important source of C to deeper mineral horizons where stabilization mechanisms may exist. However the quantity and quality of this C flux is largely unknown, and regulating factors that are influenced by climate and land-use change are poorly understood. This movement of C is of particular interest in the boreal forest, where large soil C stocks are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Laboratory experiments have demonstrated that warming, in the absence of moisture limitation, can increase the rate of production of DOC in soils directly through increased decomposition rates; however, this has been difficult to test under field conditions where seasonality, intact soil, and hydrological systems influence DOC production and movement. To assess the impact of climate warming on DOC fluxes occurring through the organic soil layer of the eastern North American boreal forest, we sampled passive lysimeters installed at 3 sites along a latitudinal transect in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Separated by just over 5° latitude, mean annual temperature at these sites were 4°C, 2.1°C, and -0.5°C from lowest to highest latitude. Six lysimeters were sampled from each site and collections were made at least three times annually for two consecutive years (2011-2013). Soils tend to freeze over-winter in the high-latitude site whereas they rarely freeze in the low-latitude site. The low-latitude site also experiences more variable precipitation, with a longer snow-free season and more precipitation falling during single events. Rates of DOC flux increased with decreasing latitude, indicating greater DOC transport through soils in forests experiencing a warmer climate. DOC fluxes calculated over different seasonal time periods ranged from 4.6 to 20

  3. Carbonaceous aerosols from prescribed burning of a boreal forest ecosystem. Revision

    SciTech Connect

    Mazurek, M.A.; Cofer, W.R. III; Levine, J.S.

    1990-10-01

    The identity and ambient mass concentrations of radiatively important carbonaceous aerosols were measured for a boreal forest prescribed burn conducted in northern Ontario, CAN in August 1989. Nonsize-segregated airborne particles were collected for smoldering-fire and full-fire conditions using a helicopter sampling platform. Total carbon (TC), organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) were measured. Smoke plume mass concentrations of the OC and EC particles were greatest for full-fire conditions and had ranges of 1.560 to 2.160 mg/m{sup {minus}1} (OC) and 0.120 to 0.160 mg/m{sup {minus}3} (EC) with OC:EC ratios of 10 to 18, respectively. Smoldering fire conditions showed smoke plume OC and EC levels of 0.570--1.030 mg/m{sup {minus}3} (OC) and 0.006--0.050 mg/m{sup {minus}3} (EC) and much higher ratios of OC:EC (21 to 95). These aerosol data indicate the formation of EC particles is greatest during full-fire combustion of boreal forest material relative to smoldering combustion. However, EC particles comprise a minor fraction of the particulate carbon smoke aerosols for both full-fire and smoldering conditions; the major component of carbonaceous smoke aerosols emitted during the prescribed burn is OC. Overall, the OC and EC in-plume smoke aerosol data show nonuniform production of these particles during various stages of the prescribed burn, and major differences in the type of carbonaceous aerosol that is generated (OC versus EC).

  4. Impact of fire disturbance on soil thermal and carbon dynamics in Alaskan Tundra and Boreal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Y.; Rastetter, E.; Shaver, G. R.; Rocha, A. V.

    2012-12-01

    In Alaska, fire disturbance is a major component influencing the soil water and energy balance in both tundra and boreal forest ecosystems. Fire-caused changes in soil environment further affect both above- and below-ground carbon cycles depending on different fire severities. Understanding the effects of fire disturbance on soil thermal change requires implicit modeling work on the post-fire soil thawing and freezing processes. In this study, we model the soil temperature profiles in multiple burned and non-burned sites using a well-developed soil thermal model which fully couples soil water and heat transport. The subsequent change in carbon dynamics is analyzed based on site level observations and simulations from the Multiple Element Limitation (MEL) model. With comparison between burned and non-burned sites, we compare and contrast fire effects on soil thermal and carbon dynamics in continuous permafrost (Anaktuvik fire in north slope), discontinuous permafrost (Erickson Creek fire at Hess Creek) and non-permafrost zone (Delta Junction fire in interior Alaska). Then we check the post-fire recovery of soil temperature profiles at sites with different fire severities in both tundra and boreal forest fire areas. We further project the future changes in soil thermal and carbon dynamics using projected climate data from Scenarios Network for Alaska & Arctic Planning (SNAP). This study provides information to improve the understanding of fire disturbance on soil thermal and carbon dynamics and the consequent response under a warming climate.

  5. Ecosystem types of boreal forest in the North Klondike River Valley, Yukon Territory, Canada, and their productivity potentials.

    PubMed

    Kojima, S

    1996-01-01

    Vegetation, environmental characteristics, and forest productivity were studied in the boreal forest in the North Klondike River Valley, Yukon Territory, Canada. The concept and approach of biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification were followed. For the treed vegetation, five ecosystem types were distinguished based on vegetation structure and physical and chemical properties of soils. They were: 1) spruce-lichen type, 2) spruce-moss type, 3) spruce-Equisetum type, 4) spruce-willow type, and 5) bog forest type. These types were differentiated mainly by moisture regime and base status of soils. The sequence of the ecosystem types reflected their topographical position from slope summit to valley bottom. The spruce-lichen type developed in the driest and nutritionally impoverished habitats, the spruce-Equisetum type occurred in moist and nutritionally enriched sites, and the spruce-moss type was found in between them. The bog forest type occurred where peat had accumulated sufficiently to generate ombrotrophic conditions in habitats of high water table underlain with permafrost. The spruce-willow type developed along small creeks where substrates were very coarse. Tree growth characteristics were measured, except for the bog forest type that did not have trees over 5 m tall. Total volume of standing trees ranged from 29 to 582 m(3)/ha, with an overall mean of 216.9 m(3)/ha. The spruce-Equisetum type exhibited the highest figure, 413.5 m(3)/ha, while spruce-lichen type the lowest one, 87.7 m(3)/ha. Mean annual increment ranged from 0.15 to 2.66 m(3)/ha, with an overall mean of 1.10 m(3)/ha. A similar tendency was noted for all other forestry characteristics, i.e., the spruce-Equisetum type showed the highest productivity while the spruce-lichen type the lowest. This tendency was considered to be attributed to the availability of moisture and basic cations in soils. PMID:24198010

  6. Enabling intelligent copernicus services for carbon and water balance modeling of boreal forest ecosystems - North State

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Häme, Tuomas; Mutanen, Teemu; Rauste, Yrjö; Antropov, Oleg; Molinier, Matthieu; Quegan, Shaun; Kantzas, Euripides; Mäkelä, Annikki; Minunno, Francesco; Atli Benediktsson, Jon; Falco, Nicola; Arnason, Kolbeinn; Storvold, Rune; Haarpaintner, Jörg; Elsakov, Vladimir; Rasinmäki, Jussi

    2015-04-01

    The objective of project North State, funded by Framework Program 7 of the European Union, is to develop innovative data fusion methods that exploit the new generation of multi-source data from Sentinels and other satellites in an intelligent, self-learning framework. The remote sensing outputs are interfaced with state-of-the-art carbon and water flux models for monitoring the fluxes over boreal Europe to reduce current large uncertainties. This will provide a paradigm for the development of products for future Copernicus services. The models to be interfaced are a dynamic vegetation model and a light use efficiency model. We have identified four groups of variables that will be estimated with remote sensed data: land cover variables, forest characteristics, vegetation activity, and hydrological variables. The estimates will be used as model inputs and to validate the model outputs. The earth observation variables are computed as automatically as possible, with an objective to completely automatic estimation. North State has two sites for intensive studies in southern and northern Finland, respectively, one in Iceland and one in state Komi of Russia. Additionally, the model input variables will be estimated and models applied over European boreal and sub-arctic region from Ural Mountains to Iceland. The accuracy assessment of the earth observation variables will follow statistical sampling design. Model output predictions are compared to earth observation variables. Also flux tower measurements are applied in the model assessment. In the paper, results of hyperspectral, Sentinel-1, and Landsat data and their use in the models is presented. Also an example of a completely automatic land cover class prediction is reported.

  7. Boreal forest health and global change.

    PubMed

    Gauthier, S; Bernier, P; Kuuluvainen, T; Shvidenko, A Z; Schepaschenko, D G

    2015-08-21

    The boreal forest, one of the largest biomes on Earth, provides ecosystem services that benefit society at levels ranging from local to global. Currently, about two-thirds of the area covered by this biome is under some form of management, mostly for wood production. Services such as climate regulation are also provided by both the unmanaged and managed boreal forests. Although most of the boreal forests have retained the resilience to cope with current disturbances, projected environmental changes of unprecedented speed and amplitude pose a substantial threat to their health. Management options to reduce these threats are available and could be implemented, but economic incentives and a greater focus on the boreal biome in international fora are needed to support further adaptation and mitigation actions. PMID:26293953

  8. Biomass burning in boreal forests and peatlands: Effects on ecosystem carbon losses and soil carbon stabilization as black carbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turetsky, M. R.; Kane, E. S.; Benscoter, B.

    2011-12-01

    Climate change has increased both annual area burned and the severity of biomass combustion in some boreal regions. For example, there has been a four-fold increase in late season fires in boreal Alaska over the last decade relative to the previous 50 years. Such changes in the fire regime are expected to stimulate ecosystem carbon losses through fuel combustion, reduced primary production, and increased decomposition. However, biomass burning also will influence the accumulation of black carbon in soils, which could promote long-term soil carbon sequestration. Variations in slope and aspect regulate soil temperatures and drainage conditions, and affect the development of permafrost and thick peat layers. Wet soil conditions in peatlands and permafrost forests often inhibit combustion during wildfires, leading to strong positive correlations between pre- and post- fire organic soil thickness that persist through multiple fire cycles. However, burning can occur in poorly drained ecosystems through smouldering combustion, which has implications for emission ratios of CO2:CH4:CO as well as black carbon formation. Our studies of combustion severity and black carbon concentrations in boreal soils show a negative relationship between concentrations of black carbon and organic carbon in soils post-fire. Relative to well drained stands, poorly drained sites with thick peat layers (such as north-facing stands) had less severe burning and low concentrations of black carbon in mineral soils post-fire. Conversely, drier forests lost a greater proportion of their organic soils during combustion but retained larger black carbon stocks following burning. Overall, we have quantified greater black carbon concentrations in surface mineral soil horizons than in organic soil horizons. This is surprising given that wildfires typically do not consume the entire organic soil layer in boreal forests, and could be indicative of the vulnerability of black carbon formed in organic horizons

  9. Effects of Conversion from Boreal Forest to Arctic Steppe on Soil Communities and Ecosystem Carbon Pools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, P. D.; Natali, S.; Schade, J. D.; Zimov, N.; Zimov, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    The end of the Pleistocene marked the extinction of a great variety of arctic megafauna, which, in part, led to the conversion of arctic grasslands to modern Siberian larch forest. This shift may have increased the vulnerability of permafrost to thawing because of changes driven by the vegetation shift; the higher albedo of grassland and low insulation of snow trampled by animals may have decreased soil temperatures and reduced ground thaw in the grassland ecosystem, resulting in protection of organic carbon in thawed soil and permafrost. To test these hypothesized impacts of arctic megafauna, we examined an experimental reintroduction of large mammals in northeast Siberia, initiated in 1988. Pleistocene Park now contains 23 horses, three musk ox, one bison, and several moose in addition to the native fauna. The park is 16 square km with a smaller enclosure (< 1 km) where animals spend most of their time and our study was focused. We measured carbon-pools in forested sites (where scat surveys showed low animal use), and grassy sites (which showed higher use), within the park boundaries. We also measured thaw depth and documented the soil invertebrate communities in each ecosystem. There was a substantial difference in number of invertebrates per kg of organic soil between the forest (600 ± 250) and grassland (300 ± 250), though these differences were not statistically significant they suggest faster nutrient turnover in the forest or a greater proportion of decomposition by invertebrates than other decomposers. While thaw depth was deeper in the grassland (60 ± 4 cm) than in the forest (40 ± 6 cm), we did not detect differences in organic layer depth or percent organic matter between grassland and forest. However, soil in the grassland had higher bulk density, and higher carbon stocks in the organic and mineral soil layers. Although deeper thaw depth in the grassland suggests that more carbon is available to microbial decomposers, ongoing temperature monitoring

  10. Role of de novo biosynthesis in ecosystem scale monoterpene emissions from a boreal Scots pine forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taipale, R.; Kajos, M. K.; Patokoski, J.; Rantala, P.; Ruuskanen, T. M.; Rinne, J.

    2010-11-01

    Monoterpene emissions from Scots pine have traditionally been assumed to originate as evaporation from specialized storage pools. More recently, the significance of de novo emissions, originating directly from monoterpene biosynthesis, has been recognized. To study the role of biosynthesis in the ecosystem scale, we measured monoterpene emissions from a Scots pine dominated forest in southern Finland using the disjunct eddy covariance method combined with proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry. The interpretation of the measurements was based on a hybrid emission algorithm describing both de novo and pool emissions. During the measurement period May-August 2007, the monthly medians of daytime emissions were 170, 280, 180, and 180 μg m-2 h-1. The emission potential for both de novo and pool emissions exhibited a decreasing summertime trend. The ratio of the de novo emission potential to the total emission potential varied between 30% and 46%. Although the monthly changes were not significant, the ratio always differed statistically from zero, i.e., the role of de novo biosynthesis was evident. The hybrid approach showed promising potential for the improvement of the ecosystem scale emission modelling. Given this feature and the significant role of biosynthesis, we recommend incorporating both de novo and pool emissions into the monoterpene emission algorithms for Scots pine dominated forests.

  11. Role of de novo biosynthesis in ecosystem scale monoterpene emissions from a boreal Scots pine forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taipale, R.; Kajos, M. K.; Patokoski, J.; Rantala, P.; Ruuskanen, T. M.; Rinne, J.

    2011-08-01

    Monoterpene emissions from Scots pine have traditionally been assumed to originate as evaporation from specialized storage pools. More recently, the significance of de novo emissions, originating directly from monoterpene biosynthesis, has been recognized. To study the role of biosynthesis at the ecosystem scale, we measured monoterpene emissions from a Scots pine dominated forest in southern Finland using the disjunct eddy covariance method combined with proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry. The interpretation of the measurements was based on a correlation analysis and a hybrid emission algorithm describing both de novo and pool emissions. During the measurement period May-August 2007, the monthly medians of daytime emissions were 200, 290, 180, and 200 μg m-2 h-1. The emissions were partly light dependent, probably due to de novo biosynthesis. The emission potential for both de novo and pool emissions exhibited a decreasing summertime trend. The ratio of the de novo emission potential to the total emission potential varied between 30 % and 46 %. Although the monthly changes were not significant, the ratio always differed statistically from zero, suggesting that the role of de novo biosynthesis was observable. Given the uncertainties in this study, we conclude that more accurate estimates of the contribution of de novo emissions are required for improving monoterpene emission algorithms for Scots pine dominated forests.

  12. Functional responses and resilience of boreal forest ecosystem after reduction of deer density.

    PubMed

    Bachand, Marianne; Pellerin, Stéphanie; Moretti, Marco; Aubin, Isabelle; Tremblay, Jean-Pierre; Côté, Steeve D; Poulin, Monique

    2014-01-01

    The functional trait-based approach is increasingly used to predict responses of ecological communities to disturbances, but most studies target a single taxonomic group. Here, we assessed the resilience of a forest ecosystem to an overabundant herbivore population by assessing changes in 19 functional traits for plant, 13 traits for ground beetle and 16 traits for songbird communities after six years of controlled browsing on Anticosti Island (Quebec, Canada). Our results indicated that plants were more responsive to 6 years of reduced browsing pressure than ground beetles and songbirds. However, co-inertia analysis revealed that ground beetle communities responded in a similar way than plant communities with stronger relationships between plant and ground beetle traits at reduced deer density, a pattern not detected between plant and songbird. High deer density favored plants species that reproduce vegetatively and with abiotic pollination and seed dispersal, traits implying little interaction with animal. On the other hand, traits found at reduced deer density mostly involved trophic interaction. For example, plants in this treatment had fleshy fruits and large seeds dispersed by birds or other animals whereas ground beetle species were carnivorous. Overall, our results suggest that plant communities recovered some functional components to overabundant herbivore populations, since most traits associated with undisturbed forests were reestablished after six years of deer reduction. The re-establishment of functional plant communities with traits involving trophic interaction induces changes in the ground-beetle trait community, but forest structure remains likely insufficiently heterogeneous to shift the songbird trait community within six years. PMID:24587362

  13. Toward Improved Parameterization of a Meso-Scale Hydrologic Model in a Discontinuous Permafrost, Boreal Forest Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endalamaw, A. M.; Bolton, W. R.; Young, J. M.; Morton, D.; Hinzman, L. D.

    2013-12-01

    The sub-arctic environment can be characterized as being located in the zone of discontinuous permafrost. Although the distribution of permafrost is site specific, it dominates many of the hydrologic and ecologic responses and functions including vegetation distribution, stream flow, soil moisture, and storage processes. In this region, the boundaries that separate the major ecosystem types (deciduous dominated and coniferous dominated ecosystems) as well as permafrost (permafrost verses non-permafrost) occur over very short spatial scales. One of the goals of this research project is to improve parameterizations of meso-scale hydrologic models in this environment. Using the Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed (CPCRW) as the test area, simulations of the headwater catchments of varying permafrost and vegetation distributions were performed. CPCRW, located approximately 50 km northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska, is located within the zone of discontinuous permafrost and the boreal forest ecosystem. The Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model was selected as the hydrologic model. In CPCRW, permafrost and coniferous vegetation is generally found on north facing slopes and valley bottoms. Permafrost free soils and deciduous vegetation is generally found on south facing slopes. In this study, hydrologic simulations using fine scale vegetation and soil parameterizations - based upon slope and aspect analysis at a 50 meter resolution - were conducted. Simulations were also conducted using downscaled vegetation from the Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning (SNAP) (1 km resolution) and soil data sets from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (approximately 9 km resolution). Preliminary simulation results show that soil and vegetation parameterizations based upon fine scale slope/aspect analysis increases the R2 values (0.5 to 0.65 in the high permafrost (53%) basin; 0.43 to 0.56 in the low permafrost (2%) basin) relative to parameterization based on

  14. Effects of Disturbances on Vegetation Composition and Permafrost Thaw in Boreal Forests and Tundra Ecosystems of the Siberian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramos, E.; Alexander, H. D.; Natali, S.

    2014-12-01

    In Arctic ecosystems, climate-driven changes to the thermal regime of permafrost soils have the potential to create surface disturbances that influence vegetation dynamics and underlying soil properties. Disturbance-mediated changes in vegetation are important because vegetation and the accumulation of soil organic matter drive ecosystem carbon (C) dynamics and contribute to the insulation of soils and protection of permafrost from thaw. We examined the effect of two disturbance types—thermokarsts and frost boils—to determine disturbance effects on the vegetation community and soil properties in northeast Siberia. In summer 2014, we measured vegetation cover, soil moisture, soil temperature, and thaw depth in two thermokarst sites within boreal forests, two frost boil sites in tundra, and in adjacent undisturbed sites within both ecosystems. Both thermokarst and frost boils resulted in decreased vegetation cover and greater exposure of mineral soils (10-40% bare soils vs. 0% in undisturbed), and consequently, 2-3 times higher soil temperature and deeper thaw depth. Compared to undisturbed areas, soil moisture was 3-4 times higher in thermokarst areas but 1.2-2 times lower in frost boil areas, which reflected differences in microtopography between these two disturbance types. In both thermokarst and frost boil disturbed areas, deciduous and evergreen shrubs covered only 5 and 10%, respectively, compared to approximately 10 and 20%, respectively, in undisturbed areas. In general, graminoids were substantially more abundant (2-20 times) in disturbed areas than in those undisturbed. These results highlight important linkages between disturbances, vegetation communities, and permafrost soils, and contribute to our understanding of how changes in arctic vegetation dynamics as direct and/or indirect consequences of climate change have the potential to impact permafrost C pools.

  15. Multi-scale influence of vapor pressure deficit on fire ignition and spread in boreal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sedano, F.; Randerson, J. T.

    2014-07-01

    Climate-driven changes in the fire regime within boreal forest ecosystems are likely to have important effects on carbon cycling and species composition. In the context of improving fire management options and developing more realistic scenarios of future change, it is important to understand how meteorology regulates different aspects of fire dynamics, including ignition, daily fire spread, and cumulative annual burned area. Here we combined Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) active fires (MCD14ML), MODIS imagery (MOD13A1) and ancillary historic fire perimeter information to produce a data set of daily fire spread maps for Alaska during 2002-2011. This approach provided a spatial and temporally continuous representation of fire progression and a precise identification of ignition and extinction locations and dates for each wildfire. The fire-spread maps were analyzed with daily vapor pressure deficit (VPD) observations from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) and lightning strikes from the Alaska Lightning Detection Network (ALDN). We found a significant relationship between daily VPD and likelihood that a lightning strike would develop into a fire ignition. In the first week after ignition, above average VPD increased the probability that fires would grow to large or very large sizes. Strong relationships also were identified between VPD and burned area at several levels of temporal and spatial aggregation. As a consequence of regional coherence in meteorology, ignition, daily fire spread, and fire extinction events were often synchronized across different fires in interior Alaska. At a regional scale, the sum of positive VPD anomalies during the fire season was positively correlated with annual burned area during the NARR era (1979-2011; R2 = 0.45). Some of the largest fires we mapped had slow initial growth, indicating opportunities may exist for suppression efforts to adaptively manage these forests for climate change. The results

  16. Modeling forest development after fire disturbance: Climate, soil organic layer, and nitrogen jointly affect forest canopy species and long-term ecosystem carbon accumulation in the North American boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trugman, A. T.; Fenton, N.; Bergeron, Y.; Xu, X.; Welp, L.; Medvigy, D.

    2015-12-01

    Soil organic layer dynamics strongly affect boreal forest development after fire. Field studies show that soil organic layer thickness exerts a species-specific control on propagule establishment in the North American boreal forest. On organic soils thicker than a few centimeters, all propagules are less able to recruit, but broadleaf trees recruit less effectively than needleleaf trees. In turn, forest growth controls organic layer accumulation through modulating litter input and litter quality. These dynamics have not been fully incorporated into models, but may be essential for accurate projections of ecosystem carbon storage. Here, we develop a data-constrained model for understanding boreal forest development after fire. We update the ED2 model to include new aspen and black spruce species-types, species-specific propagule survivorship dependent on soil organic layer depth, species-specific litter decay rates, dynamically accumulating moss and soil organic layers, and nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria associated with moss. The model is validated against diverse observations ranging from monthly to centennial timescales and spanning a climate gradient in Alaska, central Canada, and Quebec. We then quantify differences in forest development that result from changes in organic layer accumulation, temperature, and nitrogen. We find that (1) the model accurately reproduces a range of observations throughout the North American boreal forest; (2) the presence of a thick organic layer results in decreased decomposition and decreased aboveground productivity, effects that can increase or decrease ecosystem carbon uptake depending on location-specific attributes; (3) with a mean warming of 4°C, some forests switch from undergoing succession to needleleaf forests to recruiting multiple cohorts of broadleaf trees, decreasing ecosystem accumulation by ~30% after 300 years; (4) the availability of nitrogen regulates successional dynamics such than broadleaf species are

  17. Discrimination against C18O16O during photosynthesis and the oxygen isotope ratio of respired CO2 in boreal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flanagan, Lawrence B.; Brooks, J. Renee; Varney, Gregory T.; Ehleringer, James R.

    1997-03-01

    Our objective was to analyze factors that influence changes in the oxygen isotope ratio (δ18O) of atmospheric CO2 within boreal forest ecosystems. We made measurements in the three major forest types (black spruce, jack pine, and aspen) at the southern and northern ends of the boreal forest in central Canada. This research was part of a larger study, the Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS). In terrestrial ecosystems the δ18O value of atmospheric CO2 is strongly influenced by isotope effects that occur during photosynthesis and respiration. Of primary importance is an equilibrium isotope effect that occurs between oxygen in CO2 and oxygen in soil water and plant chloroplast water. During the equilibrium reaction the oxygen isotope ratio of CO2 becomes enriched in 18O relative to that of water. We measured seasonal changes in the oxygen isotope ratio of (1) water input to the ecosystems (precipitation), (2) water taken up by the major plant species from the soil (plant stem water), and (3) water in plant leaves. We used this information in calculations of isotope discrimination during photosynthesis and soil respiration. Discrimination against C18O16O during photosynthetic gas exchange (ΔA) (influenced by equilibration with chloroplast water) averaged approximately 21‰ at midday and was similar for all forest types. In contrast, CO2 released during plant and soil respiration had an average δ18O value of -14.4‰ but was less depleted in 18O than would be expected for respired CO2 in isotopic equilibrium with soil water. This effect was most pronounced in black spruce sites because of the extensive coverage of moss on the ground surface and the observation that water in the upper moss layers can have an oxygen isotope ratio substantially different from water in deeper soil layers.

  18. Modeling effects of climate change on spruce-fir forest ecosystems: Changes in the montane ecotone between boreal and temperate forests in the Green Mountains, U.S.A, from forest edge detection in Landsat TM imagery,1989 to 2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, J. R.; D'Amato, A. W.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change is projected to affect the integrity of forested ecosystems worldwide. One forest type expected to be severely impacted is the eastern spruce-fir forest, because it is already at the extreme elevational and latitudinal limits of its range within the northern United States. Large-scale bioclimactic models predict declining habitat suitability for spruce and fir species, while causing drought and thermal stress on remnant trees. As rising temperatures reduce or eliminate habitat throughout much of the current spruce-fir range, growth and regeneration of hardwood forests or more southerly conifers will be favored. The ecotone between northern hardwood forests and montane boreal forests was recently reported to have shifted approximately 100 m upslope over the last 20-40 years in the Green Mountains of Vermont, U.S.A. The research behind this finding relied on long-term forest plot data and change analysis of narrow transects (6 m width) on aerial photos and SPOT imagery. In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, U.S.A., research using vegetation indices from Landsat data reported a conflicting finding; that coniferous vegetation was increasing downslope of the existing ecotone. We carefully matched and topographically corrected Landsat images from 1989 through 2011 to comprehensively map the boreal-temperate forest ecotone throughout the Green Mountains in Vermont, U.S.A. We used edge detection and linear mixed models to evaluate whether the ecotone changed in elevation over 20 years, and whether rates of change varied with Latitude or aspect. We found that the elevation of the boreal-temperate forest ecotone, and changes in its location over 20 years, were more variable than reported in recent studies. While the ecotone moved to higher elevations in some locations at reported rates, these rates were at the tales of the distribution of elevational change. Other locations showed downward movement of the ecotone, while for the majority of sites, no change

  19. A Systems Analysis of the Global Boreal Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shugart, Herman H.; Leemans, Rik; Bonan, Gordon B.

    2005-03-01

    The boreal forests of the world, geographically situated to the south of the Arctic and generally north of latitude 50 degrees, are considered to be one of the earth's most significant terrestrial ecosystems in terms of their potential for interaction with other global scale systems, such as climate and anthropologenic activity. This book, developed by an international panel of ecologists, provides a synthesis of the important patterns and processes which occur in boreal forests and reviews the principal mechanisms which control the forests' pattern in space and time. The effects of cold temperatures, soil ice, insects, plant competition, wildfires and climatic change on the boreal forests are discussed as a basis for the development of the first global scale computer model of the dynamical change of a biome, able to project the change of the boreal forest over timescales of decades to millennia, and over the global extent of this forest.

  20. Carbon Isotope Composition of Ecosystem Respired Carbon Dioxide in Three Boreal Forest Ecosystems: Measurements and Model Calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, T.; Flanagan, L. B.

    2007-12-01

    We conducted measurements of seasonal and inter-annual variation in the carbon isotope composition of ecosystem respired CO2 (δR) in aspen, black spruce and jack pine dominated ecosystems in northern Saskatchewan during 2004-2006 as part of the Fluxnet-Canada Research Network. All three sites showed relatively small variation (approximately -26 to -29 per mil) in δR values during the entire study. The measurements were strongly correlated with modeled δ13C values of ecosystem respired CO2. The model calculated leaf CO2 assimilation, stomatal conductance and chloroplast CO2 concentration separately for sunlit and shaded leaves within multiple canopy layers, and, therefore, allowed us to estimate canopy photosynthetic 13C discrimination. All three sites showed variation in canopy 13C discrimination in response to environmental conditions in a manner consistent with well-known leaf-level studies. Specifically, 13C discrimination was positively correlated with soil moisture and negatively correlated with photon flux density, air temperature and vapor pressure deficit. As a consequence a strong diurnal pattern was observed for 13C discrimination. The measured δR values also varied in response to environmental conditions in a manner consistent with well-known leaf-level studies of photosynthetic 13C discrimination, but with a dampened response caused by the contribution of heterotrophic respiration, which had a constant δ13C value. These results indicate that the stable isotope composition of respired CO2 is a useful ecosystem-scale tool to study constraints to photosynthesis and acclimation of ecosystems to environmental stress.

  1. Collected Data of The Boreal Ecosystem and Atmosphere Study (BOREAS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newcomer, J. (Editor); Landis, D. (Editor); Conrad, S. (Editor); Curd, S. (Editor); Huemmrich, K. (Editor); Knapp, D. (Editor); Morrell, A. (Editor); Nickerson, J. (Editor); Papagno, A. (Editor); Rinker, D. (Editor)

    2000-01-01

    The Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS) was a large-scale international interdisciplinary climate-ecosystem interaction experiment in the northern boreal forests of Canada. Its goal was to improve our understanding of the boreal forests -- how they interact with the atmosphere, how much CO2 they can store, and how climate change will affect them. BOREAS wanted to learn to use satellite data to monitor the forests, and to improve computer simulation and weather models so scientists can anticipate the effects of global change. This BOREAS CD-ROM set is a set of 12 CD-ROMs containing the finalized point data sets and compressed image data from the BOREAS Project. All point data are stored in ASCII text files, and all image and GIS products are stored as binary images, compressed using GZip. Additional descriptions of the various data sets on this CD-ROM are available in other documents in the BOREAS series.

  2. Aspects of Boreal Forest Hydrology: From Stand to Watershed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nijssen, B.

    2000-01-01

    This report evaluates land surface hydrologic processes in the boreal forest using observations collected during the Boreal Ecosystem Atmospheric Study (BOREAS), carried out in the boreal forest of central Canada from 1994 to 1996. Three separate studies, each of which constitutes a journal publication, are included. The first study describes the application of a spatially-distributed hydrologic model, originally developed for mid-latitude forested environments, to selected BOREAS flux measurement sites. Compared to point observations at the flux towers, the model represented energy and moisture fluxes reasonably well, but shortcomings were identified in the soil thermal submodel and the partitioning of evapotranspiration into canopy and subcanopy components. As a first step towards improving this partitioning, the second study develops a new parameterization for transmission of shortwave radiation through boreal forest canopies. The new model accounts for the transmission of diffuse and direct shortwave radiation and accounts for multiple scattering in the canopy and multiple reflections between the canopy layers.

  3. Sensitivity of ecosystem CO sub 2 flux in the boreal forests of interior Alaska to climatic parameters

    SciTech Connect

    Bonan, G.B.

    1992-03-01

    An ecophysiological model of carbon uptake and release was used to examine C02 fluxes in 17 mature forests near Fairbanks, Alaska. Under extant climatic conditions, ecosystem C02 flux ranged from a loss of 212 g C02 m-2 yr-1 in a black spruce stand to an uptake of 2882 g C02 m-2 yr-1 in a birch stand. Increased air temperature resulted in substantial soil warming. Without concomitant increases in nutrient availability, large climatic warming reduced ecosystem C02 uptake in all forests. Deciduous and white spruce stands were still a sink for C02, but black spruce stands became, on average, a net source Of CO2- With increased nutrient availability that might accompany soil warming, enhanced tree growth increased C02 uptake in conifer stands.

  4. Differential response of bird functional traits to post-fire salvage logging in a boreal forest ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azeria, Ermias T.; Ibarzabal, Jacques; Hébert, Christian; Boucher, Jonathan; Imbeau, Louis; Savard, Jean-Pierre L.

    2011-05-01

    The concept of functional trait-environment relationship posits that species in a local community should possess similar traits that match the selective environment. The present study examines species trait-habitat (using Fourth-corner and RLQ analyses) and habitat occupancy patterns (logistic regression models) of bird assemblages in boreal forest stands following disturbances by forest fire and salvage logging. The stands differed in the amount and composition of residual tree retention, salvage- and aquatic-edges, degree of burn severity (all measured at 100 and 500 m buffers), as well as landscape-level variables such as distance to previously burned forests. Tests of trait-habitat relationships showed that canopy-nesters and bark- and foliage- insectivores required high levels of residual trees of low burn severity, with the feeding guilds showing affinity for different stand composition. In contrast, ground-nesters and omnivores thrived in salvaged areas and associated edges. In addition, cavity-nesting and ground-foragers were associated with severely burned stands. The species' habitat occupancy patterns were commensurate with trait requirements, which also appeared to be scale-dependent. For example, some fire-associated species had high occupancy probability in severely burned stands at small-scale (100 m buffer), which was consistent with their cavity-nesting trait. This pattern, however, was not evident at large-scale, where their feeding requirement (bark-insectivores) for low-severity burns dominated. Our study suggests that trait-habitat relationships can provide critical information to the complex ways species' relate to key habitat factors following natural and anthropogenic disturbances.

  5. Ecohydrology of Interior Alaska boreal forest systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cable, J.; Bolton, W. R.

    2012-12-01

    The ecohydrology of boreal forest ecosystems of Interior Alaska is not well understood largely because of challenges posed by the presence of discontinuous permafrost. Near-surface permafrost results in storage-dominated systems with cold, poorly drained soils, and slow growing, low statured coniferous trees (Picea mariana) or CDE's. The transition to permafrost-free areas can occur over a few meters and is accompanied by a vegetation community dominated by large deciduous trees (Populus sp. and Betula sp.) or DDE's. Typically, areas with permafrost are on north facing slopes and valley bottoms, and areas without permafrost are south facing. In Alaska's boreal forest, the permafrost is very warm and vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Once permafrost begins to thaw, the vegetation community shifts from coniferous to deciduous dominated. Streamflow in watersheds with a larger permafrost distribution tends to be higher and more responsive to precipitation events than in watersheds with low permafrost distribution. In fact, precipitation events in the low permafrost areas do not infiltrate past the rooting zone of the deciduous trees (~5-40 cm). This suggests that the deciduous trees may remove water from the system via uptake and transpiration. We focus on how vegetation water use affects boreal forest hydrology in areas of discontinuous permafrost. Specifically, we ask: what are the patterns of vegetation water use in areas with and without permafrost? This study focuses on the CDE and DDE systems. Our research sites are established on low and high locations on each aspect (south facing DDE, north facing CDE) to capture the variability associated with the different hillside drainage properties. At each of the four sites during the growing season, we measured various aspects of plant water use dynamics, including water flux, water content, water sources, depth of water uptake in the soil, and water stress. We use a Bayesian framework to analyze the data. We

  6. Seasonal variability in foliar characteristics and physiology for boreal forest species at the five Saskatchewan tower sites during the 1994 Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Middleton, E. M.; Sullivan, J. H.; Bovard, B. D.; Deluca, A. J.; Chan, S. S.; Cannon, T. A.

    1997-12-01

    Leaf-level measurements of gas exchange, chemistry, morphology, and spectral optical properties were acquired at the five instrumented tower sites during the three 1994 growing season intensive field campaigns (IFCs) conducted near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, as part of the Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS). Stands included old and young aspen (OA, YA) associated with the hazelnut shrub, old and young jack pine (OJP, YJP) stands, and an old black spruce (OBS) stand; white spruce (at YA) and an understory herb (dogbane, at OJP) were also examined. Midsummer peak photosynthesis for aspen leaves in the field (A, light saturated) and laboratory (Amax light and CO2 saturated) was ˜12.6 and 33-41 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1. Black spruce exhibited the lowest A, 3 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1. Jack pine and black spruce attained their highest Amax (17-20 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1) in late summer/early fall. Gas exchange by white spruce was significantly higher and stomatal limitation lower than for other conifers, at levels comparable to broadleaf responses. White spruce foliage had the highest chlorophyll content in fall (˜41 μg cm-2), followed by aspen (OA) and hazelnut (YA) in midsummer (˜31 μg cm-2). Specific leaf mass of aspen, hazelnut, and conifer foliage was 86, ˜47, and ˜174 g m-2, respectively. Leaf nitrogen content of broadleaves (18-40 g N g-1 dry wt) was 2-3 times greater than conifer needles (8-12 g N g-1). Significantly larger needles were produced at OJP versus YJP, but needle number per age class was greater at YJP. The absorbed photosynthetically active radiation fraction (fAPAR) in June/July averaged ˜80% for broadleaves and ˜83% in conifer needles. The simple ratio (SR, near-infrared/red ratio) calculated from foliar transmittances was more strongly related to fAPAR than SR calculated from reflectances, with stronger correlation for broadleaves (r=0.92) than for conifers (r=0.78).

  7. Reactivity and mobility of new and old mercury deposition in a boreal forest ecosystem during the first year of the METAALICUS study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hintelmann, H.; Harris, R.; Heyes, A.; Hurley, J.P.; Kelly, C.A.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.; Lindberg, S.; Rudd, J.W.M.; Scott, K.J.; St. Louis, V.L.

    2002-01-01

    The METAALICUS (Mercury Experiment To Assess Atmospheric Loading In Canada and the US) project is a whole ecosystem experiment designed to study the activity, mobility, and availability of atmospherically deposited mercury. To investigate the dynamics of mercury newly deposited onto a terrestrial ecosystem, an enriched stable isotope of mercury (202Hg) was sprayed onto a Boreal forest subcatchment in an experiment that allowed us, for the first time, to monitor the fate of "new" mercury in deposition and to distinguish it from native mercury historically stored in the ecosystem. Newly deposited mercury was more reactive than the native mercury with respect to volatilization and methylation pathways. Mobility through runoff was very low and strongly decreased with time because of a rapid equilibration with the large native pool of "bound" mercury. Over one season, only ???8% of the added 202Hg volatilized to the atmosphere and less than 1% appeared in runoff. Within a few months, approximately 66% of the applied 202Hg remained associated with above ground vegetation, with the rest being incorporated into soils. The fraction of 202Hg bound to vegetation was much higher than seen for native Hg (<5% vegetation), suggesting that atmospherically derived mercury enters the soil pool with a time delay, after plants senesce and decompose. The initial mobility of mercury received through small rain events or dry deposition decreased markedly in a relatively short time period, suggesting that mercury levels in terrestrial runoff may respond slowly to changes in mercury deposition rates.

  8. Nitrogen balance along a boreal forest fire chronosequence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palviainen, Marjo; Pumpanen, Jukka; Berninger, Frank; Heinonsalo, Jussi; Sun, Hui; Köster, Egle; Köster, Kajar

    2016-04-01

    Fire is a major natural disturbance factor in boreal forests, and the frequency of forest fires is predicted to increase due to climate change in boreal regions. Because boreal forests comprise 30% of the global forest area, increases in the annual area burned may have significant implications for global carbon and nitrogen (N) cycles. The productivity of boreal forests is limited by low N availability. Fires cause N loss from ecosystems through oxidation and volatilization of N stored in biomass and soil. N balance may be poorly buffered against forest fires especially in sub-arctic ecosystems where atmospheric N deposition is low. Although forest fires alter N dynamics, there are little quantitative data available on N pools and fluxes through post-fire succession in sub-arctic boreal forests. We studied changes in N pools and fluxes, and the overall N balance across a 155-year forest fire chronosequence in sub-arctic Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) forests in Värriö Strict Nature Reserve situated in Finnish Lapland (67°46' N, 29°35' E). Soil was the largest N pool in all forest age classes and comprised 69-82% of the total ecosystem N pool. The total ecosystem N pool varied from 622 kg ha-1 in the recently burned forest to 960 kg ha-1 in the 155-year-old forest. The forests were N sinks in all age classes the annual N accumulation rate being 2.28 kg ha-1 yr-1 which was distributed almost equally between soil and biomass. The observed changes in ecosystem N pools were consistent with the computed N balance 2.10 kg ha-1 yr-1 over the 155-year post-fire period (Balance= (atmospheric deposition + N fixation) - (leaching + N2O emissions)). The results indicated that N deposition is an important component of the N balance and the N outputs are small (13% of the inputs) in the studied ecosystems. N2O fluxes were negligible (≤ 0.01 kg ha-1 yr-1) compared to the other N fluxes. The biological N fixation increased with succession and constituted 9% of the total N

  9. Gaseous emissions from Canadian boreal forest fires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cofer, Wesley R., III; Levine, Joel S.; Winstead, Edward L.; Stocks, Brian J.

    1990-01-01

    CO2-normalized emission ratios for carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), methane (CH4), total nonmethane hydrocarbons (TNMHC), and nitrous oxide (N2O) were determined from smoke samples collected during low-altitude helicopter flights over two prescribed fires in northern Ontario, Canada. The emission ratios determined from these prescribed boreal forest fires are compared to emission ratios determined over two graminoid (grass) wetlands fires in central Florida and are found to be substantially higher (elevated levels of reduced gas production relative to CO2) during all stages of combustion. These results argue strongly for the need to characterize biomass burning emissions from the major global vegetation/ecosystems in order to couple combustion emissions to their vegetation/ecosystem type.

  10. Fire in boreal ecosystems of Eurasia: First results of the Bor Forest island fire experiment, Fire Research Campaign Asia-North (FIRESCAN)

    SciTech Connect

    Angelstam, P. ); Bufetov, N.S. ); Clark, J. . Botany Dept.)

    1994-12-01

    Fire is an important natural and anthropogenic factor in the dynamics of the boreal forest system. The ecological and environmental impacts of boreal fires depend on fire weather, fuel availability, fire behavior and history of sand development (frequency and size of fires and other biotic and abiotic disturbances, influence of surrounding landscape on successional developments). About 70% of the global boreal forest is in Eurasia, almost all of it in the Russian Federation. It is estimated that in years with high fire danger up to ca. 10 million ha of forest and other land in the Russian Federation are affected by fire. The demand for reliable information on the role of natural and anthropogenic fire and the necessity to develop adequate fire management systems is basically due to globally increasing concerns about (1) impacts of boreal wildfires on atmosphere and climate, (2) changing utilization and ecologically destructive practices in boreal forestry, and (3) possible consequences of global climate change on the boreal forest system.

  11. Resistance of the boreal forest to high burn rates

    PubMed Central

    Héon, Jessie; Arseneault, Dominique; Parisien, Marc-André

    2014-01-01

    Boreal ecosystems and their large carbon stocks are strongly shaped by extensive wildfires. Coupling climate projections with records of area burned during the last 3 decades across the North American boreal zone suggests that area burned will increase by 30–500% by the end of the 21st century, with a cascading effect on ecosystem dynamics and on the boreal carbon balance. Fire size and the frequency of large-fire years are both expected to increase. However, how fire size and time since previous fire will influence future burn rates is poorly understood, mostly because of incomplete records of past fire overlaps. Here, we reconstruct the length of overlapping fires along a 190-km-long transect during the last 200 y in one of the most fire-prone boreal regions of North America to document how fire size and time since previous fire will influence future fire recurrence. We provide direct field evidence that extreme burn rates can be sustained by a few occasional droughts triggering immense fires. However, we also show that the most fire-prone areas of the North American boreal forest are resistant to high burn rates because of overabundant young forest stands, thereby creating a fuel-mediated negative feedback on fire activity. These findings will help refine projections of fire effect on boreal ecosystems and their large carbon stocks. PMID:25201981

  12. Resistance of the boreal forest to high burn rates.

    PubMed

    Héon, Jessie; Arseneault, Dominique; Parisien, Marc-André

    2014-09-23

    Boreal ecosystems and their large carbon stocks are strongly shaped by extensive wildfires. Coupling climate projections with records of area burned during the last 3 decades across the North American boreal zone suggests that area burned will increase by 30-500% by the end of the 21st century, with a cascading effect on ecosystem dynamics and on the boreal carbon balance. Fire size and the frequency of large-fire years are both expected to increase. However, how fire size and time since previous fire will influence future burn rates is poorly understood, mostly because of incomplete records of past fire overlaps. Here, we reconstruct the length of overlapping fires along a 190-km-long transect during the last 200 y in one of the most fire-prone boreal regions of North America to document how fire size and time since previous fire will influence future fire recurrence. We provide direct field evidence that extreme burn rates can be sustained by a few occasional droughts triggering immense fires. However, we also show that the most fire-prone areas of the North American boreal forest are resistant to high burn rates because of overabundant young forest stands, thereby creating a fuel-mediated negative feedback on fire activity. These findings will help refine projections of fire effect on boreal ecosystems and their large carbon stocks. PMID:25201981

  13. Substrate Geochemistry and Soil Development in Boreal Forest and Tundra Ecosystems in the Yukon-Tanana Upland and Seward Peninsula, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gough, L.P.; Crock, J.G.; Wang, B.; Day, W.C.; Eberl, D.D.; Sanzolone, R.F.; Lamothe, P.J.

    2008-01-01

    We report on soil development as a function of bedrock type and the presence of loess in two high latitude ecosystems (boreal forest and tundra) and from two regions in Alaska?the Yukon-Tanana Upland (YTU, east-central Alaska) and the Seward Peninsula (SP, far-west coastal Alaska). This approach to the study of 'cold soils' is fundamental to the quantification of regional geochemical landscape patterns. Of the five state factors in this study, bedrock and biota (ecosystem; vegetation zone) vary whereas climate (within each area) and topography are controlled. The influence of time is assumed to be controlled, as these soils are thousands of years old (late Quaternary to Holocene). The primary minerals in soils from YTU, developed over loess and crystalline bedrock (metamorphic and intrusive), are quartz, plagioclase, and 2:1 clays; whereas in the SP, where loess and metasedimentary bedrock (schist and quartzite) predominate, they are quartz and muscovite. The A horizon of both regions is rich in peat. Examination of the ratio of mobile (K2O, CaO, and Fe2O3) to immobile (TiO2) major oxides, within each region, shows that very little difference exists in the chemical weathering of soils developed between the two ecosystems examined. Differences were observed between tundra soils developed in the two regions. These differences are most probably due to the dissimilarity in the geochemical importance of both loess and bedrock. A minimal loss of cadmium with soil depth is seen for soils developed over YTU crystalline bedrock in the boreal forest environments. This trend is related to the mobility of cadmium in these soils as well as to its biogenic cycling. Major differences were observed in the proportion of cadmium and zinc among the A, B, and C horizon material sequestered in various soil fractions as measured by sequential soil extractions. These trends followed such variables as the decrease with depth in organic matter, the change in clay minerals, and the change

  14. Estimating energy balance fluxes above a boreal forest from radiometric temperature observations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The great areal extent of boreal forests confers these ecosystems potential to impact on the global surface-atmosphere energy exchange. A modeling approach, based on a simplified two-source energy balance model, was proposed to estimate energy balance fluxes above boreal forests using thermal infrar...

  15. Snow and Vegetation Interactions at Boundaries in Alaska's Boreal Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiemstra, C. A.; Sturm, M.

    2012-12-01

    There has been increased attention on snow-vegetation interactions in Arctic tundra because of rapid climate-driven changes affecting that snow-dominated ecosystem. Yet, far less attention is paid to boreal forest snow-vegetation interactions even though climatic conditions are changing there as well. Further, it is the prevalent terrestrial biome on the planet. The forest is a variable patchwork of trees, shrubs, grasses, and forbs shaped by wind, fire, topography, water drainage, and permafrost. These patches and their boundaries have a corresponding effect on boreal snow distributions; however, measurements characterizing boreal snow are sparse and focus within patches (vs. between patches). Unfortunately, remote sensing approaches in such forested areas frequently fall short due to coarse footprint size and dense canopy cover. Over the last several years we have been examining the characteristics of snow cover within and across boundaries in the boreal forest, seeking to identify gradients in snow depth due to snow-vegetation interactions as well identifying methods whereby boreal forest surveys could be improved. Specifically, we collected end-of-season snow measurements in the Alaska boreal forest during long-distance traverses in the Tanana Basin in 2010 (26 sites) and within the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge in 2011 (26 sites). At each site (all relatively flat), hundreds of snow depths were collected using a GPS-equipped Magnaprobe, which is an automated tool for measuring and locating individual snow depths. Corresponding canopy properties included NDVI determined from high-resolution satellite imagery; canopy properties were variable among the 1ha sites and some areas had recently burned. Among sites, NDVI had the largest correlation with snow depths; elevation was not significant. Vegetation transition zones play important roles in explaining observed snow depth. Similar to treeline work showing nutrient and energy gradients are influenced by

  16. Landscape pattern and successional dynamics in the boreal forest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, Forrest G.; Strebel, Donald E.; Goetz, Scott J.; Woods, Kerry D.; Botkin, Daniel B.

    1987-01-01

    The landscape-scale community dynamics of a boreal forest ecosystem was investigated using the Landsat MSS data record form 1973 to 1983 to generate a stochastic description of the key life cycle states of the community landscape elements. Such descriptions can provide input and verification for models of community development and landscape dynamics. It is anticipated that the proposed approach may be extended to measure, monitor, and model ecosystems at continental and planetary scales.

  17. Biomass burning emissions estimates in the boreal forests of Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kukavskaya, E. A.; Ivanova, G. A.; Soja, A. J.; Conard, S. G.

    2012-04-01

    Wildfire is the main boreal forest disturbance and can burn 10-30 million hectares annually, thus modifying the global carbon budget through direct fire emissions, postfire biogenic emissions, and by maintaining or altering ecosystems through establishing the beginning and end of successional processes. Fires in the Russian boreal forest range from low-severity surface fires to high-severity crown fires. Estimates of carbon emissions from fires in Russian boreal forests vary substantially due to differences in ecosystems types, burned area calculations, and the amount of fuel consumed. There is an urgent need to obtain more accurate and impartial fire carbon loss estimates in the boreal forests of Siberia due to their considerable contribution to the regional and global carbon balance. We examined uncertainties in estimates of carbon emissions. Area burned in the Siberian region was analyzed and compared using distinct methodologies. Differences between mapped ecosystems were also compared and contrasted to evaluate the potential for error resulting from disparate vegetation structure and fuel consumption estimates. Accurate fuel consumption estimates are obtained in the course of fire experiments with pre- and post-fire biomass measuring. Our large-scale experiments carried out in the course of the FIRE BEAR (Fire Effects in the Boreal Eurasia Region) Project provided quantitative and qualitative data on ecosystem state and carbon emissions due to fires of known behavior in major forest types of Siberia that could be used to verify large-scale carbon emissions estimates. Carbon emissions from fires vary annually and interannually and can increase several times in extreme fire years in comparison to normal fire years. Climate change and increasing drought length have increased the probability of high-severity fire occurrences. This would result in greater carbon losses and efflux to the atmosphere. This research was supported by NASA LCLUC Program, Fulbright

  18. Simple and Multiple Endmember Mixture Analysis in the Boreal Forest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Dar A.; Gamon, John A.; Qiu, Hong-Lie

    2000-01-01

    A key scientific objective of the original Boreal Ecosystem-Atmospheric Study (BOREAS) field campaign (1993-1996) was to obtain the baseline data required for modeling and predicting fluxes of energy, mass, and trace gases in the boreal forest biome. These data sets are necessary to determine the sensitivity of the boreal forest biome to potential climatic changes and potential biophysical feedbacks on climate. A considerable volume of remotely sensed and supporting field data were acquired by numerous researchers to meet this objective. By design, remote sensing and modeling were considered critical components for scaling efforts, extending point measurements from flux towers and field sites over larger spatial and longer temporal scales. A major focus of the BOREAS Follow-on program was concerned with integrating the diverse remotely sensed and ground-based data sets to address specific questions such as carbon dynamics at local to regional scales.

  19. Moss and lichen cover mapping at local and regional scales in the boreal forest ecosystem of central Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rapalee, G.; Steyaert, L.T.; Hall, F.G.

    2001-01-01

    Mosses and lichens are important components of boreal landscapes [Vitt et al., 1994; Bubier et al., 1997]. They affect plant productivity and belowground carbon sequestration and alter the surface runoff and energy balance. We report the use of multiresolution satellite data to map moss and lichens over the BOREAS region at a 10 m, 30 m, and 1 km scales. Our moss and lichen classification at the 10 m scale is based on ground observations of associations among soil drainage classes, overstory composition, and cover type among four broad classes of ground cover (feather, sphagnum, and brown mosses and lichens). For our 30 m map, we used field observations of ground cover-overstory associations to map mosses and lichens in the BOREAS southern study area (SSA). To scale up to a 1 km (AVHRR) moss map of the BOREAS region, we used the TM SSA mosaics plus regional field data to identify AVHRR overstory-ground cover associations. We found that: 1) ground cover, overstory composition and density are highly correlated, permitting inference of moss and lichen cover from satellite-based land cover classifications; 2) our 1 km moss map reveals that mosses dominate the boreal landscape of central Canada, thereby a significant factor for water, energy, and carbon modeling; 3) TM and AVHRR moss cover maps are comparable; 4) satellite data resolution is important; particularly in detecting the smaller wetland features, lakes, and upland jack pine sites; and 5) distinct regional patterns of moss and lichen cover correspond to latitudinal and elevational gradients. Copyright 2001 by the American Geophysical Union.

  20. Effects of boreal forest vegetation on global climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonan, Gordon B.; Pollard, David; Thompson, Starley L.

    1992-10-01

    TERRESTRIAL ecosystems are thought to play an important role in determining regional and global climate1-6 one example of this is in Amazonia, where destruction of the tropical rainforest leads to warmer and drier conditions4-6. Boreal forest ecosystems may also affect climate. As temperatures rise, the amount of continental and oceanic snow and ice is reduced, so the land and ocean surfaces absorb greater amounts of solar radiation, reinforcing the warming in a 'snow/ice/albedo' feedback which results in large climate sensitivity to radiative forcings7-9. This sensitivity is moderated, however, by the presence of trees in northern latitudes, which mask the high reflectance of snow10,11, leading to warmer winter temperatures than if trees were not present12-14. Here we present results from a global climate model which show that the boreal forest warms both winter and summer air temperatures, relative to simulations in which the forest is replaced with bare ground or tundra vegetation. Our results suggest that future redistributions of boreal forest and tundra vegetation (due, for example, to extensive logging, or the influence of global warming) could initiate important climate feedbacks, which could also extend to lower latitudes.

  1. Boreal Forest Watch: A BOREAS Outreach Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rock, Barrett N.

    1999-01-01

    The Boreal Forest Watch program was initiated in the fall of 1994 to act as an educational outreach program for the BOREAS project in both the BOREAS Southern Study Area (SSA) and Northern Study Area (NSA). Boreal Forest Watch (13FW) was designed to introduce area high school teachers and their students to the types of research activities occurring as part of the BOREAS study of Canadian boreal forests. Several teacher training workshops were offered to teachers from central and northern Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba between May, 1995 and February, 1999; teachers were introduced to techniques for involving their students in on-going environmental monitoring studies within local forested stands. Boreal Forest Watch is an educational outreach program which brings high school students and research scientists together to study the forest and foster a sustainable relationship between people and the planetary life-support system we depend upon. Personnel from the University of New Hampshire (UNH), Complex Systems Research Center (CSRC), with the cooperation from the Prince Albert National Park (PANP), instituted this program to help teachers within the BOREAS Study Areas offer real science research experience to their students. The program has the potential to complement large research projects, such as BOREAS, by providing useful student- collected data to scientists. Yet, the primary goal of BFW is to allow teachers and students to experience a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to leaming science - emulating the process followed by research scientists. In addition to introducing these teachers to on-going BOREAS research, the other goals of the BFW program were to: 1) to introduce authentic science topics and methods to students and teachers through hands-on, field-based activities; and, 2) to build a database of student-collected environmental monitoring data for future global change studies in the boreal region.

  2. Distribution of 210Pb and 210Po concentrations in wild berries and mushrooms in boreal forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Vaaramaa, Kaisa; Solatie, Dina; Aro, Lasse

    2009-12-15

    The activity concentrations and distribution of 210Pb and 210Po in wild berries and edible mushrooms were investigated in Finnish forests. The main study areas were located in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests in southern and northern Finland. The activity concentrations of 210Pb and 210Po in blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) and lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) samples decreased in the order: stems>leaves>berries (i.e. fruits). The activity ratios of 210Po/210Pb in the wild berry samples were mainly higher than one, indicating elevated activity concentrations of polonium in the samples. In mushrooms the activity concentrations of 210Pb and especially 210Po were higher than in fruits of the wild berries. The highest activity concentration of 210Pb was detected in Cortinarius armillatus L. (16.2 Bq kg(-1) d.w.) and the lowest in Leccinum vulpinum L. (1.38 Bq kg(-1) d.w.). The 210Po activity concentrations of the whole fruiting bodies ranged from 7.14 Bq kg(-1) d.w. (Russula paludosa L.) to 1174 Bq kg(-1) d.w. (L. vulpinum L.). In general, the highest activity concentrations of 210Po were recorded in boletes. The caps of mushrooms of the Boletaceae family showed higher activity concentrations of 210Po compared to the stipes. In most of the mushrooms analyzed, the activity concentrations of 210Po were higher than those of 210Pb. 210Po and 210Pb dominate the radiation doses received via ingestion of wild berries and mushrooms in northern Finland, while in southern Finland the ingested dose is dominated by 137Cs from the Chernobyl fallout. PMID:19800659

  3. Global estimates of boreal forest carbon stocks and flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradshaw, Corey J. A.; Warkentin, Ian G.

    2015-05-01

    The boreal ecosystem is an important global reservoir of stored carbon and a haven for diverse biological communities. The natural disturbance dynamics there have historically been driven by fire and insects, with human-mediated disturbances increasing faster than in other biomes globally. Previous research on the total boreal carbon stock and predictions of its future flux reveal high uncertainty in regional patterns. We reviewed and standardised this extensive body of quantitative literature to provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive estimates of the global carbon balance in the boreal forest. We also compiled century-scale predictions of the carbon budget flux. Our review and standardisation confirmed high uncertainty in the available data, but there is evidence that the region's total carbon stock has been underestimated. We found a total carbon store of 367.3 to 1715.8 Pg (1015 g), the mid-point of which (1095 Pg) is between 1.3 and 3.8 times larger than any previous mean estimates. Most boreal carbon resides in its soils and peatlands, although estimates are highly uncertain. We found evidence that the region might become a net carbon source following a reduction in carbon uptake rate from at least the 1980s. Given that the boreal potentially constitutes the largest terrestrial carbon source in the world, in one of the most rapidly warming parts of the globe (Walsh, 2014), how we manage these stocks will be influential on future climate dynamics.

  4. Modeling Climate-Biosphere Interactions in the Boreal Forest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frolking, Steve

    1998-01-01

    The overall goal of this BOREAS Program was to develop, test, and apply a model of the carbon balance of boreal forest sites with a significant groundcover component (moss or lichen). The basic question addressed with this model was: What is the sensitivity of the boreal forest carbon balance to weather variability? More specifically: What are the differences in the sensitivities of carbon gains (photosynthesis) and carbon losses (respiration) of the various components of the ecosystem? Are there different seasonalities to their sensitivities (e.g., warmer springs will have one effect, warmer summers a different effect)? What are the effects of different patterns of successive weather years (wet/dry, warm/cool)? What, for example, would be the difference in effects of two "warmer than normal" months-one with each day warmer than normal, and the other with three normal weeks and one very hot week? Due to weather variability, how "noisy" will any carbon flux or carbon pool signal be that we might use to try to detect change? The project resulted in the development of a new boreal forest ecosystem model. This model was the first model in the BOREAS project to look closely at the role of mosses in the ecosystem carbon balance, and also was the first model in the BOREAS project to look closely at interannual variability in carbon fluxes. Along with the work of many other groups, TE-19 modeling analysis pointed to the need for a second, longer field season in 1996, with particular focus on the spring and fall transitions and on ground vegetation. BOREAS groups TE-19 (Frolking), TGB-1 (Crill) & TGB-3 (Moore & Roulet) analyzed BOREAS data and other published and unpublished data to develop a relationship between peatland ecosystem productivity and incoming radiation, which is quite distinct from the upland ecosystem relationships observed in other studies.

  5. Remote estimation of net CO2 emission from boreal ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, C. A.; Strachan, I. B.

    2010-12-01

    Hydroelectricity is the main source of power in the province of Quebec, Canada. While hydroelectricity is considered to be a relatively green source of energy, reservoir creation is a land use change that involves flooding terrestrial ecosystems and thus a loss of greenhouse gas (GHG) uptake as well as direct GHG emission from decomposing vegetation. Both the lost sink for GHGs and direct emission from the reservoir surface must be included in estimating the net GHG emission attributable to the reservoir’s construction. These emissions can be determined using techniques such as eddy covariance, however, such methods are often costly and time consuming, and require frequent access to remote locations. Remote sensing is able to provide spatially continuous data over large areas, minimizing the need for ground based measurements. We tested the ability of the photochemical reflectance index (PRI) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) to predict fluxes of carbon dioxide in areas representative of boreal forests and peatlands flooded by the Eastmain 1 hydroelectric reservoir in the James Bay region of Quebec, Canada. We collected spectral measurements from hand-held and helicopter-based platforms, as well as continuously monitored the indices PRI and NDVI from tower-mounted sensors at a forest and peatland site. We then compared the vegetation indices to net fluxes of carbon dioxide measured by eddy covariance at each site. PRI was related to fluxes at both the forest and peatland sites, suggesting it is possible to remotely estimate carbon dioxide uptake by vegetation in boreal forests and peatlands and thus greenhouse gas emissions resulting from land use changes in boreal regions, such as reservoir inundation.

  6. Recent shift in Eurasian boreal forest greening response may be associated with warmer and drier summers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buermann, Wolfgang; Parida, Bikash; Jung, Martin; MacDonald, Glen M.; Tucker, Compton J.; Reichstein, Markus

    2014-03-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems in the northern high latitudes are currently experiencing drastic warming, and recent studies suggest that boreal forests may be increasingly vulnerable to warming-related factors, including temperature-induced drought stress as well as shifts in fire regimes and insect outbreaks. Here we analyze interannual relationships in boreal forest greening and climate over the last three decades using newly available satellite vegetation data. Our results suggest that due to continued summer warming in the absence of sustained increases in precipitation, a turning point has been reached around the mid-1990s that shifted western central Eurasian boreal forests into a warmer and drier regime. This may be the leading cause for the emergence of large-scale negative correlations between summer temperatures and forest greenness. If such a regime shift would be sustained, the dieback of the boreal forest induced by heat and drought stress as predicted by vegetation models may proceed more rapidly than anticipated.

  7. Exchange of volatile organic compounds in the boreal forest floor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aaltonen, Hermanni; Bäck, Jaana; Pumpanen, Jukka; Pihlatie, Mari; Hakola, Hannele; Hellén, Heidi; Aalto, Juho; Heinonsalo, Jussi; Kajos, Maija K.; Kolari, Pasi; Taipale, Risto; Vesala, Timo

    2013-04-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems, mainly plants, emit large amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere. In addition to plants, VOCs also have less-known sources, such as soil. VOCs are a very diverse group of reactive compounds, including terpenoids, alcohols, aldehydes and ketones. Due to their high reactivity, VOCs take part in formation and growth of secondary organic aerosols in the atmosphere and thus affect also Earth's radiation balance (Kulmala et al. 2004). We have studied boreal soil and forest floor VOC fluxes with chamber and snow gradient techniques we were developed. Spatial and temporal variability in VOC fluxes was studied with year-round measurements in the field and the sources of boreal soil VOCs in the laboratory with fungal isolates. Determination of the compounds was performed mass spectrometrically. Our results reveal that VOCs from soil are mainly emitted by living roots, above- and belowground litter and microbes. The strongest source appears to be litter, in which both plant residuals and decomposers play a role in the emissions. Soil fungi showed high emissions of lighter VOCs, like acetone, acetaldehyde and methanol, from isolates. Temperature and moisture are the most critical physical factors driving VOC fluxes. Since the environment in boreal forests undergoes strong seasonal changes, the VOC flux strength of the forest floor varies markedly during the year, being highest in spring and autumn. The high spatial heterogeneity of the forest floor was also clearly visible in VOC fluxes. The fluxes of other trace gases (CO2, CH4 and N2O) from soil, which are also related to the soil biological activity and physical conditions, did not show correlations with the VOC fluxes. These results indicate that emissions of VOCs from the boreal forest floor account for as much as several tens of percent, depending on the season, of the total forest ecosystem VOC emissions. This emphasises that forest floor compartment should be taken into

  8. Lichen conservation in heavily managed boreal forests.

    PubMed

    McMullin, Richard Troy; Thompson, Ian D; Newmaster, Steven G

    2013-10-01

    Lichens are an important component of the boreal forest, where they are long lived, tend to accumulate in older stands, and are a major food source for the threatened woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou). To be fully sustainable, silvicultural practices in the boreal forest must include the conservation of ecological integrity. Dominant forest management practices, however, have short-term negative effects on lichen diversity, particularly the application of herbicides. To better understand the long-term effects of forest management, we examined lichen regeneration in 35 mixed black spruce (Picea mariana) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana) forest stands across northern Ontario to determine recovery following logging and postharvest silvicultural practices. Our forest stands were 25-40 years old and had undergone 3 common sivilcultural treatments that included harvested and planted; harvested, planted, and treated with N-[phosphonomethyl] glycine (glyphosate); and harvested, planted, and treated with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). Forest stands with herbicide treatments had lower lichen biomass and higher beta and gamma diversity than planted stands that were not treated chemically or control stands. In northwestern Ontario, planted stands that were not treated chemically had significantly greater (p < 0.05) alpha diversity than stands treated with herbicides or control stands. Our results show that common silvicultural practices do not emulate natural disturbances caused by wildfires in the boreal forest for the lichen community. We suggest a reduction in the amount of chemical application be considered in areas where lichen biomass is likely to be high and where the recovery of woodland caribou is an objective. PMID:23869621

  9. Seasonality in a boreal forest ecosystem affects the use of soil temperature and moisture as predictors of soil CO2 efflux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niinistö, S. M.; Kellomäki, S.; Silvola, J.

    2011-11-01

    Our objectives were to identify factors related to temporal variation of soil CO2 efflux in a boreal pine forest and to evaluate simple predictive models of temporal variation of soil CO2 efflux. Soil CO2 efflux was measured with a portable chamber in a Finnish Scots pine forest for three years, with a fourth year for model evaluation. Plot averages for soil CO2 efflux ranged from 0.04 to 0.90 g CO2 m-2 h-1 during the snow-free period, i.e. May-October, and from 0.04 to 0.13 g CO2 m-2 h-1 in winter. Soil temperature was a good predictor of soil CO2 efflux. A quadratic model of ln-transformed efflux explained 76-82 % of the variation over the snow-free period. The results revealed an effect of season: at a given temperature of the organic layer, soil CO2 efflux was higher later in the snow-free period (in August and September) than in spring and early summer (in May and June). Regression coefficients for temperature (approximations of a Q10 value) of month-specific models decreased with increasing average soil temperatures. Efflux in July, the month of peak photosynthesis, showed no clear response to temperature or moisture. Inclusion of a seasonality index, degree days, improved the accuracy of temperature response models to predict efflux for the fourth year of measurements, which was not used in building of regression models. During peak efflux from mid-July to late-August, efflux was underestimated with the models that included degree days as well as with the models that did not. The strong influence of the flux of photosynthates belowground and the importance of root respiration could explain the relative temperature insensitivity observed in July and together with seasonality of growth of root and root-associated mycorrhizal fungi could explain partial failure of models to predict magnitude of efflux in the peak season from mid-July to August. The effect of moisture early in the season was confounded by simultaneous advancement of the growing season and

  10. Botany: Constraints to growth of boreal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarvis, Paul; Linder, Sune

    2000-06-01

    Understanding how the growth of trees at high latitudes in boreal forest is controlled is important for projections of global carbon sequestration and timber production in relation to climate change. Is stem growth of boreal forest trees constrained by the length of the growing season when stem cambial cells divide, or by the length of the period when resources can be captured? In both cases, the timing of the thaw in the spring is critical: neither cambial cell division nor uptake of nutrients and carbon dioxide can occur while the soil is frozen. Here we argue, on the basis of long-term observations made in northern Saskatchewan and Sweden, that the time between the spring thaw and the autumn freeze determines the amount of annual tree growth, mainly through temperature effects on carbon-dioxide uptake in spring and on nutrient availability and uptake during summer, rather than on cambial cell division.

  11. Aerosol volatility in a boreal forest environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Häkkinen, S. A. K.; ńijälä, M.; Lehtipalo, K.; Junninen, H.; Virkkula, A.; Worsnop, D. R.; Kulmala, M.; Petäjä, T.; Riipinen, I.

    2012-04-01

    Climate and health effects of atmospheric aerosols are determined by their properties such as their chemical composition. Aerosol chemical composition can be studied indirectly by measuring volatility of aerosol particles. The volatility of submicron aerosol particles (20-500 nm) was studied in a boreal forest site at SMEAR II (Station for Measuring Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations II) station (Vesala et al., 1998) in Hyytiälä, Finland, during 01/2008-05/2010. The instrument used for the measurements was VDMPS (Volatility Differential Mobility Particle Sizer), which consists of two separate instruments: DMPS (Differential Mobility Particle Sizer, Aalto et al., 2001) and TD (Thermodenuder, Wehner et al., 2002). Aerosol evaporation was examined by heating the aerosol and comparing the total aerosol mass before and after heating. In the VDMPS system ambient aerosol sample was heated up to temperatures ranging from 80 °C to 280 °C. The higher the heating temperature was the more aerosol material was evaporated. There was a non-volatile residual present in aerosol particles when heated up to 280 °C. This residual explained (20±8)% of the total aerosol mass. Aerosol non-volatile mass fraction was highest during winter and smallest during summer months. The role of black carbon in the observed non-volatile residual was determined. Black carbon explained 40 to 90% of the non-volatile mass. Especially during colder seasons noticeable amount of non-volatile material, something else than black carbon, was observed. According to Kalberer et al. (2004) some atmospheric organic species can form polymers that have high evaporation temperatures. Also low-volatile organic salts may contribute to the non-volatile aerosol (Smith et al., 2010). Aerosol mass composition measured directly with AMS (Aerosol Mass Spectrometer, Jayne et al., 2000) was analyzed in order to examine the properties of the non-volatile material (other than black carbon). The AMS measurements were performed

  12. Browning boreal forests of western North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbyla, David

    2011-12-01

    The GIMMS NDVI dataset has been widely used to document a 'browning trend' in North American boreal forests (Goetz et al 2005, Bunn et al 2007, Beck and Goetz 2011). However, there has been speculation (Alcaraz-Segura et al 2010) that this trend may be an artifact due to processing algorithms rather than an actual decline in vegetation activity. This conclusion was based primarily on the fact that GIMMS NDVI did not capture NDVI recovery within most burned areas in boreal Canada, while another dataset consistently showed post-fire increasing NDVI. I believe that the results of Alcaraz-Segura et al (2010) were due simply to different pixel sizes of the two datasets (64 km2 versus 1 km2 pixels). Similar results have been obtained from tundra areas greening in Alaska, with the results simply due to these pixel size differences (Stow et al 2007). Furthermore, recent studies have documented boreal browning trends based on NDVI from other sensors. Beck and Goetz (2011) have shown the boreal browning trend derived from a different sensor (MODIS) to be very similar to the boreal browning trend derived from the GIMMS NDVI dataset for the circumpolar boreal region. Parent and Verbyla (2010) found similar declining NDVI patterns based on NDVI from Landsat sensors and GIMMS NDVI in boreal Alaska. Zhang et al (2008) found a similar 'browning trend' in boreal North America based on a production efficiency model using an integrated AVHRR and MODIS dataset. The declining NDVI trend in areas of boreal North America is consistent with tree-ring studies (D'Arrigo et al 2004, McGuire et al 2010, Beck et al 2011). The decline in tree growth may be due to temperature-induced drought stress (Barber et al 2000) caused by higher evaporative demands in a warming climate (Lloyd and Fastie 2002). In a circumpolar boreal study, Lloyd and Bunn (2007) found that a negative relationship between temperature and tree-ring growth occurred more frequently in warmer parts of species' ranges

  13. Thermokarst rates intensify due to climate change and forest fragmentation in an Alaskan boreal forest lowland.

    PubMed

    Lara, Mark J; Genet, Hélène; McGuire, Anthony D; Euskirchen, Eugénie S; Zhang, Yujin; Brown, Dana R N; Jorgenson, Mark T; Romanovsky, Vladimir; Breen, Amy; Bolton, William R

    2016-02-01

    Lowland boreal forest ecosystems in Alaska are dominated by wetlands comprised of a complex mosaic of fens, collapse-scar bogs, low shrub/scrub, and forests growing on elevated ice-rich permafrost soils. Thermokarst has affected the lowlands of the Tanana Flats in central Alaska for centuries, as thawing permafrost collapses forests that transition to wetlands. Located within the discontinuous permafrost zone, this region has significantly warmed over the past half-century, and much of these carbon-rich permafrost soils are now within ~0.5 °C of thawing. Increased permafrost thaw in lowland boreal forests in response to warming may have consequences for the climate system. This study evaluates the trajectories and potential drivers of 60 years of forest change in a landscape subjected to permafrost thaw in unburned dominant forest types (paper birch and black spruce) associated with location on elevated permafrost plateau and across multiple time periods (1949, 1978, 1986, 1998, and 2009) using historical and contemporary aerial and satellite images for change detection. We developed (i) a deterministic statistical model to evaluate the potential climatic controls on forest change using gradient boosting and regression tree analysis, and (ii) a 30 × 30 m land cover map of the Tanana Flats to estimate the potential landscape-level losses of forest area due to thermokarst from 1949 to 2009. Over the 60-year period, we observed a nonlinear loss of birch forests and a relatively continuous gain of spruce forest associated with thermokarst and forest succession, while gradient boosting/regression tree models identify precipitation and forest fragmentation as the primary factors controlling birch and spruce forest change, respectively. Between 1950 and 2009, landscape-level analysis estimates a transition of ~15 km² or ~7% of birch forests to wetlands, where the greatest change followed warm periods. This work highlights that the vulnerability and resilience of

  14. Evolution of Canada’s Boreal Forest Spatial Patterns as Seen from Space

    PubMed Central

    Pickell, Paul D.; Coops, Nicholas C.; Gergel, Sarah E.; Andison, David W.; Marshall, Peter L.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the development of landscape patterns over broad spatial and temporal scales is a major contribution to ecological sciences and is a critical area of research for forested land management. Boreal forests represent an excellent case study for such research because these forests have undergone significant changes over recent decades. We analyzed the temporal trends of four widely-used landscape pattern indices for boreal forests of Canada: forest cover, largest forest patch index, forest edge density, and core (interior) forest cover. The indices were computed over landscape extents ranging from 5,000 ha (n = 18,185) to 50,000 ha (n = 1,662) and across nine major ecozones of Canada. We used 26 years of Landsat satellite imagery to derive annualized trends of the landscape pattern indices. The largest declines in forest cover, largest forest patch index, and core forest cover were observed in the Boreal Shield, Boreal Plain, and Boreal Cordillera ecozones. Forest edge density increased at all landscape extents for all ecozones. Rapidly changing landscapes, defined as the 90th percentile of forest cover change, were among the most forested initially and were characterized by four times greater decrease in largest forest patch index, three times greater increase in forest edge density, and four times greater decrease in core forest cover compared with all 50,000 ha landscapes. Moreover, approximately 18% of all 50,000 ha landscapes did not change due to a lack of disturbance. The pattern database results provide important context for forest management agencies committed to implementing ecosystem-based management strategies. PMID:27383055

  15. Evolution of Canada's Boreal Forest Spatial Patterns as Seen from Space.

    PubMed

    Pickell, Paul D; Coops, Nicholas C; Gergel, Sarah E; Andison, David W; Marshall, Peter L

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the development of landscape patterns over broad spatial and temporal scales is a major contribution to ecological sciences and is a critical area of research for forested land management. Boreal forests represent an excellent case study for such research because these forests have undergone significant changes over recent decades. We analyzed the temporal trends of four widely-used landscape pattern indices for boreal forests of Canada: forest cover, largest forest patch index, forest edge density, and core (interior) forest cover. The indices were computed over landscape extents ranging from 5,000 ha (n = 18,185) to 50,000 ha (n = 1,662) and across nine major ecozones of Canada. We used 26 years of Landsat satellite imagery to derive annualized trends of the landscape pattern indices. The largest declines in forest cover, largest forest patch index, and core forest cover were observed in the Boreal Shield, Boreal Plain, and Boreal Cordillera ecozones. Forest edge density increased at all landscape extents for all ecozones. Rapidly changing landscapes, defined as the 90th percentile of forest cover change, were among the most forested initially and were characterized by four times greater decrease in largest forest patch index, three times greater increase in forest edge density, and four times greater decrease in core forest cover compared with all 50,000 ha landscapes. Moreover, approximately 18% of all 50,000 ha landscapes did not change due to a lack of disturbance. The pattern database results provide important context for forest management agencies committed to implementing ecosystem-based management strategies. PMID:27383055

  16. The 1990 forest ecosystem dynamics multisensor aircraft campaign

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Darrel L.; Ranson, K. Jon

    1991-01-01

    The overall objective of the Forest Ecosystem Dynamics (FED) research activity is to develop a better understanding of the dynamics of forest ecosystem evolution over a variety of temporal and spatial scales. Primary emphasis is being placed on assessing the ecosystem dynamics associated with the transition zone between northern hardwood forests in eastern North America and the predominantly coniferous forests of the more northerly boreal biome. The approach is to combine ground-based, airborne, and satellite observations with an integrated forest pattern and process model which is being developed to link together existing models of forest growth and development, soil processes, and radiative transfer.

  17. Seasonality in a boreal forest ecosystem affects the use of soil temperature and moisture as predictors of soil CO2 efflux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niinistö, S. M.; Kellomäki, S.; Silvola, J.

    2011-03-01

    Our objectives were to identify factors related to temporal variation of soil CO2 efflux in a boreal pine forest and to evaluate simple predictive models of temporal variation of soil CO2 efflux. Soil CO2 efflux was measured with a portable chamber in a Finnish Scots pine forest for three years, with a fourth year for model evaluation. Plot averages for soil CO2 efflux ranged from 0.04 to 0.90 g CO2 m-2 h-1 during the snow-free period, i.e. May-October, and from 0.04 to 0.13 g CO2 m-2 h-1 in winter. Soil temperature was a good predictor of soil CO2 efflux. A quadratic model of ln-transformed efflux explained 76-82% of the variation over the snow-free period. The results revealed strong seasonality: at a given soil temperature, soil CO2 efflux was higher later in the snow-free period than in spring and early summer. Regression coefficients for temperature (approximations of a Q10 value) of month-specific models decreased with increasing average soil temperatures. Efflux in July, the month of peak photosynthesis, showed no clear response to temperature or moisture. Inclusion of a seasonality index, degree days, improved the accuracy of temperature response models to predict efflux for the fourth year of measurements, which was not used in building of regression models. Underestimation during peak efflux (mid-July to late-August) remained uncorrected. The strong influence of the flux of photosynthates belowground and the importance of root respiration could explain the relative temperature insensitivity observed in July and together with seasonality of growth of root and root-associated mycorrhizal fungi could explain partial failure of models to predict magnitude of efflux in the peak season from mid-July to August. The effect of moisture early in the season was confounded by simultaneous advancement of the growing season and increase in temperature. In a dry year, however, the effect of drought was evident as soil CO2 efflux was some 30% smaller in September than in

  18. Fire severity influences the response of soil microbes to a boreal forest fire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holden, Sandra R.; Rogers, Brendan M.; Treseder, Kathleen K.; Randerson, James T.

    2016-03-01

    Wildfire activity is projected to increase in boreal forests as a result of climate warming. The consequences of increased wildfire activity for soil carbon (C) storage in boreal forests may depend on the sensitivity of soil microbes to fire severity, but microbial responses to boreal forest fire severity are not well known. Here, we combine remote sensing of fire severity and field sampling to characterize the response of soil microbial biomass per g soil, microbial respiration of CO2 per g soil, and fungal groups to fire severity in a boreal forest ecosystem. We used remote sensing measurements of differenced normalized burn ratio from Landsat as a measure of fire severity. Our results demonstrate that fire severity controls soil microbial responses to boreal forest fires. In comparison to unburned stands, burned stands had a 52% and 56% reduction in soil microbial biomass and basal respiration, respectively. Within burned stands, we found that microbial biomass and basal respiration significantly declined with increasing fire severity. In addition, mycorrhizal taxa and basidiomycetes displayed particularly low tolerances for severe fire. Although wildfires result in the immediate loss of soil C, our study provides evidence that decreases in microbial biomass and respiration following high severity fires may reduce the capacity of the soil microbial community to decompose soil C over longer time scales. Therefore, models of C cycle responses to climate warming may need to represent the sensitivity of microbial biomass and fungal community composition to fire severity in boreal forests.

  19. Climate-Induced Boreal Forest Change: Predictions versus Current Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Soja, Amber J.; Tchebakova, Nadezda M.; French, Nancy H. F.; Flannigan, Michael D.; Shugart, Herman H.; Stocks, Brian J.; Sukhinin, Anatoly I.; Parfenova, E. I.; Chapin, F. Stuart, III; Stackhouse, Paul W., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    For about three decades, there have been many predictions of the potential ecological response in boreal regions to the currently warmer conditions. In essence, a widespread, naturally occurring experiment has been conducted over time. In this paper, we describe previously modeled predictions of ecological change in boreal Alaska, Canada and Russia, and then we investigate potential evidence of current climate-induced change. For instance, ecological models have suggested that warming will induce the northern and upslope migration of the treeline and an alteration in the current mosaic structure of boreal forests. We present evidence of the migration of keystone ecosystems in the upland and lowland treeline of mountainous regions across southern Siberia. Ecological models have also predicted a moisture-stress-related dieback in white spruce trees in Alaska, and current investigations show that as temperatures increase, white spruce tree growth is declining. Additionally, it was suggested that increases in infestation and wildfire disturbance would be catalysts that precipitate the alteration of the current mosaic forest composition. In Siberia, five of the last seven years have resulted in extreme fire seasons, and extreme fire years have also been more frequent in both Alaska and Canada. In addition, Alaska has experienced extreme and geographically expansive multi-year outbreaks of the spruce beetle, which had been previously limited by the cold, moist environment. We suggest that there is substantial evidence throughout the circumboreal region to conclude that the biosphere within the boreal terrestrial environment has already responded to the transient effects of climate change. Additionally, temperature increases and warming-induced change are progressing faster than had been predicted in some regions, suggesting a potential non-linear rapid response to changes in climate, as opposed to the predicted slow linear response to climate change.

  20. Contrasting soil thermal responses to fire in Alaskan tundra and boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Yueyang; Rocha, Adrian V.; O'Donnell, Jonathan A.; Drysdale, Jessica A.; Rastetter, Edward B.; Shaver, Gaius R.; Zhuang, Qianlai

    2015-02-01

    Recent fire activity throughout Alaska has increased the need to understand postfire impacts on soils and permafrost vulnerability. Our study utilized data and modeling from a permafrost and ecosystem gradient to develop a mechanistic understanding of the short- and long-term impacts of tundra and boreal forest fires on soil thermal dynamics. Fires influenced a variety of factors that altered the surface energy budget, soil moisture, and the organic-layer thickness with the overall effect of increasing soil temperatures and thaw depth. The postfire thickness of the soil organic layer and its impact on soil thermal conductivity was the most important factor determining postfire soil temperatures and thaw depth. Boreal and tundra ecosystems underlain by permafrost experienced smaller postfire soil temperature increases than the nonpermafrost boreal forest from the direct and indirect effects of permafrost on drainage, soil moisture, and vegetation flammability. Permafrost decreased the loss of the insulating soil organic layer, decreased soil drying, increased surface water pooling, and created a significant heat sink to buffer postfire soil temperature and thaw depth changes. Ecosystem factors also played a role in determining postfire thaw depth with boreal forests taking several decades longer to recover their soil thermal properties than tundra. These factors resulted in tundra being less sensitive to postfire soil thermal changes than the nonpermafrost boreal forest. These results suggest that permafrost and soil organic carbon will be more vulnerable to fire as climate warms.

  1. Mapping Heterogeneity in the Boreal Forest of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, E. A.; Sheng, Y.

    2015-12-01

    It is a common misconception that the boreal forest is a uniform carpet of trees stretching around the top of the globe. In fact, the boreal forest is an extremely heterogeneous and dynamic landscape. This has become even clearer through the use of remote sensing, which finally gives us a high resolution view of the entire boreal forest on the continental scale. The complexity of the boreal forest biome, however, is still often over simplified and poorly parameterized in global climate models. Advances in remote sensing and data analysis technology now give us the ability to map the heterogeneity and spatial complexity of the entire North American boreal forest. This study presents such a map and some analysis and observations of patterns in the data. We found that the boreal forest was dominated by many small land cover patches with high diversity of forest cover types. This map has and will continue to provide its own insight into the spatial structure of the boreal forest but will also provide important spatial heterogeneity metrics to improve land-atmosphere interactions in climate models.

  2. Modeling the impacts of organic layer depth on forest stand recovery from disturbance in the North American boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trugman, A. T.; Medvigy, D.; Fenton, N.; Bergeron, Y.

    2014-12-01

    The boreal forest contains over 30 percent of Earth's terrestrial carbon, stored mainly as organic matter in soils. Warming temperatures have decreased the fire return interval at many locations, potentially opening more boreal forest space to early-successional deciduous species. However, previous observational studies have shown that the residual forest organic layer depth after a fire can be directly related to fire severity and that this organic layer depth plays a critical role in determining post-fire secondary succession in the North American boreal forest. In this study, we use a numerical model constrained by field data to evaluate: (1) the extent to which the organic layer inhibits deciduous seedling establishment; (2) whether differences in seedling establishment after mild and severe burns affect mature forest structure and composition on decadal to century time scales. Our modeling experiments were carried out with the Ecosystem Demography model version 2 (ED2) terrestrial biosphere model. ED2 is designed to explicitly track the growth and mortality of individual trees, which compete for light, water, and nutrients using an open nitrogen cycle. Our simulations feature parameterizations for aspen and black spruce species-types as well as a new dynamic soil organic layer module with species-specific litter decay rates. The updated boreal forest model is validated using several datasets across the North American boreal forest that range from daily carbon and energy fluxes to multi-century basal area chronosequences including: (1) sub-daily to monthly eddy covariance measurements taken in Delta Junction, Alaska and Manitoba, Canada; (2) decade-long forest inventory data from the Cooperative Alaska Forest Inventory taken throughout the Alaskan boreal forest; and (3) multi-century basal area chronosequences measured in Manitoba and Quebec. We then use the model to identify the controls that the soil organic layer exerts on secondary succession between aspen

  3. Phenology cameras observing boreal ecosystems of Finland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peltoniemi, Mikko; Böttcher, Kristin; Aurela, Mika; Kolari, Pasi; Tanis, Cemal Melih; Linkosalmi, Maiju; Loehr, John; Metsämäki, Sari; Nadir Arslan, Ali

    2016-04-01

    Cameras have become useful tools for monitoring seasonality of ecosystems. Low-cost cameras facilitate validation of other measurements and allow extracting some key ecological features and moments from image time series. We installed a network of phenology cameras at selected ecosystem research sites in Finland. Cameras were installed above, on the level, or/and below the canopies. Current network hosts cameras taking time lapse images in coniferous and deciduous forests as well as at open wetlands offering thus possibilities to monitor various phenological and time-associated events and elements. In this poster, we present our camera network and give examples of image series use for research. We will show results about the stability of camera derived color signals, and based on that discuss about the applicability of cameras in monitoring time-dependent phenomena. We will also present results from comparisons between camera-derived color signal time series and daily satellite-derived time series (NVDI, NDWI, and fractional snow cover) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) at selected spruce and pine forests and in a wetland. We will discuss the applicability of cameras in supporting phenological observations derived from satellites, by considering the possibility of cameras to monitor both above and below canopy phenology and snow.

  4. Nitrogen mineralization in a mature boreal forest, Isle Royale, Michigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stottlemyer, R.; Toczydlowski, D.

    1999-01-01

    The 115-ha boreal Wallace Lake watershed, located on Isle Royale in the Lake Superior Basin, receives moderate anthropogenic atmospheric N inputs (3 kg ha-1 yr-1). Ecosystem response to atmospheric N inputs is, in part, determined by internal production and consumption of this limiting nutrient. The objectives of this 2-yr study on plots dominated by birch, spruce, or alder were to quantify forest floor and surface soil net and gross N mineralization rates, and examine potential effects of changes in temperature and moisture on these processes. Gross N mineralization rates were 23 times net mineralization rates, and increased with forest floor/soil temperature and moisture. Substrate quality was a likely factor in higher gross mineralization rates beneath birch and spruce. Ammonium immobilization increased with forest floor/soil temperature and moisture. Higher net N mineralization rates beneath alder resulted from lower microbial immobilization rather than greater gross N mineralization. The greatest differences between gross N mineralization and immobilization occurred in early summer. Ammonium immobilization averaged 62% of gross N mineralization. Net and gross nitrification rates differed by vegetation type, were highest in spring and fall, and increased with moisture. Gross nitrification was 19 times net nitrification rates. Nitrate immobilization increased with soil moisture, and equalled or exceeded gross nitrification. Net and gross N mineralization or nitrification rates were not correlated. Seasonal variation in forest floor and surface soil N cycling coupled with high ecosystem retention of precipitation N inputs suggest streamwater N concentrations and output reflect trends in soil processes.

  5. Effects of Sloped Terrain and Forest Stand Maturity on Evapotranspiration in a Boreal Forested Catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isabelle, P. E.; Nadeau, D.; Parent, A. C.; Rousseau, A. N.; Jutras, S.; Anctil, F.

    2015-12-01

    The boreal forests are the predominant landscape of Canada, occupying 49% of its boreal zone or 27% of the country. Despite the tremendous amount of literature on such ecosystems, some gaps persist in our understanding of boreal forest evapotranspiration (ET), given that direct measurements are costly to obtain and therefore scarce in these remote territories. This is especially the case on sloped terrain, since the eddy covariance method is not traditionally used in such situations. These gaps lead to the implementation of the EVAP experimental project, which intends to produce a major leap in our understanding of the water and energy budgets of a sloped boreal forest. Starting in summer 2015, we heavily instrumented a watershed in the Montmorency Forest (47°17' N; 71°10' W), Quebec, Canada. Located in the Laurentian Mountains, the forest has a mean elevation of 750 m with peaks at 1000 m. The setup includes a 20-m flux tower with two separate sets of eddy correlation and net radiation measurements facing opposite directions, located over an almost mature boreal forest (logged ~20 years ago, 8-10 m trees). Eddy fluxes are also measured under the canopy with a similar setup, while a sub-watershed is instrumented with a 10-m flux tower using homologous instruments, this time on a much younger forest stand (logged ~10 years ago, 4-5 m trees). Both sites are characterized by a significant slope (~20%), facing northeast for the 20-m tower and west for the 10-m tower. With several other instruments, we are measuring every major components of both water and energy budgets, including the outgoing discharge of the watershed and subwatershed. The different slope orientations and local topography of both sites allow us to quantify the relationships between solar exposition, topographic shading and ET rates; these relationships being transposable to other mountainous forested catchments. We also investigate the presence of slope flows and assess their impact on local ET

  6. Bryophyte Evapotranspiration in a Boreal Forest Chronosequence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bond-Lamberty, B.; Ewers, B.; Angstmann, J.; Gower, S.

    2008-12-01

    Forest water fluxes, in particular evapotranspiration (ET), are less well constrained than are carbon fluxes, and the effect of changing stand age on forest ET is not well understood. We combined field and lab measurements to estimate the bryophyte contribution to ET in a black spruce-dominated boreal chronosequence in Manitoba, Canada. Site ages were 17, 42, 76 and 156 years, and each site contained separate well- and poorly-drained stands (bogs). Field plots (N=4) were surveyed for moss diversity and microtopography; meteorological variables were recorded continuously. Field measurements were made 3-4 times during the growing season using a custom chamber attached to a LI-COR 6400. In addition, large tubs of moss were incubated in a controlled-environment chamber and water loss rates measured via weighing; these tubs were also measured using the same protocol as performed in the field. In the lab, fully-saturated feathermoss and Sphagnum lost water at rates as high as 1.5 and 4.5 mm day-1, respectively, at 25 °C. Over the entire year, modeled bryophyte ET ranged from 0.2-0.3 and 0.2-0.5 mm day-1 in the well- and poorly-drained stands, respectively. During the growing season, these rates were 0.7-0.8 and 0.6- 1.4 mm day-1. Ignoring bog microtopography would have resulted in underestimation of fluxes by ~10%. There was no clear trend of moss ET flux with stand age, except at the very youngest stands, where bryophyte spatial coverage was low. Our results emphasize the important contribution that bryophytes make to the ET flux of boreal forests.

  7. Main dynamics and drivers of boreal forests fire regimes during the Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molinari, Chiara; Lehsten, Veiko; Blarquez, Olivier; Clear, Jennifer; Carcaillet, Christopher; Bradshaw, Richard HW

    2015-04-01

    Forest fire is one of the most critical ecosystem processes in the boreal megabiome, and it is likely that its frequency, size and severity have had a primary role in vegetation dynamics since the Last Ice Age (Kasischke & Stocks 2000). Fire not only organizes the physical and biological attributes of boreal forests, but also affects biogeochemical cycling, particularly the carbon balance (Balshi et al. 2007). Due to their location at climatically sensitive northern latitudes, boreal forests are likely to be significantly affected by global warming with a consequent increase in biomass burning (Soja et al. 2007), a variation in vegetation structure and composition (Johnstone et al. 2004) and a rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration (Bond-Lamberty et al. 2007). Even if the ecological role of wildfire in boreal forest is widely recognized, a clearer understanding of the environmental factors controlling fire dynamics and how variations in fire regimes impact forest ecosystems is essential in order to place modern fire processes in a meaningful context for projecting ecosystem behaviour in a changing environment (Kelly et al. 2013). Because fire return intervals and successional cycles in boreal forests occur over decadal to centennial timescales (Hu et al. 2006), palaeoecological research seems to be one of the most promising tool for elucidating ecosystem changes over a broad range of environmental conditions and temporal scales. Within this context, our first aim is to reconstruct spatial and temporal patterns of boreal forests fire dynamics during the Holocene based on sedimentary charcoal records. As a second step, trends in biomass burning will be statistically analysed in order to disentangle between regional and local drivers. The use of European and north-American sites will give us the unique possibility to perform a large scale analysis on one of the broadest biome in the world and to underline the different patterns of fire in these two

  8. Responses of aboveground and belowground forest carbon stocks to disturbances in boreal forests of Northeastern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Chao; He, Hong S.; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Liang, Yu; Gong, Peng; Wu, Wuzhiwei; Zhu, Zhiliang

    2016-04-01

    Boreal forests represents about 1/3 of forest area and 1/3 of forest carbon on earth. Carbon dynamics of boreal forests are sensitive to climate change, natural (e.g., fire) and anthropogenic (e.g., harvest) disturbances. Field-based studies suggest that disturbances alter species composition, stand structure, and litter decomposition, and have significant effects on boreal forest carbon dynamics. Most of these studies, however, covered a relatively short period of time (e.g., few decades), which is limited in revealing such long-term effects of disturbances. Models are therefore developed as important tools in exploring the long-term (e.g., hundreds of years) effects of disturbances on forest carbon dynamics. In this study, we applied a framework of coupling forest ecosystem and landscape model to evaluating the effect of fire, harvest and their interactions on carbon stocks in a boreal forest landscape of Northeastern China. We compared the simulation results under fire, harvest and fire-harvest interaction scenarios with the simulated value of succession scenario at 26 landtypes over 150 years at a 10-year time step. Our results suggest that aboveground and belowground carbon are significantly reduced by fire and harvest over 150years. Fire reduced aboveground carbon by 2.3±0.6 ton/ha, harvest by 6.0±1.4 ton/ha, and fire and harvest interaction by 8.0±1.9 tons/ha. Fire reduced belowground carbon by 4.6±3.4 ton/ha, harvest by 5.0±3.5 ton/ha, and fire-harvest interaction by 5.7±3.7 tons/ha. The divergent response of carbon stocks among landtypes and between disturbance scenarios was due to the spatial interactions between fire, harvest, and species composition. Our results indicated that boreal forests carbon stocks prediction needs to consider the effects of fire and harvest for improving the estimation accuracy.

  9. Evaporation Dynamics of Moss and Bare Soil in Boreal Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dempster, S.; Young, J. M.; Barron, C. G.; Bolton, W. R.

    2013-12-01

    Evaporation dynamics of mosses is a critical process in boreal and arctic systems and represents a key uncertainty in hydrology and climate models. At this point, moss evaporation is not well quantified at the plot or landscape scale. Relative to bare soil or litter evaporation, moss evaporation can be challenging to predict because the water flux is not isolated to the moss surface. Evaporation can originate from nearly 10 cm below the surface. Some mosses can wick moisture from even deeper than 10 cm, which subsequently evaporates. The goal of this study was to use field measurements to quantify the moss evaporation dynamics in a coniferous forest relative to bare ground or litter evaporation dynamics in a deciduous forest in Interior Alaska. Measurements were made in two ecosystem types within the boreal forest of Interior Alaska: a deciduous forest devoid of moss and a coniferous forest with a thick moss layer. A small clear chamber was attached to a LiCor 840 infrared gas analyzer in a closed loop system with a low flow rate. Water fluxes were measured for ~ 90 seconds on each plot in dry and wet soil and moss conditions. Additional measurements included: soil temperature, soil moisture, air temperature, barometric pressure, dew point, relative humidity, and wind speed. Thermal infrared images were also captured in congruence with water flux measurements to determine skin temperature. We found that the moss evaporation rate was over 100% greater than the soil evaporation rate (0.057 g/min vs. 0.024 g/min), and evaporation rates in both systems were most strongly driven by relative humidity and surface temperature. Surface temperature was lower at the birch site than the black spruce site because trees shade the surface beneath the birch. High fluxes associated with high water content were sustained for a longer period of time over the mosses compared to the bare soil. The thermal IR data showed that skin temperature lagged the evaporation flux, such that the

  10. The changing effects of Alaska’s boreal forests on the climate system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Euskirchen, E.S.; McGuire, Anthony; Chapin, F.S.; Rupp, T.S.

    2010-01-01

    In the boreal forests of Alaska, recent changes in climate have influenced the exchange of trace gases, water, and energy between these forests and the atmosphere. These changes in the structure and function of boreal forests can then feed back to impact regional and global climates. In this manuscript, we examine the type and magnitude of the climate feedbacks from boreal forests in Alaska. Research generally suggests that the net effect of a warming climate is a positive regional feedback to warming. Currently, the primary positive climate feedbacks are likely related to decreases in surface albedo due to decreases in snow cover. Fewer negative feedbacks have been identified, and they may not be large enough to counterbalance the large positive feedbacks. These positive feedbacks are most pronounced at the regional scale and reduce the resilience of the boreal vegetation – climate system by amplifying the rate of regional warming. Given the recent warming in this region, the large variety of associated mechanisms that can alter terrestrial ecosystems and influence the climate system, and a reduction in the boreal forest resilience, there is a strong need to continue to quantify and evaluate the feedback pathways.

  11. Predicting Forest Floor Consumption From Wildland Fire in Boreal forests of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ottmar, R. D.

    2010-12-01

    Forest fires are one of the dominant ecological force shaping the distribution and structure of boreal ecosystems. Many areas of the boreal forests of Alaska often contain deep layers of moss, duff, and peat, resulting in large pools of sequestered carbon and biomass that potentially can burn and smolder for long periods of time during these wildfires creating hazardous smoke episodes for local residents and communities and causing detrimental landscape impacts. Research to quantify forest floor consumption is critical for effective modeling fire effects such as smoke emissions, regional haze, global warming, permafrost melting, erosion, and plant succession. Forest floor reduction was measured at 18 black and white spruce and birch-aspen prescribed fires between 1990-2004 and 24 black and white spruce sites on 6 wildfires during 2003 and 2004. Three of the sites were part of the large international Frostfire project near Fairbanks, Alaska, and were used as an independent test data set. Several forest floor reduction equations were developed, of which one is presented in this presentation. The double parameter equation uses upper forest floor fuel moisture content and preburn forest floor depth as independent variables. The fuel moisture content of the upper forest floor can be obtained from forest floor samples that are collected, oven dried, and weighed to determine gravimetric fuel moisture content. The preburn forest floor depths require onsite measurements to be collected. The forest floor consumption model has been incorporated into Consume, a software package used by land managers and scientists to predict fuel consumption during wildland fires.

  12. Arctic and boreal ecosystems of western North America as components of the climate system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chapin, F. S., III; McGuire, A.D.; Randerson, J.; Pielke, R., Sr.; Baldocchi, D.; Hobbie, S.E.; Roulet, Nigel; Eugster, W.; Kasischke, E.; Rastetter, E.B.; Zimov, S.A.; Running, S.W.

    2000-01-01

    Synthesis of results from several Arctic and boreal research programmes provides evidence for the strong role of high-latitude ecosystems in the climate system. Average surface air temperature has increased 0.3??C per decade during the twentieth century in the western North American Arctic and boreal forest zones. Precipitation has also increased, but changes in soil moisture are uncertain. Disturbance rates have increased in the boreal forest; for example, there has been a doubling of the area burned in North America in the past 20 years. The disturbance regime in tundra may not have changed. Tundra has a 3-6-fold higher winter albedo than boreal forest, but summer albedo and energy partitioning differ more strongly among ecosystems within either tundra or boreal forest than between these two biomes. This indicates a need to improve our understanding of vegetation dynamics within, as well as between, biomes. If regional surface warming were to continue, changes in albedo and energy absorption would likely act as a positive feedback to regional warming due to earlier melting of snow and, over the long term, the northward movement of treeline. Surface drying and a change in dominance from mosses to vascular plants would also enhance sensible heat flux and regional warming in tundra. In the boreal forest of western North America, deciduous forests have twice the albedo of conifer forests in both winter and summer, 50-80% higher evapotranspiration, and therefore only 30-50% of the sensible heat flux of conifers in summer. Therefore, a warming-induced increase in fire frequency that increased the proportion of deciduous forests in the landscape, would act as a negative feedback to regional warming. Changes in thermokarst and the aerial extent of wetlands, lakes, and ponds would alter high-latitude methane flux. There is currently a wide discrepancy among estimates of the size and direction of CO2 flux between high-latitude ecosystems and the atmosphere. These

  13. Logging and Fire Effects in Siberian Boreal Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kukavskaya, E.; Buryak, L.; Ivanova, G.; Kalenskaya, O.; Bogorodskaya, A.; Zhila, S.; McRae, D.; Conard, S. G.

    2013-12-01

    The Russian boreal zone supports a huge terrestrial carbon pool. Moreover, it is a tremendous reservoir of wood products concentrated mainly in Siberia. The main natural disturbance in these forests is wildfire, which modifies the carbon budget and has potentially important climate feedbacks. In addition, both legal and illegal logging increase landscape complexity and fire hazard. We investigated a number of sites in different regions of Siberia to evaluate the impacts of fire and logging on fuel loads, carbon emissions, tree regeneration, soil respiration, and microbocenosis. We found large variations of fire and logging effects among regions depending on growing conditions and type of logging activity. Partial logging had no negative impact on forest conditions and carbon cycle. Illegal logging resulted in increase of fire hazard, and higher carbon emissions than legal logging. The highest fuel loads and carbon emissions were found on repeatedly burned unlogged sites where first fire resulted in total tree mortality. Repeated fires together with logging activities in drier conditions and on large burned sites resulted in insufficient regeneration, or even total lack of tree seedlings. Soil respiration was less on both burned and logged areas than in undisturbed forest. The highest structural and functional disturbances of the soil microbocenosis were observed on logged burned sites. Understanding current interactions between fire and logging is important for modeling ecosystem processes and for managers to develop strategies of sustainable forest management. Changing patterns in the harvest of wood products increase landscape complexity and can be expected to increase emissions and ecosystem damage from wildfires, inhibit recovery of natural ecosystems, and exacerbate impacts of wildland fire on changing climate and air quality. The research was supported by NASA LCLUC Program, RFBR grant # 12-04-31258, and Russian Academy of Sciences.

  14. Tree and forest water use under elevated CO2 and temperature in Scandinavian boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berg Hasper, Thomas; Wallin, Göran; Lamba, Shubhangi; Sigurdsson, Bjarni D.; Laudon, Hjalmar; Medhurst, Jane L.; Räntfors, Mats; Linder, Sune; Uddling, Johan

    2014-05-01

    predictions of boreal atmosphere-biosphere interactions, indicating that tree responses to precipitation and temperature are more important than responses to elevated [CO2] in determining the future forest water-use and hydrology of Scandinavian boreal ecosystems.

  15. Reduced postfire tree regeneration along a boreal forest-forest-tundra transect in northern Quebec

    SciTech Connect

    Sirois, L.; Payette, S. )

    1991-04-01

    The large 1950s fires that burned > 5,500 km{sup 2} of land across a south-to-north climatic gradient in northern Quebec provide an opportunity to evaluate the role of fire in forest-tundra development on a demographic basis. The tree population density before and {approx} 30 yr after fire was estimated by censusing trees in plots of 400 m{sup 2} located in upland and lowland within four representative ecoregions of northern Quebec. The analysis of tree recruitment before and after fire, in 410 randomly selected sites along a transect crossing the upper boreal forest and forest-tundra zones, indicated that wildfires induced substantial depletion of tree populations. Taken as a whole, fires have significantly reduced the density of black spruce populations in forest-tundra uplands, but not in the lowlands. Sustained reduction of tree population density after several destructive fires appears as one of the main deforestation processed in the subarctic zone. This leads to the patchy distribution of forest stands and scattered tree populations typical of the forest-tundra biome. Comparisons with paleoecological data suggest that the impact of the 1950s fires contributed to the expansion of the forest tundra into the upper boreal forest. The ecological impact of these fires was probably similar to those fires responsible for development of the forest tundra during the Holocene. It is suggested that the fire-climate interaction should be considered in order to predict the ecological impact of warming climate on high-latitude forest ecosystems.

  16. A 700-year paleoecological record of boreal ecosystem responses to climatic variation from Alaska.

    PubMed

    Tinner, Willy; Bigler, Christian; Gedye, Sharon; Gregory-Eaves, Irene; Jones, Richard T; Kaltenrieder, Petra; Krähenbühl, Urs; Hu, Feng Sheng

    2008-03-01

    Recent observations and model simulations have highlighted the sensitivity of the forest-tundra ecotone to climatic forcing. In contrast, paleoecological studies have not provided evidence of tree-line fluctuations in response to Holocene climatic changes in Alaska, suggesting that the forest-tundra boundary in certain areas may be relatively stable at multicentennial to millennial time scales. We conducted a multiproxy study of sediment cores from an Alaskan lake near the altitudinal limits of key boreal-forest species. Paleoecological data were compared with independent climatic reconstructions to assess ecosystem responses of the forest tundra boundary to Little Ice Age (LIA) climatic fluctuations. Pollen, diatom, charcoal, macrofossil, and magnetic analyses provide the first continuous record of vegetation fire-climate interactions at decadal to centennial time scales during the past 700 years from southern Alaska. Boreal-forest diebacks characterized by declines of Picea mariana, P. glauca, and tree Betula occurred during the LIA (AD 1500-1800), whereas shrubs (Alnus viridis, Betula glandulosa/nana) and herbaceous taxa (Epilobium, Aconitum) expanded. Marked increases in charcoal abundance and changes in magnetic properties suggest increases in fire importance and soil erosion during the same period. In addition, the conspicuous reduction or disappearance of certain aquatic (e.g., Isoetes, Nuphar, Pediastrum) and wetland (Sphagnum) plants and major shifts in diatom assemblages suggest pronounced lake-level fluctuations and rapid ecosystem reorganization in response to LIA climatic deterioration. Our results imply that temperature shifts of 1-2 degrees C, when accompanied by major changes in moisture balance, can greatly alter high-altitudinal terrestrial, wetland, and aquatic ecosystems, including conversion between boreal-forest tree line and tundra. The climatic and ecosystem variations in our study area appear to be coherent with changes in solar irradiance

  17. Pinus sylvestris as a missing source of nitrous oxide and methane in boreal forest

    PubMed Central

    Machacova, Katerina; Bäck, Jaana; Vanhatalo, Anni; Halmeenmäki, Elisa; Kolari, Pasi; Mammarella, Ivan; Pumpanen, Jukka; Acosta, Manuel; Urban, Otmar; Pihlatie, Mari

    2016-01-01

    Boreal forests comprise 73% of the world’s coniferous forests. Based on forest floor measurements, they have been considered a significant natural sink of methane (CH4) and a natural source of nitrous oxide (N2O), both of which are important greenhouse gases. However, the role of trees, especially conifers, in ecosystem N2O and CH4 exchange is only poorly understood. We show for the first time that mature Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) trees consistently emit N2O and CH4 from both stems and shoots. The shoot fluxes of N2O and CH4 exceeded the stem flux rates by 16 and 41 times, respectively. Moreover, higher stem N2O and CH4 fluxes were observed from wet than from dry areas of the forest. The N2O release from boreal pine forests may thus be underestimated and the uptake of CH4 may be overestimated when ecosystem flux calculations are based solely on forest floor measurements. The contribution of pine trees to the N2O and CH4 exchange of the boreal pine forest seems to increase considerably under high soil water content, thus highlighting the urgent need to include tree-emissions in greenhouse gas emission inventories. PMID:26997421

  18. Pinus sylvestris as a missing source of nitrous oxide and methane in boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machacova, Katerina; Bäck, Jaana; Vanhatalo, Anni; Halmeenmäki, Elisa; Kolari, Pasi; Mammarella, Ivan; Pumpanen, Jukka; Acosta, Manuel; Urban, Otmar; Pihlatie, Mari

    2016-03-01

    Boreal forests comprise 73% of the world’s coniferous forests. Based on forest floor measurements, they have been considered a significant natural sink of methane (CH4) and a natural source of nitrous oxide (N2O), both of which are important greenhouse gases. However, the role of trees, especially conifers, in ecosystem N2O and CH4 exchange is only poorly understood. We show for the first time that mature Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) trees consistently emit N2O and CH4 from both stems and shoots. The shoot fluxes of N2O and CH4 exceeded the stem flux rates by 16 and 41 times, respectively. Moreover, higher stem N2O and CH4 fluxes were observed from wet than from dry areas of the forest. The N2O release from boreal pine forests may thus be underestimated and the uptake of CH4 may be overestimated when ecosystem flux calculations are based solely on forest floor measurements. The contribution of pine trees to the N2O and CH4 exchange of the boreal pine forest seems to increase considerably under high soil water content, thus highlighting the urgent need to include tree-emissions in greenhouse gas emission inventories.

  19. Pinus sylvestris as a missing source of nitrous oxide and methane in boreal forest.

    PubMed

    Machacova, Katerina; Bäck, Jaana; Vanhatalo, Anni; Halmeenmäki, Elisa; Kolari, Pasi; Mammarella, Ivan; Pumpanen, Jukka; Acosta, Manuel; Urban, Otmar; Pihlatie, Mari

    2016-01-01

    Boreal forests comprise 73% of the world's coniferous forests. Based on forest floor measurements, they have been considered a significant natural sink of methane (CH4) and a natural source of nitrous oxide (N2O), both of which are important greenhouse gases. However, the role of trees, especially conifers, in ecosystem N2O and CH4 exchange is only poorly understood. We show for the first time that mature Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) trees consistently emit N2O and CH4 from both stems and shoots. The shoot fluxes of N2O and CH4 exceeded the stem flux rates by 16 and 41 times, respectively. Moreover, higher stem N2O and CH4 fluxes were observed from wet than from dry areas of the forest. The N2O release from boreal pine forests may thus be underestimated and the uptake of CH4 may be overestimated when ecosystem flux calculations are based solely on forest floor measurements. The contribution of pine trees to the N2O and CH4 exchange of the boreal pine forest seems to increase considerably under high soil water content, thus highlighting the urgent need to include tree-emissions in greenhouse gas emission inventories. PMID:26997421

  20. Disturbance Regimes and Landscape Heterogeneity in the Boreal Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, E. A.; Sheng, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Circling the northern high latitudes, the boreal forest is the largest contiguous forest ecoregion in the world. Far from a homogeneous carpet of trees, the boreal forest is a patchwork of land cover types including evergreen and deciduous trees, meadows, lakes, and wetlands. Due to its size, location, and structure, the boreal forest is an important component of the regional and global climate system through storage of carbon in cold organic soils and direct influence on the solar energy budget. This study integrates remote sensing and GIS products from different sub-fields working in the pan-Arctic region to investigate fire and permafrost-degradation, the land cover shaping processes that help determine the fate of the boreal forest. These disturbance processes are subject to change with climate and hold the potential for rapid change to the structure of the boreal forest. We identify regions at risk for rapid change, quantify the contributions of different disturbance processes, and analyze patterns of post disturbance recovery.

  1. Growth Decline Linked to Warming-Induced Water Limitation in Hemi-Boreal Forests

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiuchen; Liu, Hongyan; Guo, Dali; Anenkhonov, Oleg A.; Badmaeva, Natalya K.; Sandanov, Denis V.

    2012-01-01

    Hemi-boreal forests, which make up the transition from temperate deciduous forests to boreal forests in southern Siberia, have experienced significant warming without any accompanying increase in precipitation during the last 80 years. This climatic change could have a profound impact on tree growth and on the stability of forest ecosystems in this region, but at present evidence for these impacts is lacking. In this study, we report a recent dramatic decline in the growth of hemi-boreal forests, based on ring width measurements from three dominant tree-species (Pinus sylvestris, Larix sibirica and Larix gmelinii), sampled from eight sites in the region. We found that regional tree growth has become increasingly limited by low soil water content in the pre- and early-growing season (from October of the previous year to July of the current year) over the past 80 years. A warming-induced reduction in soil water content has also increased the climate sensitivity of these three tree species. Beginning in the mid-1980s, a clear decline in growth is evident for both the pine forests and the larch forests, although there are increasing trends in the proxy of soil water use efficiencies. Our findings are consistent with those from other parts of the world and provide valuable insights into the regional carbon cycle and vegetation dynamics, and should be useful for devising adaptive forest management strategies. PMID:22916142

  2. Growth decline linked to warming-induced water limitation in hemi-boreal forests.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiuchen; Liu, Hongyan; Guo, Dali; Anenkhonov, Oleg A; Badmaeva, Natalya K; Sandanov, Denis V

    2012-01-01

    Hemi-boreal forests, which make up the transition from temperate deciduous forests to boreal forests in southern Siberia, have experienced significant warming without any accompanying increase in precipitation during the last 80 years. This climatic change could have a profound impact on tree growth and on the stability of forest ecosystems in this region, but at present evidence for these impacts is lacking. In this study, we report a recent dramatic decline in the growth of hemi-boreal forests, based on ring width measurements from three dominant tree-species (Pinus sylvestris, Larix sibirica and Larix gmelinii), sampled from eight sites in the region. We found that regional tree growth has become increasingly limited by low soil water content in the pre- and early-growing season (from October of the previous year to July of the current year) over the past 80 years. A warming-induced reduction in soil water content has also increased the climate sensitivity of these three tree species. Beginning in the mid-1980s, a clear decline in growth is evident for both the pine forests and the larch forests, although there are increasing trends in the proxy of soil water use efficiencies. Our findings are consistent with those from other parts of the world and provide valuable insights into the regional carbon cycle and vegetation dynamics, and should be useful for devising adaptive forest management strategies. PMID:22916142

  3. Soil C Quantification and CO2 Efflux in the Boreal Forest, James Bay, Canada.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banville, J. L.; Garneau, M.; Paré, D.

    2007-12-01

    The Boreal forest contains about 50% of the total organic carbon stored in forest ecosystems, and in these forests, the largest reservoir is the soil, because low temperatures promote net accumulation of organic C (Dioumaeva et al. 2003) These types of forest covers nearly 3 million km2, consequently, it can significantly influence the global carbon cycle (Kurz et al. 2002). Forest ecosystems take up atmospheric CO2 by converting into organic C through photosynthesis. Various physico-chemical and microbial properties of boreal forest soils regulating soil organic C (SOC) accumulation and decomposition are poorly understood. In this study, we present data on the quantity and quality of SOC in five different boreal forest types in the northern Quebec. The aims of our research are to (1) determine the role of several site-specfic variables influencing carbon storage such as forest stand composition, age, litter quality and production rate, as well as soil properties such as chemistry, drainage and texture, and (2) determine labile vs recalcitrant fractions of the SOC carbon as well as reactivity to temperature as related to the site characteristics described above. Results showed that litterfall, soil drainage class, and clay contents correlate significantly with the SOC contents in different forest types. Forest stand age and litter fall have a bearing on SOC accumulation rates. Forest type does not seem to affect SOC accumulation. Moreover, results suggest that drainage is a main driver of SOC accumulation. This project is still underway and we are currently measuring SOC mineralization rates under variable soil temperature regimes (2, 14 and 29 oC) in vitro to determine site specific difference in SOC quality and reactivity to temperature across forest stand types.

  4. Experimental warming increases soil carbon flux in a recently burned Alaskan boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergner, B.; Johnstone, J.; Treseder, K. K.

    2002-12-01

    The response of boreal forest soils to global warming remains controversial despite their significance in the global carbon cycle. In particular, our understanding of soil carbon storage is critical to our ability to predict the future response of boreal forests to global warming due to their large carbon sink capacity. Historically, boreal forests have been thought to be carbon sinks over time due to the short growing season which prevents soil microbes from completely decomposing annual primary production. However, recent empirical evidence indicates that climate change, and warming in particular, is already decreasing the amount of carbon stored in boreal forest soils. In addition, forest fires claim an increasing average area of boreal forest each year (1 x 106 acres in Alaska in 2002), and affect a significant portion of this ecosystem. Fire-affected boreal forests may have different responses to global warming than mature forest. Here, we present results from a study in which we experimentally raised the average daily ambient temperature of a recently burned black spruce forest in central Alaska during the growing season by 1 °C (mid-day temperatures increased by 4 °C) using twelve, 1.77 m2 open-top greenhouse chambers and twelve control plots for 3 years after fire. Soil CO2 flux was significantly higher in greenhouses than controls for all measurements taken during the third summer of warming (greenhouse mean: 89 g C m-2 ; control mean: 66 g C m-2 (p < .04); repeated measures ANOVA). BIOLOG ecoplate TM analysis indicates that bacterial diversity and abundance were slightly higher in greenhouse plots. The change in bacterial community composition may be partially responsible for the elevated soil CO2 flux. These results suggest that in a warmer climate, fire-disturbed boreal forests may store less carbon than their present carbon storage. Furthermore, the interaction between global warming and fire may result in a positive feedback to atmospheric CO2, and

  5. Spatially explicit estimation of aboveground boreal forest biomass in the Yukon River Basin, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ji, Lei; Wylie, Bruce K.; Brown, Dana R. N.; Peterson, Birgit; Alexander, Heather D.; Mack, Michelle C.; Rover, Jennifer R.; Waldrop, Mark P.; McFarland, Jack W.; Chen, Xuexia; Pastick, Neal J.

    2015-01-01

    Quantification of aboveground biomass (AGB) in Alaska’s boreal forest is essential to the accurate evaluation of terrestrial carbon stocks and dynamics in northern high-latitude ecosystems. Our goal was to map AGB at 30 m resolution for the boreal forest in the Yukon River Basin of Alaska using Landsat data and ground measurements. We acquired Landsat images to generate a 3-year (2008–2010) composite of top-of-atmosphere reflectance for six bands as well as the brightness temperature (BT). We constructed a multiple regression model using field-observed AGB and Landsat-derived reflectance, BT, and vegetation indices. A basin-wide boreal forest AGB map at 30 m resolution was generated by applying the regression model to the Landsat composite. The fivefold cross-validation with field measurements had a mean absolute error (MAE) of 25.7 Mg ha−1 (relative MAE 47.5%) and a mean bias error (MBE) of 4.3 Mg ha−1(relative MBE 7.9%). The boreal forest AGB product was compared with lidar-based vegetation height data; the comparison indicated that there was a significant correlation between the two data sets.

  6. Amine Measurements in Boreal Forest Air

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemmilä, Marja; Hellén, Heidi; Makkonen, Ulla; Hakola, Hannele

    2015-04-01

    Amines are reactive, volatile bases in the air with a general formula of RNH2, R2NH or R3N. Especially small amines can stabilize sulphuric acid clusters and hence affect nucleation. Amines react rapidly with hydroxyl radical (OH˙) thus affecting oxidative capacity of the atmosphere. The amine concentrations are higher in forest air than in urban air (Hellén et al., 2014), but the sources are not known. In order to get more information concerning amine sources, we conducted a measurement campaign in a boreal forest. At SMEAR II station at Hyytiälä, Southern Finland (61°510'N, 24°170'E, 180 m a.s.l.) The measurements cover seven months, from June to December 2014. For sampling and measuring we used MARGA (The instrument for Measuring AeRosols and Gases in Ambient air) which is an on-line ion chromatograph (IC) connected to a sampling system. The IC component of the MARGA system was coupled to an electrospray ionization quadrupole mass spectrometer (MS) to improve sensitivity of amine measurements. This new set-up enabled amine concentration measurements in ambient air both in aerosol and gas phases with a time resolution of only 1 hour. With MARGA-MS we analysed 7 different amines: monomethylamine (MMA), dimethylamine (DMA), trimethylamine (TMA), ethylamine (EA), diethylamine (DEA), propylamine (PA) and butylamine (BA). In preliminary data-analysis we found out, that in June and July most of the measured amines were in gas phase, and particle phase amine concentrations were mostly under detection limits (<1.7 pptv). In June the gaseous amine concentrations were higher than in July. The measured concentrations of gaseous amines followed temperature variation, which could indicate that amines are produced and emitted from the environment or re-emitted from the surfaces as temperature rises after deposition during night-time. All measured amines had similar diurnal variation with maxima during afternoon and minima during night. Results from other months will also

  7. Protected area as an indicator of ecological sustainability? A century of development in Europe's boreal forest.

    PubMed

    Elbakidze, Marine; Angelstam, Per; Sobolev, Nikolay; Degerman, Erik; Andersson, Kjell; Axelsson, Robert; Höjer, Olle; Wennberg, Sandra

    2013-03-01

    Protected area (PA) is an indicator linked to policies on ecological sustainability. We analyzed area, size, and categories of PAs in the European boreal forest biome in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia from 1900 to 2010. The PA increased from 1.5 × 10(3) ha in 1909 to 2.3 × 10(7) ha in 2010. While the total PA in the boreal biome was 10.8 %, the figures ranged from 17.2 % in the northern, 7.9 % of the middle, and 8.7 % of the southern boreal sub-regions. The median size of PAs varied from 10 to 124 ha among countries. The categories of less strictly PAs increased over time. The proportion of area occupied by PAs is an important response indicator for conservation efforts. However, the use of PA as an indicator of ecological sustainability needs to consider ecosystem representation, functional connectivity and management categories. PMID:23475656

  8. The climate responses of tropical and boreal ecosystems with an improved land surface model (JULES)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harper, Anna; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Cox, Peter; Wiltshire, Andy; Jones, Chris

    2016-04-01

    The Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES) is the land surface of the next generation UK Earth System Model (UKESM1). Recently, JULES was updated with new plant functional types and physiology based on a global plant trait database. These developments improved the simulation of terrestrial gross and net primary productivity on local and global scales, and enabled a more realistic representation of the global distribution of vegetation. In this study, we explore the present-day distribution of ecosystems and their vulnerability to climate change in JULES with these improvements, focusing on tropical and boreal ecosystems. Changes to these ecosystems will have implications for biogeophysical and biogeochemical feedbacks to climate change and need to be understood. First, we examine the simulated and observed rainforest-savannah boundary, which is strongly related to annual precipitation and the maximum climatological water deficit. Second, we assess the length of growing season and biomass stored in boreal ecosystems, where 20th century warming has likely extended the growing season. In each case, we first evaluate the ability of JULES to capture observed climate-vegetation relationships and trends. Finally, we run JULES to 2100 using climate data from 3 models and 2 RCP scenarios, and examine potential 21st century changes to these ecosystems. For example, do the tropical forests shrink in response to changes in tropical rainfall seasonality? And, how does the composition of boreal ecosystems change in response to climate warming? Given the potential for climate feedbacks and the inherent value in these ecosystems, it is essential to assess their responses to a range of climate change scenarios.

  9. Monitoring forest biodiversity: a European perspective with reference to temperate and boreal forest zone.

    PubMed

    Puumalainen, Janna; Kennedy, Pamela; Folving, Sten

    2003-01-01

    Recent state of forest biodiversity at the European level was reviewed and analysed with respect to the current requirements from the environmental policies as well as with respect to scientific findings in the field. The analysis reveals the main deficits and development needs, and outlines some possible courses for future action. Specific reference is given to the boreal, Atlantic and continental regions of Europe. Especially the operational definition of biodiversity, the selection of the scale and consideration of the most appropriate indicators and data collection methods are of primary importance when defining a monitoring approach. The results of a recent assessment at national scale contribute to an improved understanding, but show some shortcomings with respect to the level of detail. The high variability of the distribution, structure and composition of forests in Europe can be comprised only partially when the monitoring follows national borders. To detect changes in time for corrective measures and to be able to apply appropriate threshold values for biodiversity indicators a more detailed approach, which takes into account different bio-geographical regions and forest ecosystem types, is needed. Technically, this could be based on aggregation national forest inventories or European-wide sampling scheme combined with remote sensing data and distinct forest types or categories. PMID:12659799

  10. The full annual carbon balance of Eurasian boreal forests is highly sensitive to precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Öquist, Mats; Bishop, Kevin; Grelle, Achim; Klemedtsson, Leif; Köhler, Stephan; Laudon, Hjalmar; Lindroth, Anders; Ottosson Löfvenius, Mikaell; Wallin, Marcus; Nilsson, Mats

    2013-04-01

    Boreal forest biomes are identified as one of the major sinks for anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 and are also predicted to be particularly sensitive to climate change. Recent advances in understanding the carbon balance of these biomes stems mainly from eddy-covariance measurements of the net ecosystem exchange (NEE). However, NEE includes only the vertical CO2 exchange driven by photosynthesis and ecosystem respiration. A full net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) also requires inclusion of lateral carbon export (LCE) through catchment discharge. Currently LCE is often regarded as negligible for the NECB of boreal forest ecosystems of the northern hemisphere, commonly corresponding to ~5% of annual NEE. Here we use long term (13 year) data showing that annual LCE and NEE are strongly correlated (p=0.003); years with low C sequestration by the forest coincide with years when lateral C loss is high. The fraction of NEE lost annually through LCE varied markedly from <3% to ca. 25%. Deviation in annual precipitation from the 28-year average (1980-2008) explained 90% of the variation observed in the fraction of C lost annually by LCE. The relationship suggests that an increase in annual precipitation of 10-20% in the boreal region would approximately double the fraction of NEE lost annually from the terrestrial system to surface waters. The correlation between NEE and LCE arises because the annual precipitation is correlated with both NEE (p<0.004) and LCE (p<0.001). Both these strong correlations contribute to an overall correlation between annual NECB and precipitation. The likely mechanism behind decreased NEE in response to increasing precipitation is a reduction in incoming solar radiation caused by clouds. The dual effect of precipitation implies that both the observed and the predicted increases in annual precipitation at high latitudes may reduce NECB in boreal forest ecosystems. Based on regional scaling of hydrological discharge and observed spatio

  11. Landscape controls on carbon and nitrogen cycling in boreal forests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate change in the boreal forest biome is having a large impact on two of the main controllers of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling within this region: permafrost and fire. Permafrost, and its effects on soil drainage, controls the inputs and losses of C and N via net primary productivity (NP...

  12. Resilience of Alaska's Boreal Forest to Climatic Change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapin, F. S., III; McGuire, A. D.; Ruess, R. W.; Hollingsworth, T. N.; Mack, M. C.; Johnstone, J. F.; Kasischke, E. S.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Jones, J. B.; Jorgenson, M. T.; Kielland, K.; Kofinas, G. P.; Turetsky, M. R.; Yarie, J.; Lloyd, A. H.; Taylor, D. L.

    2010-01-01

    This paper assesses the resilience of Alaska s boreal forest system to rapid climatic change. Recent warming is associated with reduced growth of dominant tree species, plant disease and insect outbreaks, warming and thawing of permafrost, drying of lakes, increased wildfire extent, increased postfire recruitment of deciduous trees, and reduced safety of hunters traveling on river ice. These changes have modified key structural features, feedbacks, and interactions in the boreal forest, including reduced effects of upland permafrost on regional hydrology, expansion of boreal forest into tundra, and amplification of climate warming because of reduced albedo (shorter winter season) and carbon release from wildfires. Other temperature-sensitive processes for which no trends have been detected include composition of plant and microbial communities, long-term landscape-scale change in carbon stocks, stream discharge, mammalian population dynamics, and river access and subsistence opportunities for rural indigenous communities. Projections of continued warming suggest that Alaska s boreal forest will undergo significant functional and structural changes within the next few decades that are unprecedented in the last 6000 years. The impact of these social ecological changes will depend in part on the extent of landscape reorganization between uplands and lowlands and on policies regulating subsistence opportunities for rural communities.

  13. Resilience of Alaska’s boreal forest to climatic change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chapin, F.S.; McGuire, Anthony; Ruess, R.W.; Hollingsworth, Teresa N.; Mack, M.C.; Johnstone, J.F.; Kasischke, E.S.; Euskirchen, E.S.; Jones, J.B.; Jorgenson, M.T.; Kielland, K.; Kofinas, G.; Turetsky, M.R.; Yarie, J.; Lloyd, A.H.; Taylor, D.L.

    2010-01-01

    This paper assesses the resilience of Alaska’s boreal forest system to rapid climatic change. Recent warming is associated with reduced growth of dominant tree species, plant disease and insect outbreaks, warming and thawing of permafrost, drying of lakes, increased wildfire extent, increased postfire recruitment of deciduous trees, and reduced safety of hunters traveling on river ice. These changes have modified key structural features, feedbacks, and interactions in the boreal forest, including reduced effects of upland permafrost on regional hydrology, expansion of boreal forest into tundra, and amplification of climate warming because of reduced albedo (shorter winter season) and carbon release from wildfires. Other temperature-sensitive processes for which no trends have been detected include composition of plant and microbial communities, long-term landscape-scale change in carbon stocks, stream discharge, mammalian population dynamics, and river access and subsistence opportunities for rural indigenous communities. Projections of continued warming suggest that Alaska’s boreal forest will undergo significant functional and structural changes within the next few decades that are unprecedented in the last 6000 years. The impact of these social–ecological changes will depend in part on the extent of landscape reorganization between uplands and lowlands and on policies regulating subsistence opportunities for rural communities.

  14. Production and retention of methylmercury in inundated boreal forest soils.

    PubMed

    Rolfhus, Kristofer R; Hurley, James P; Bodaly, Richard A Drew; Perrine, Gregory

    2015-03-17

    The Flooded Uplands Dynamics Experiment (FLUDEX) was an ecosystem-scale study examining the production of methylmercury (MeHg) and greenhouse gases from reservoirs constructed on an upland boreal forest landscape in order to quantify their dependence upon carbon stores. We detail the within-reservoir production and storage of MeHg before, during, and nine years after the experiment. The reservoirs were net MeHg producers during the first two years of flooding, and net demethylating systems afterward. During years 1-3, a rapid pulse of MeHg and total Hg was observed in floodwater, followed by substantial increases in MeHg in seston and sediment. Resampling of the dry reservoirs nine years after the experiment ended indicated that organic soil MeHg was still 8 to 52-fold higher than preflood conditions, and averaged 86% of the levels recorded at the end of the third flooding year. Both total Hg and MeHg retention in soil were a strong function of organic carbon content. The time scale of soil MeHg retention may help explain the decadal time lag frequently observed for the decrease of piscivorous fish Hg concentrations in new reservoirs. Predicted extreme precipitation events associated with climate change may serve to make landscapes more susceptible to this process. PMID:25668143

  15. Changing sources and sinks of carbon in boreal ecosystems of Interior Alaska: Current and future perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, T. A.; Jones, M.; Hiemstra, C. A.

    2012-12-01

    Future climate scenarios predict a roughly 5°C increase in mean annual air temperatures for the Alaskan Interior over the next 80 years. Increasing temperatures and greater frequency and severity of climate-induced disturbances such as wildfires will be enough to initiate permafrost degradation in many areas of Alaska, leading to major changes in surface hydrology and ecosystem structure and function. This, in turn, is expected to alter the current inventories of carbon sources and sinks in the region and provide a management challenge for carbon itemization efforts. To assist land managers in adapting and planning for potential changes in Interior Alaska carbon cycling we synthesize information on climate, ecosystem processes, vegetation, and soil, permafrost, and hydrologic regimes in Interior Alaska. Our goal is to provide an assessment of the current and likely future regime of Interior Alaska carbon sources and sinks. For our carbon assessment we: 1) synthesize the most recent results from numerous studies on the carbon cycle with a focus on research from the Alaskan boreal biome, 2) assemble a summary of estimates of carbon sources in soil and vegetation in Interior Alaska, 3) categorize carbon sources and sinks for predominant Interior Alaska ecosystems, and 4) identify expected changes in sources and sinks with climate change and human activities. This information is used to provide recommendations on potential actions land managers can take to minimize carbon export from the boreal forest. Though the results from our project are geared primarily toward policy makers and land managers we also provide recommendations for filling research gaps that currently present uncertainty in our understanding of the carbon cycle in boreal forest ecosystems of Interior Alaska.

  16. New insights into halocarbon emissions in boreal regions: Forest fires and Alberta oil sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, I. J.; Barletta, B.; Meinardi, S.; Marrero, J.; Rowland, F. S.; Akagi, S. K.; Yokelson, R. J.; Blake, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    Boreal forest fires and Alberta oil sands represent two major co-located trace gas emission sources within the boreal ecosystem. During the airborne ARCTAS mission in summer 2008, UC-Irvine performed the most comprehensive characterization of halocarbon emissions from boreal forest fires to date. In summer 2008 and 2010 we also performed the first independent characterizations of halocarbon emissions from Alberta's oil sands industry. In both cases the measurements were made using whole air sampling followed by gas chromatography analysis using electron capture detection and mass spectrometer detection. In the case of boreal forest fires, of 26 speciated halocarbons that were measured, only the simplest halocarbons were emitted from the fires (CH3Cl, CH3Br, CH3I, 1,2-C2H4Cl2, C2H5Cl and CH2Br2) (Simpson et al., 2011). These compounds were released in relatively small quantities and together they represented <0.3% of the total carbon released from boreal forest fires in the form of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs). Even though CH3Cl was the most abundantly emitted halocarbon, its average global emission from boreal forest fires (0.011 ± 0.003 Tg yr-1) was very small compared to its global source budget. The poly-chlorinated compounds CH2Cl2, CHCl3 and CH3CCl3 were not released from the fires. In the case of the Alberta oil sands, based on airborne measurements during the ARCTAS mission, 15 of 26 measured halocarbons were statistically enhanced over the oil sands compared to local background values (Simpson et al., 2010). The short-lived solvents C2HCl3, C2Cl4, C2H5Cl and CHCl3 were the most strongly enhanced halocarbons, with maximum values that were 1.5-34× the local background. A subsequent ground-based study in 2010 detected even stronger halocarbon enhancements downwind of upgraders and tailings sand at the oil sands surface mining sites. For example C2HCl3 and CHBrCl2 mixing ratios were up to 60-85× the local background values. Long

  17. Sources and sinks of carbon in boreal ecosystems of interior Alaska: a review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Douglas, Thomas A.; Jones, Miriam C.; Hiemstra, Christopher A.

    2014-01-01

    Boreal regions store large quantities of carbon but are increasingly vulnerable to carbon loss due to disturbance and climate warming. The boreal region, underlain by discontinuous permafrost, presents a challenging landscape for itemizing current and potential carbon sources and sinks in the boreal soil and vegetation. The roles of fire, forest succession, and the presence (or absence) of permafrost on carbon cycle, vegetation, and hydrologic processes have been the focus of multidisciplinary research in this area for the past 20 years. However, projections of a warming future climate, an increase in fire severity and extent, and the potential degradation of permafrost could lead to major landscape process changes over the next 20 to 50 years. This provides a major challenge for predicting how the interplay between land management activities and impacts of climate warming will affect carbon sources and sinks in Interior Alaska. To assist land managers in adapting and managing for potential changes in the Interior Alaska carbon cycle we developed this review paper incorporating an overview of the climate, ecosystem processes, vegetation types, and soil regimes in Interior Alaska with a focus on ramifications for the carbon cycle. Our objective is to provide a synthesis of the most current carbon storage estimates and measurements to support policy and land management decisions on how to best manage carbon sources and sinks in Interior Alaska. To support this we have surveyed relevant peer reviewed estimates of carbon stocks in aboveground and belowground biomass for Interior Alaska boreal ecosystems. We have also summarized methane and carbon dioxide fluxes from the same ecosystems. These data have been converted into the same units to facilitate comparison across ecosystem compartments. We identify potential changes in the carbon cycle with climate change and human disturbance including how compounding disturbances can affect the boreal system. Finally, we provide

  18. Reconciling salvage logging of boreal forests with a tural-disturbance management model.

    PubMed

    Schmiegelow, Fiona K A; Stepnisky, David P; Stambaugh, Curtis A; Koivula, Matti

    2006-08-01

    In North American boreal forests, wildfire is the dominant agent of natural disturbance. A natural-disturbance model has therefore been promoted as an ecologically based approach to forest harvesting in these systems. Given accelerating resource demands, fire competes with harvest for timber and there is increasing pressure to salvage naturally burned areas. This creates a management paradox: simultaneous promotion of natural disturbance as a guide to sustainability while salvaging forests that have been naturally disturbed. The major drivers of postfire salvage in Canadian boreal forests are societal perceptions, overallocation of forest resources, and economic and policy incentives, and postfire salvage compromisesforest sustainability by diminishing the role of fire as a critical, natural process. These factors might be reconciled through consideration of fire in resource allocations and application of active adaptive management. We provide novel treatment of the role of burn severity in mediating biotic response by examining its influence on the amount, type, and distribution of live, postfire residual material, and we highlight the role of fire in shaping spatial and temporal patterns in forest biodiversity. Maintenance of natural postfire forests is a critical component of an ecosystem-based approach to forest management in boreal systems. Nevertheless, presentpracticesfocus heavily on expediting removal of timber from burned forests, despite increasing evidence that postfire communities differ markedly from postharvest systems, and there is a mismatch between emerging management models and past management practices. Policies that recognize the critical role of fire in these systems and facilitate enhanced understanding of natural system dynamics in support of development of sustainable management practices are urgently needed. PMID:16922214

  19. Boreal forests and atmosphere - Biosphere exchange of carbon dioxide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    D'Arrigo, Rosanne; Jacoby, Gordon C.; Fung, Inez Y.

    1987-01-01

    Two approaches to investigating the role of boreal forests in the global carbon cycle are presented. First, a tracer support model which incorporates the normalized-difference vegetation index obtained from advanced, very high resolution radiometer radiances was used to simulate the annual cycle of CO2 in the atmosphere. Results indicate that the seasonal growth of the combined boreal forests of North America and Eurasia accounts for about 50 percent of the mean seasonal CO2 amplitude recorded at Pt. Barrow, Alaska and about 30 percent of the more globally representative CO2 signal at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. Second, tree-ring width data from four boreal treeline sites in northern Canada were positively correlated with Pt. Barrow CO2 drawdown for the period 1971-1982. These results suggest that large-scale changes in the growth of boreal forests may be contributing to the observed increasing trend in CO2 amplitude. They further suggest that tree-ring data may be applicable as indices for CO2 uptake and remote sensing estimates of photosynthetic activity.

  20. Soil carbon stocks and their rates of accumulation and loss in a boreal forest landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rapalee, G.; Trumbore, S.E.; Davidson, E.A.; Harden, J.W.; Veldhuis, H.

    1998-01-01

    Boreal forests and wetlands are thought to be significant carbon sinks, and they could become net C sources as the Earth warms. Most of the C of boreal forest ecosystems is stored in the moss layer and in the soil. The objective of this study was to estimate soil C stocks (including moss layers) and rates of accumulation and loss for a 733 km2 area of the BOReal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study site in northern Manitoba, using data from smaller-scale intensive field studies. A simple process-based model developed from measurements of soil C inventories and radiocarbon was used to relate soil C storage and dynamics to soil drainage and forest stand age. Soil C stocks covary with soil drainage class, with the largest C stocks occurring in poorly drained sites. Estimated rates of soil C accumulation or loss are sensitive to the estimated decomposition constants for the large pool of deep soil C, and improved understanding of deep soil C decomposition is needed. While the upper moss layers regrow and accumulate C after fires, the deep C dynamics vary across the landscape, from a small net sink to a significant source. Estimated net soil C accumulation, averaged for the entire 733 km2 area, was 20 g C m-2 yr-1 (28 g C m-2 yr-1 accumulation in surface mosses offset by 8 g C m-2 yr-1 lost from deep C pools) in a year with no fire. Most of the C accumulated in poorly and very poorly drained soils (peatlands and wetlands). Burning of the moss layer in only 1% of uplands would offset the C stored in the remaining 99% of the area. Significant interannual variability in C storage is expected because of the irregular occurrence of fire in space and time. The effects of climate change and management on fire frequency and on decomposition of immense deep soil C stocks are key to understanding future C budgets in boreal forests.

  1. Regional drought-induced reduction in the biomass carbon sink of Canada's boreal forests.

    PubMed

    Ma, Zhihai; Peng, Changhui; Zhu, Qiuan; Chen, Huai; Yu, Guirui; Li, Weizhong; Zhou, Xiaolu; Wang, Weifeng; Zhang, Wenhua

    2012-02-14

    The boreal forests, identified as a critical "tipping element" of the Earth's climate system, play a critical role in the global carbon budget. Recent findings have suggested that terrestrial carbon sinks in northern high-latitude regions are weakening, but there has been little observational evidence to support the idea of a reduction of carbon sinks in northern terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we estimated changes in the biomass carbon sink of natural stands throughout Canada's boreal forests using data from long-term forest permanent sampling plots. We found that in recent decades, the rate of biomass change decreased significantly in western Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba), but there was no significant trend for eastern Canada (Ontario and Quebec). Our results revealed that recent climate change, and especially drought-induced water stress, is the dominant cause of the observed reduction in the biomass carbon sink, suggesting that western Canada's boreal forests may become net carbon sources if the climate change-induced droughts continue to intensify. PMID:22308340

  2. Global Boreal Forest Mapping with JERS-1: North America

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Cynthia L.; McDonald, Kyle; Chapman, Bruce

    2000-01-01

    Collaborative effort is underway to map boreal forests worldwide using L-band, single polarization Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the Japanese Earth Resources (JERS-1) satellite. Final products of the North American Boreal Forest Mapping Project will include two continental scale radar mosaics and supplementary multitemporal mosaics for Alaska, central Canada, and eastern Canada. For selected sites, we are also producing local scale (100 km x 100 km) and regional scale maps (1000 km x 1000 km). As with the nearly completed Amazon component of the Global Rain Forest Mapping project, SAR imagery, radar image mosaics and SAR-derived texture image products will be available to the scientific community on the World Wide Web. Image acquisition for this project has been completed and processing and image interpretation is underway at the Alaska SAR Facility.

  3. Ca isotope cycling in a forested ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmden, Chris; Bélanger, Nicolas

    2010-02-01

    Reports of large Ca isotope fractionations between trees and soils prompted this study of a Boreal forest ecosystem near La Ronge, Saskatchewan, to improve understanding of this phenomenon. The results on five tree species (black spruce, trembling aspen, white spruce, jack pine, balsam poplar) confirm that nutrient Ca uptake by plants favors the light isotopes, thus driving residual Ca in plant available soil pools towards enrichment in the heavy isotopes. Substantial within-tree fraction occurs in tissues formed along the transpiration stream, with low δ 44Ca values in fine roots (2 mm), intermediate values in stemwood, and high values in foliage. Separation factors between different plant tissues are similar between species, but the initial fractionation step in the tips of the fine roots is species specific, and/or sensitive to the local soil environment. Soil water δ 44Ca values appear to increase with depth to at least 35 cm below the top of the forest floor, which is close to the deepest level of fine roots. The heavy plant fractionated signature of Ca in the finely rooted upper soils filters downward where it is retained on ion exchange sites, leached into groundwater, and discharged into surface waters. The relationship between Ca uptake by tree fine roots and the pattern of δ 44Ca enrichment with soil depth was modeled for two Ca pools: the forest floor (litter) and the underlying (upper B) mineral soil. Six study plots were investigated along two hillside toposequences trending upwards from a first order stream. We used allometric equations describing the Ca distribution in boreal tree species to calculate weighted average δ 44Ca values for the stands in each plot and estimate Ca uptake rates. The δ 44Ca value of precipitation was measured, and soil weathering signatures deduced, by acid leaching of lower B mineral soils. Steady state equations were used to derive a set of model Ca fluxes and fractionation factors for each plot. The model reproduces

  4. Fungal Community Shifts in Structure and Function across a Boreal Forest Fire Chronosequence

    PubMed Central

    Santalahti, Minna; Pumpanen, Jukka; Köster, Kajar; Berninger, Frank; Raffaello, Tommaso; Jumpponen, Ari; Asiegbu, Fred O.; Heinonsalo, Jussi

    2015-01-01

    Forest fires are a common natural disturbance in forested ecosystems and have a large impact on the microbial communities in forest soils. The response of soil fungal communities to forest fire is poorly documented. Here, we investigated fungal community structure and function across a 152-year boreal forest fire chronosequence using high-throughput sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region and a functional gene array (GeoChip). Our results demonstrate that the boreal forest soil fungal community was most diverse soon after a fire disturbance and declined over time. The differences in the fungal communities were explained by changes in the abundance of basidiomycetes and ascomycetes. Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi contributed to the increase in basidiomycete abundance over time, with the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) representing the genera Cortinarius and Piloderma dominating in abundance. Hierarchical cluster analysis by using gene signal intensity revealed that the sites with different fire histories formed separate clusters, suggesting differences in the potential to maintain essential biogeochemical soil processes. The site with the greatest biological diversity had also the most diverse genes. The genes involved in organic matter degradation in the mature forest, in which ECM fungi were the most abundant, were as common in the youngest site, in which saprotrophic fungi had a relatively higher abundance. This study provides insight into the impact of fire disturbance on soil fungal community dynamics. PMID:26341215

  5. Fungal Community Shifts in Structure and Function across a Boreal Forest Fire Chronosequence.

    PubMed

    Sun, Hui; Santalahti, Minna; Pumpanen, Jukka; Köster, Kajar; Berninger, Frank; Raffaello, Tommaso; Jumpponen, Ari; Asiegbu, Fred O; Heinonsalo, Jussi

    2015-11-01

    Forest fires are a common natural disturbance in forested ecosystems and have a large impact on the microbial communities in forest soils. The response of soil fungal communities to forest fire is poorly documented. Here, we investigated fungal community structure and function across a 152-year boreal forest fire chronosequence using high-throughput sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region and a functional gene array (GeoChip). Our results demonstrate that the boreal forest soil fungal community was most diverse soon after a fire disturbance and declined over time. The differences in the fungal communities were explained by changes in the abundance of basidiomycetes and ascomycetes. Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi contributed to the increase in basidiomycete abundance over time, with the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) representing the genera Cortinarius and Piloderma dominating in abundance. Hierarchical cluster analysis by using gene signal intensity revealed that the sites with different fire histories formed separate clusters, suggesting differences in the potential to maintain essential biogeochemical soil processes. The site with the greatest biological diversity had also the most diverse genes. The genes involved in organic matter degradation in the mature forest, in which ECM fungi were the most abundant, were as common in the youngest site, in which saprotrophic fungi had a relatively higher abundance. This study provides insight into the impact of fire disturbance on soil fungal community dynamics. PMID:26341215

  6. Palaeodata-informed modelling of large carbon losses from recent burning of boreal forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kelly, Ryan; Genet, Helene; McGuire, Anthony; Hu, Feng Sheng

    2016-01-01

    Wildfires play a key role in the boreal forest carbon cycle1, 2, and models suggest that accelerated burning will increase boreal C emissions in the coming century3. However, these predictions may be compromised because brief observational records provide limited constraints to model initial conditions4. We confronted this limitation by using palaeoenvironmental data to drive simulations of long-term C dynamics in the Alaskan boreal forest. Results show that fire was the dominant control on C cycling over the past millennium, with changes in fire frequency accounting for 84% of C stock variability. A recent rise in fire frequency inferred from the palaeorecord5 led to simulated C losses of 1.4 kg C m−2 (12% of ecosystem C stocks) from 1950 to 2006. In stark contrast, a small net C sink of 0.3 kg C m−2 occurred if the past fire regime was assumed to be similar to the modern regime, as is common in models of C dynamics. Although boreal fire regimes are heterogeneous, recent trends6 and future projections7 point to increasing fire activity in response to climate warming throughout the biome. Thus, predictions8 that terrestrial C sinks of northern high latitudes will mitigate rising atmospheric CO2 may be over-optimistic.

  7. Palaeodata-informed modelling of large carbon losses from recent burning of boreal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, Ryan; Genet, Hélène; McGuire, A. David; Hu, Feng Sheng

    2016-01-01

    Wildfires play a key role in the boreal forest carbon cycle, and models suggest that accelerated burning will increase boreal C emissions in the coming century. However, these predictions may be compromised because brief observational records provide limited constraints to model initial conditions. We confronted this limitation by using palaeoenvironmental data to drive simulations of long-term C dynamics in the Alaskan boreal forest. Results show that fire was the dominant control on C cycling over the past millennium, with changes in fire frequency accounting for 84% of C stock variability. A recent rise in fire frequency inferred from the palaeorecord led to simulated C losses of 1.4 kg C m-2 (12% of ecosystem C stocks) from 1950 to 2006. In stark contrast, a small net C sink of 0.3 kg C m-2 occurred if the past fire regime was assumed to be similar to the modern regime, as is common in models of C dynamics. Although boreal fire regimes are heterogeneous, recent trends and future projections point to increasing fire activity in response to climate warming throughout the biome. Thus, predictions that terrestrial C sinks of northern high latitudes will mitigate rising atmospheric CO2 may be over-optimistic.

  8. Forest harvest contribution to Boreal freshwater methyl mercury load

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kronberg, Rose-Marie; Drott, Andreas; Jiskra, Martin; Wiederhold, Jan G.; Björn, Erik; Skyllberg, Ulf

    2016-06-01

    Effects of Boreal forest harvest on mercury (Hg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) soil pools and export by stream runoff were quantified by comparing 10 reference watersheds (REFs) covered by >80 year old Norway spruce (Picea abies Karst.) forests with 10 similar watersheds subjected to clear-cutting (CCs). While total Hg soil storage did not change, MeHg pools increased seven times (p = 0.006) in the organic topsoil 2 years after clear-cutting. In undulating terrain, situated above the postglacial marine limit (ML) of the ancient Baltic Sea, the mass ratio between flux-weighted MeHg and dissolved organic carbon (MeHg/DOC) in stream runoff increased 1.8 times (p < 0.004) as a consequence of forest harvest. When recalculated to 100% clear-cutting of the watershed, the annual MeHg stream export increased 3.8 times (p = 0.047). Below the ML, where the terrain was flatter, neither the MeHg/DOC ratio nor the annual export of MeHg differed between REFs and CCs, likely because of the larger contribution of MeHg exported from peaty soils and small wetlands. The most robust measure, MeHg/DOC, was used to calculate MeHg loadings to Boreal headwaters. If the forest harvest effect lasts 10 years, clear-cutting increases MeHg runoff by 12-20% in Sweden and 2% in the Boreal zone as a whole. In Sweden, having intensely managed forests, 37% and 56% of MeHg are exported from peatlands and forest soils, respectively, and forest clear-cutting is adding another 6.6%. In the Boreal zone as a whole peatlands and forests soils contribute with 53% and 46%, respectively, and clear-cutting is estimated to add another 1.0%. An expected rapid increase in Boreal forest harvest and disturbance urge for inclusion of land use effects in mercury biogeochemical cycling models at different scales.

  9. SULFUR DYNAMICS OF FOREST ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    There has been considerable advancement in the understanding of the S biogeochemistry of forested ecosystems. any recent studies have focused on ascertaining the impacts of acidic deposition of forest vegetation, soils and surface waters. ulfur dynamics effects the flux of both H...

  10. Spatial and Temporal Variation in Feather Moss Associated Nitrogen Fixation in Coniferous and Deciduous Dominated Alaskan Boreal Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jean, M.; Mack, M. C.; Johnstone, J. F.

    2015-12-01

    Dominant canopy tree species have strong effects on the composition and function of understory species. In boreal forests, forest floor bryophytes and their associated microbes are a primary source of ecosystem nitrogen (N) inputs, and thus an important process regulating ecosystem productivity. Bryophyte composition and abundance varies with forest composition, yet how such changes can affect ecosystem processes such as N fixation is still poorly understood. Our goal is to investigate how cyanobacteria-based N fixation occurring in the two most common feather mosses in the Alaskan boreal forest (Pleurozium schreberi and Hylocomium splendens) varies among coniferous and deciduous forest types, over the growing season, and across a nutrient availability gradient. Twelve patches of H. splendens and P. schreberi were identified in three pairs (blocks) of adjacent stands of paper birch (Betula neoalaskana) and black spruce (Picea mariana) near Fairbanks, interior Alaska. Sampling occurred in one block in June, July, August, and September 2014, and in the three blocks once in August 2014. Moss leaf area, moisture and weight, as well as environmental variables such as air temperature and canopy cover were recorded. Fixation rates were consistently higher for P. schreberi than for H. splendens. Overall, N fixation rates were lower in birch than in spruce stands and peaked in August, or July for P. schreberi in birch stands. Moreover, fixation rates varied along the nutrient availability gradient, with fixation rates higher where nutrient availability was lower. This difference was especially clear in spruce stands. Our preliminary results suggest that moss species, canopy type, and environmental factors all influence N fixation rates in Alaskan boreal forests. Our results will enhance the knowledge of the processes that drive N fixation in boreal forests, which is important for predicting ecosystem consequences of changing forest composition.

  11. Aboveground Biomass Monitoring over Siberian Boreal Forest Using Radar Remote Sensing Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stelmaszczuk-Gorska, M. A.; Thiel, C. J.; Schmullius, C.

    2014-12-01

    Aboveground biomass (AGB) plays an essential role in ecosystem research, global cycles, and is of vital importance in climate studies. AGB accumulated in the forests is of special monitoring interest as it contains the most of biomass comparing with other land biomes. The largest of the land biomes is boreal forest, which has a substantial carbon accumulation capability; carbon stock estimated to be 272 +/-23 Pg C (32%) [1]. Russian's forests are of particular concern, due to the largest source of uncertainty in global carbon stock calculations [1], and old inventory data that have not been updated in the last 25 years [2]. In this research new empirical models for AGB estimation are proposed. Using radar L-band data for AGB retrieval and optical data for an update of in situ data the processing scheme was developed. The approach was trained and validated in the Asian part of the boreal forest, in southern Russian Central Siberia; two Siberian Federal Districts: Krasnoyarsk Kray and Irkutsk Oblast. Together the training and testing forest territories cover an area of approximately 3,500 km2. ALOS PALSAR L-band single (HH - horizontal transmitted and received) and dual (HH and HV - horizontal transmitted, horizontal and vertical received) polarizations in Single Look Complex format (SLC) were used to calculate backscattering coefficient in gamma nought and coherence. In total more than 150 images acquired between 2006 and 2011 were available. The data were obtained through the ALOS Kyoto and Carbon Initiative Project (K&C). The data were used to calibrate a randomForest algorithm. Additionally, a simple linear and multiple-regression approach was used. The uncertainty of the AGB estimation at pixel and stand level were calculated approximately as 35% by validation against an independent dataset. The previous studies employing ALOS PALSAR data over boreal forests reported uncertainty of 39.4% using randomForest approach [2] or 42.8% using semi-empirical approach [3].

  12. Challenges in Modeling Disturbance Regimes and Their Impacts in Arctic and Boreal Ecosystems (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGuire, A. D.; Rupp, T. S.; Kurz, W.

    2013-12-01

    Disturbances in arctic and boreal terrestrial ecosystems influence services provided by these ecosystems to society. In particular, changes in disturbance regimes in northern latitudes have uncertain consequences for the climate system. A major challenge for the scientific community is to develop the capability to predict how the frequency, severity and resultant impacts of disturbance regimes will change in response to future changes in climate projected for northern high latitudes. Here we compare what is known about drivers and impacts of wildfire, phytophagous insect pests, and thermokarst disturbance to illustrate the complexities in predicting future changes in disturbance regimes and their impacts in arctic and boreal regions. Much of the research on predicting fire has relied on the use of drivers related to fire weather. However, changes in vegetation, such as increases in broadleaf species, associated with intensified fire regimes have the potential to influence future fire regimes through negative feedbacks associated with reduced flammability. Phytophagous insect outbreaks have affected substantial portions of the boreal region in the past, but frequently the range of the tree host is larger than the range of the insect. There is evidence that a number of insect species are expanding their range in response to climate change. Major challenges to predicting outbreaks of phytophagous insects include modeling the effects of climate change on insect growth and maturation, winter mortality, plant host health, the synchrony of insect life stages and plant host phenology, and changes in the ranges of insect pests. Moreover, Earth System Models often simplify the representation of vegetation characteristics, e.g. the use of plant functional types, providing insufficient detail to link to insect population models. Thermokarst disturbance occurs when the thawing of ice-rich permafrost results in substantial ground subsidence. In the boreal forest, thermokarst can

  13. The impact of bryophytes on the carbon stocks of northern boreal forest soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagemann, U.; Moroni, M. T.; Shaw, C. H.; Kurz, W. A.

    2012-04-01

    Dead organic matter (DOM), organic layer, and mineral soil carbon (C) dynamics in cool and humid northern boreal forests are expected to differ from those of drier or warmer boreal forests, because processes such as paludification and woody debris (WD) burial within the organic layer by overgrowing moss are more pronounced in regions with low average temperatures, vigorous moss layers, and long fire-return intervals. However, very few studies have provided field-measured data for these mostly remote regions. Hence, C cycling models such as the Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector (CBM-CFS3) have rarely been validated with field data from northern boreal forest soils, resulting in large uncertainties for estimated C stocks in a large proportion of the boreal forest ecozone. We present (i) measured data on organic layer and mineral soil (0-45 cm) C stocks in 18 old-growth and disturbed high-boreal black spruce stands in Labrador, Canada; (ii) a comparison of field-measured soil C stocks with those predicted using the CBM-CFS3; and (iii) special characteristics of the DOM and soil C dynamics of northern boreal forest soils that require modifications of model parameters and structure. Measured organic layer C stocks (30.4-47.4 Mg C ha-1) were within the range reported for other boreal forests. However, mineral soil C stocks (121.5-208.1 Mg C ha-1) contributed 58-76% to total ecosystem C stocks. Mineral soil C stocks were thus considerably higher than observed in other upland boreal forests in drier or warmer regions, but similar to values reported for black spruce on poorly drained sites and peat soils. In addition, large amounts of deadwood C (4.7-18.2 Mg C ha-1) were found to be buried within the organic layer, contributing up to 31% to total organic layer C stocks. The comparison of field-measured and CBM-CFS3 modeled C stocks showed that organic layer and mineral soil DOM in Labrador black spruce stands likely decays at lower rates than assumed by CBM

  14. Simulating the effects of fire disturbance and vegetation recovery on boreal ecosystem carbon fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, Y.; Kimball, J. S.; Jones, L. A.; Zhao, M.

    2011-12-01

    Fire related disturbance and subsequent vegetation recovery has a major influence on carbon storage and land-atmosphere CO2 fluxes in boreal ecosystems. We applied a synthetic approach combining tower eddy covariance flux measurements, satellite remote sensing and model reanalysis surface meteorology within a terrestrial carbon model framework to estimate fire disturbance and recovery effects on boreal ecosystem carbon fluxes including gross primary production (GPP), ecosystem respiration and net CO2 exchange (NEE). A disturbance index based on MODIS land surface temperature and NDVI was found to coincide with vegetation recovery status inferred from tower chronosequence sites. An empirical algorithm was developed to track ecosystem recovery status based on the disturbance index and used to nudge modeled net primary production (NPP) and surface soil organic carbon stocks from baseline steady-state conditions. The simulations were conducted using a satellite based terrestrial carbon flux model driven by MODIS NDVI and MERRA reanalysis daily surface meteorology inputs. The MODIS (MCD45) burned area product was then applied for mapping recent (post 2000) regional disturbance history, and used with the disturbance index to define vegetation disturbance and recovery status. The model was then applied to estimate regional patterns and temporal changes in terrestrial carbon fluxes across the entire northern boreal forest and tundra domain. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to assess the relative importance of fire disturbance and recovery on regional carbon fluxes relative to assumed steady-state conditions. The explicit representation of disturbance and recovery effects produces more accurate NEE predictions than the baseline steady-state simulations and reduces uncertainty regarding the purported missing carbon sink in the high latitudes.

  15. Permafrost and Forest Degradation after Wet Climate Years in Eastern Siberian Boreal Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iijima, Y.; Abe, K.; Ise, H.; Masuzawa, T.; Fedorov, A. N.

    2014-12-01

    Unusual precipitation increase during summer through winter had continued since 2004 in the central Lena river basin, eastern Siberia. The precipitation increase led to deepening active layer (permafrost thawing near the surface) accompanying with remarkable increase in soil moisture. The perennially waterlogged conditions had exacerbated the boreal forest habitat; that is, larch trees had widely withered and died in this region. The present study clarified spatial extent of permafrost and forest degradation due to the unexpected hydro-climate-driven damages. We have attempted to extract the degraded boreal forest based on satellite image analyses, along with expansion of the perennially waterlogged surface area. We used ALOS-PALSAR and AVNIR-2 images taken from 2006 to 2009. Classification of waterlogged area was performed by PALSAR images with supervised classification based on a microwave backscattering coefficient. Then, we compared the distribution of the waterlogged area between multi-years. Additional supervised classification of boreal forest change was conducted using AVNIR-2 images. Both classifications produced the multi-years change in degraded boreal forest at the intensive observational sites in both left and right bank of Lena River near Yakutsk. In the right bank area, most of alas lakes expanded and boreal forest on the periphery of lakes turned to waterlogged surface. In the left bank area, in contrast, waterlogged surface expanded at concaved terrain and along valleys in conjunction with forest degradation. Field survey supported that humidified and deepening active layer along slope and near alas lakes correspond with the gradient of forest degradation and enhanced thermokarst activity. Both of increasing precipitation and thawing ice in permafrost might cause the degradation. In brief, the method combining ALOS satellite images has possibility to detect permafrost and forest degradation caused by wet climate in boreal forest.

  16. Large-scale variation in boreal and temperate forest carbon turnover rate related to climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thurner, Martin; Beer, Christian; Carvalhais, Nuno; Forkel, Matthias; Santoro, Maurizio; Tum, Markus; Schmullius, Christiane

    2016-05-01

    Vegetation carbon turnover processes in forest ecosystems and their dominant drivers are far from being understood at a broader scale. Many of these turnover processes act on long timescales and include a lateral dimension and thus can hardly be investigated by plot-level studies alone. Making use of remote sensing-based products of net primary production (NPP) and biomass, here we show that spatial gradients of carbon turnover rate (k) in Northern Hemisphere boreal and temperate forests are explained by different climate-related processes depending on the ecosystem. k is related to frost damage effects and the trade-off between growth and frost adaptation in boreal forests, while drought stress and climate effects on insects and pathogens can explain an elevated k in temperate forests. By identifying relevant processes underlying broadscale patterns in k, we provide the basis for a detailed exploration of these mechanisms in field studies, and ultimately the improvement of their representations in global vegetation models (GVMs).

  17. Biomass production efficiency controlled by management in temperate and boreal ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campioli, M.; Vicca, S.; Luyssaert, S.; Bilcke, J.; Ceschia, E.; Chapin, F. S., III; Ciais, P.; Fernández-Martínez, M.; Malhi, Y.; Obersteiner, M.; Olefeldt, D.; Papale, D.; Piao, S. L.; Peñuelas, J.; Sullivan, P. F.; Wang, X.; Zenone, T.; Janssens, I. A.

    2015-11-01

    Plants acquire carbon through photosynthesis to sustain biomass production, autotrophic respiration and production of non-structural compounds for multiple purposes. The fraction of photosynthetic production used for biomass production, the biomass production efficiency, is a key determinant of the conversion of solar energy to biomass. In forest ecosystems, biomass production efficiency was suggested to be related to site fertility. Here we present a database of biomass production efficiency from 131 sites compiled from individual studies using harvest, biometric, eddy covariance, or process-based model estimates of production. The database is global, but dominated by data from Europe and North America. We show that instead of site fertility, ecosystem management is the key factor that controls biomass production efficiency in terrestrial ecosystems. In addition, in natural forests, grasslands, tundra, boreal peatlands and marshes, biomass production efficiency is independent of vegetation, environmental and climatic drivers. This similarity of biomass production efficiency across natural ecosystem types suggests that the ratio of biomass production to gross primary productivity is constant across natural ecosystems. We suggest that plant adaptation results in similar growth efficiency in high- and low-fertility natural systems, but that nutrient influxes under managed conditions favour a shift to carbon investment from the belowground flux of non-structural compounds to aboveground biomass.

  18. Controls over hydrocarbon emissions from boreal forest conifers

    SciTech Connect

    Lerdau, M.; Litvak, M.; Monson, R. |

    1995-06-01

    The emissions of monoterpenes and isoprene were measured from two species of conifers native to the boreal forest of Canada, jack pine, Pinus rigida, and black spruce, Picea Mariana. We examined the effects of phenology and needle age on the emissions of these compounds, and the variations in tissue concentrations of monoterpenes. We measured photosynthetic carbon uptake and hydrocarbon emissions at two sites in northern Saskatchewan under controlled light, temperatures, and CO{sub 2} concentrations, and analyzed carbon uptake rates using an infra-red gas analyzer and hydrocarbon emissions using a solid sorbent/thermal desorption system coupled to a gas chromatograph with a mass spectrometer. Our data indicate a strong effect of temperature and seasonality on emissions but only small effects of site conditions. These results suggest that regional models of hydrocarbon emissions from boreal forests should focus on temperature and phenology as the most important controlling variables.

  19. Changing Arctic ecosystems--the role of ecosystem changes across the Boreal-Arctic transition zone on the distribution and abundance of wildlife populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McNew, Lance; Handel, Colleen; Pearce, John; DeGange, Anthony R.; Holland-Bartels, Leslie; Whalen, Mary

    2013-01-01

    Arctic and boreal ecosystems provide important breeding habitat for more than half of North America’s migratory birds as well as many resident species. Northern landscapes are projected to experience more pronounced climate-related changes in habitat than most other regions. These changes include increases in shrub growth, conversion of tundra to forest, alteration of wetlands, shifts in species’ composition, and changes in the frequency and scale of fires and insect outbreaks. Changing habitat conditions, in turn, may have significant effects on the distribution and abundance of wildlife in these critical northern ecosystems. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting studies in the Boreal–Arctic transition zone of Alaska, an environment of accelerated change in this sensitive margin between Arctic tundra and boreal forest.

  20. Studies of microwave scattering and canopy architecture for boreal forests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lockhart, G. Lance; Gogineni, S. P.

    1995-01-01

    This is an annual report on the project titled 'Study of Microwave Scattering and Canopy Architecture for Boreal Forests.' The objectives of our work are to study the interaction of microwave signals with vegetation components and to determine the radar's ability to provide accurate estimates of biophysical parameters such as biomass. Our research is aimed at refining the current microwave models and using these improvements to facilitate more accurate interpretations of SAR (synthetic aperture radar) imagery.

  1. High-resolution records detect human-caused changes to the boreal forest wildfire regime in interior Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Mann, Daniel H.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Wooller, Matthew J.; Finney, Bruce P.

    2016-01-01

    Stand-replacing wildfires are a keystone disturbance in the boreal forest, and they are becoming more common as the climate warms. Paleo-fire archives from the wildland–urban interface can quantify the prehistoric fire regime and assess how both human land-use and climate change impact ecosystem dynamics. Here, we use a combination of a sedimentary charcoal record preserved in varved lake sediments (annually layered) and fire scars in living trees to document changes in local fire return intervals (FRIs) and regional fire activity over the last 500 years. Ace Lake is within the boreal forest, located near the town of Fairbanks in interior Alaska, which was settled by gold miners in AD 1902. In the 400 years before settlement, fires occurred near the lake on average every 58 years. After settlement, fires became much more frequent (average every 18  years), and background charcoal flux rates rose to four times their preindustrial levels, indicating a region-wide increase in burning. Despite this surge in burning, the preindustrial boreal forest ecosystem and permafrost in the watershed have remained intact. Although fire suppression has reduced charcoal influx since the 1950s, an aging fuel load experiencing increasingly warm summers may pose management problems for this and other boreal sites that have similar land-use and fire histories. The large human-caused fire events that we identify can be used to test how increasingly common megafires may alter ecosystem dynamics in the future.

  2. On the relationship between boreal forest browning and tree mortality: insights from Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, B. M.; Goetz, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    Long-term satellite measurements of vegetation productivity in high-latitude environments have revealed profound and widespread responses to climate warming. Although warmer and longer summers are causing the Arctic to "green", many regions of boreal forest are showing the opposite response, particularly since the mid 1990s. This "browning" phenomenon was generally unexpected at the time of discovery, is not captured by global models, and may have profound consequences for the boreal biome. A number of studies have linked satellite-based browning trends to tree productivity through tree rings. However, our understanding of the environmental controls and ecosystem consequences of browning remains remarkably limited. Here we examine to what extent browning patterns are related to a fundamental demographic process: tree mortality. We focus on a long-term inventory database in Alaska to characterize mortality events and trends from 1994 to 2014. These patterns were related to vegetation productivity indices from MODIS and the AVHRR-based GIMMS3g data set. We explore three central hypotheses: (1) mortality events are likely to be preceded by 5-10 year browning trends ("press stress"), (2) mortality events are likely to be preceded by distinct pulses of low productivity ("pulse stress"), and (3) long-term trends in mortality are related to long-term browning. Within our study region, which encompasses eastern Alaskan from the Pacific coastal mountains up through the interior, we find strong evidence for the first two hypotheses. The third is weakly supported, which may be a consequence of the episodic nature of mortality in the region. However, preliminary analyses in the southern Canadian boreal reveal a markedly stronger relationship between long-term mortality and browning. Taken together, our study suggests a robust correlation between satellite-based metrics of productivity and forest demography; one that has consequences for forest composition, carbon stocks, and

  3. Radar modeling of a boreal forest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chauhan, Narinder S.; Lang, Roger H.; Ranson, K. J.

    1991-01-01

    Microwave modeling, ground truth, and SAR data are used to investigate the characteristics of forest stands. A mixed coniferous forest stand has been modeled at P, L, and C bands. Extensive measurements of ground truth and canopy geometry parameters were performed in a 200-m-square hemlock-dominated forest plot. About 10 percent of the trees were sampled to determine a distribution of diameter at breast height (DBH). Hemlock trees in the forest are modeled by characterizing tree trunks, branches, and needles as randomly oriented lossy dielectric cylinders whose area and orientation distributions are prescribed. The distorted Born approximation is used to compute the backscatter at P, L, and C bands. The theoretical results are found to be lower than the calibrated ground-truth data. The experiment and model results agree quite closely, however, when the ratios of VV to HH and HV to HH are compared.

  4. Using three decades of Landsat data to characterize changes and vulnerability of temperate and boreal forest phenology to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melaas, E. K.; Sulla-menashe, D. J.; Gray, J. M.; Friedl, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is creating well-documented impacts on terrestrial ecosystems. Among the best known of these impacts are changes to the growing season of temperate and boreal forests. Changes in phenology provide useful diagnostics of climate change impacts in these biomes, influence coupled biosphere-atmosphere interactions, and also affect regional-to-global carbon budgets. Extreme events and climate variability complicate the response of ecosystems and increase vulnerability by inducing large phenological responses that affect ecosystem function at seasonal (and longer) time scales. Studies using in-situ measurements have suggested that the growing season of temperate and boreal ecosystems is changing, and remote sensing-based research using time series imagery from coarse resolution sensors appear to confirm this trend. Specifically, studies using AVHRR NDVI data have documented changes in growing season NDVI that indicate widespread perturbations to boreal and temperate forests in response to climate change. However, the coarse spatial resolution and other limitations of AVHRR data constrain the types of inferences that can be drawn from these data. We describe research to address these challenges using Landsat data. Specifically, we use a new methodology that exploits dense time series of Landsat images to quantify spatio-temporal patterns in North American temperate and boreal forest growing season dynamics. Our methodology uses a sampling strategy designed to capture geographic variation in temperate and boreal forest properties, and focuses on regions of overlap between adjacent Landsat scenes, thereby significantly increasing the temporal sampling of Landsat images. Results from this research provide retrospective characterization of changes to temperate and boreal forest growing seasons spanning 30+ years at 30 m spatial resolution. In doing so, this research is (1) dramatically improving information about how temperate and boreal forests have changed in

  5. High missing OH reactivity in summertime boreal forest environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nölscher, A. C.; Williams, J.; Sinha, V.; Song, W.; Johnson, A.; Yassaa, N.; Phillips, G.; Crowley, J.; Axinte, R.; Fischer, H.; Gonzales, D.; Valverde-Canossa, J.; Vogel, A.; Hoffmann, T.; Rantala, P.; Rinne, J.; Kulmala, M.; Ouwersloot, H.; Vila, J.; Lelieveld, J.

    2012-04-01

    Forest emissions represent a strong potential sink for the main tropospheric oxidant, the hydroxyl radical (OH). Resulting photochemical products can influence ambient ozone, contribute to particle formation and growth processes, and therefore impact climate and air quality. Direct measurements of total OH reactivity in ambient air can reveal gaps in the general understanding of reactive gaseous emissions from the biosphere to the atmosphere. By comparing the contribution from individually measured compounds to the overall OH sink and the directly measured total OH reactivity, the size of any unaccounted for, or "missing" sink can be deduced. In July and August 2010 an intensive field measurement campaign (HUMPPA-COPEC 2010) was performed at the Finnish boreal forest station SMEAR II in Hyytiälä (Latitude 61° 51' N; Longitude 24° 17' E) to investigate the summertime emissions and photochemistry of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) [1]. Speciated VOCs, the key oxidants OH, O3 and NO3, as well as aerosol, ions and other trace gases were quantified. Total OH reactivity was measured directly using the Comparative Reactivity Method (CRM) [2]. This total OH reactivity method is an in-situ determination of the total loss rate of OH radicals caused by all reactive species in ambient air. During HUMPPA-COPEC 2010, total OH reactivity was monitored both inside and directly above the canopy. The impact of various parameters such as temperature and light dependent biogenic emissions and reaction products in "normal" and "stressed" conditions, the long-range transport of pollution and the boundary layer height development were characterized. For "normal" boreal conditions a missing reactivity of 58% was determined, whereas for "stressed" boreal conditions this increased to 89 %. Possible explanations are proposed to explain the high missing OH reactivity in summertime boreal forest environment. [1] J. Williams et al, 2011, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 10599-10618 [2] V. Sinha et

  6. Observation and modelling of HOx radicals in a boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hens, K.; Novelli, A.; Martinez, M.; Auld, J.; Axinte, R.; Bohn, B.; Fischer, H.; Keronen, P.; Kubistin, D.; Nölscher, A. C.; Oswald, R.; Paasonen, P.; Petäjä, T.; Regelin, E.; Sander, R.; Sinha, V.; Sipilä, M.; Taraborrelli, D.; Tatum Ernest, C.; Williams, J.; Lelieveld, J.; Harder, H.

    2014-08-01

    Measurements of OH and HO2 radicals were conducted in a pine-dominated forest in southern Finland during the HUMPPA-COPEC-2010 (Hyytiälä United Measurements of Photochemistry and Particles in Air - Comprehensive Organic Precursor Emission and Concentration study) field campaign in summer 2010. Simultaneous side-by-side measurements of hydroxyl radicals were conducted with two instruments using chemical ionization mass spectrometry (CIMS) and laser-induced fluorescence (LIF), indicating small systematic disagreement, OHLIF / OHCIMS = (1.31 ± 0.14). Subsequently, the LIF instrument was moved to the top of a 20 m tower, just above the canopy, to investigate the radical chemistry at the ecosystem-atmosphere interface. Comprehensive measurements including observations of many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and the total OH reactivity were conducted and analysed using steady-state calculations as well as an observationally constrained box model. Production rates of OH calculated from measured OH precursors are consistent with those derived from the steady-state assumption and measured total OH loss under conditions of moderate OH reactivity. The primary photolytic sources of OH contribute up to one-third to the total OH production. OH recycling, which occurs mainly by HO2 reacting with NO and O3, dominates the total hydroxyl radical production in this boreal forest. Box model simulations agree with measurements for hydroxyl radicals (OHmod. / OHobs. = 1.00 ± 0.16), while HO2 mixing ratios are significantly under-predicted (HO2mod. / HO2obs. = 0.3 ± 0.2), and simulated OH reactivity does not match the observed OH reactivity. The simultaneous under-prediction of HO2 and OH reactivity in periods in which OH concentrations were simulated realistically suggests that the missing OH reactivity is an unaccounted-for source of HO2. Detailed analysis of the HOx production, loss, and recycling pathways suggests that in periods of high total OH reactivity there are

  7. Observation and modelling of HOx radicals in a boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hens, K.; Novelli, A.; Martinez, M.; Auld, J.; Axinte, R.; Bohn, B.; Fischer, H.; Keronen, P.; Kubistin, D.; Nölscher, A. C.; Oswald, R.; Paasonen, P.; Petäjä, T.; Regelin, E.; Sander, R.; Sinha, V.; Sipilä, M.; Taraborrelli, D.; Tatum Ernest, C.; Williams, J.; Lelieveld, J.; Harder, H.

    2013-11-01

    Measurements of OH and HO2 radicals were conducted in a~pine dominated forest in Southern Finland during the HUMPPA-COPEC-2010 (Hyytiälä United Measurements of Photochemistry and Particles in Air - Comprehensive Organic Precursor Emission and Concentration study) field campaign in summer 2010. Simultaneous side-by-side measurements of hydroxyl radicals were conducted with two instruments using chemical ionization mass spectrometry (CIMS) and laser-induced fluorescence (LIF), indicating good agreement. Subsequently, the LIF instrument was moved to the top of a 20 m tower, just above the canopy, to investigate the radical chemistry at the ecosystem-atmosphere interface. Comprehensive measurements including observations of many VOCs and the total OH reactivity were conducted and analysed using steady-state calculations as well as an observationally constrained box model. Production rates of OH calculated from measured OH precursors are consistent with those derived from the steady state assumption and measured total OH loss under conditions of moderate OH reactivity. The primary photolytic sources of OH contribute up to one third to the total OH production. OH recycling, which occurs mainly by HO2 reacting with NO and O3, dominates the total hydroxyl radical production in this boreal forest. Box model simulations agree with measurements for hydroxyl radicals (OHmod./OHobs. = 1.04 ± 0.16), while HO2 mixing ratios are significantly underpredicted (HO2mod./HO2obs. = 0.3 ± 0.2) and simulated OH reactivity does not match the observed OH reactivity. The simultaneous underprediction of HO2 and OH reactivity in periods in which OH concentrations were simulated well, suggests that the missing OH reactivity is an unaccounted source of HO2. Detailed analysis of the HOx production, loss, and recycling pathways suggests that in periods of high total OH reactivity there are additional recycling processes forming OH directly, not via reaction of HO2 with NO or O3. Nevertheless

  8. Reconciling Harvest Intensity and Plant Diversity in Boreal Ecosystems: Does Intensification Influence Understory Plant Diversity?

    PubMed

    Kershaw, H Maureen; Morris, Dave M; Fleming, Robert L; Luckai, Nancy J

    2015-11-01

    Overall demand for forest products in the boreal forest is increasing to supply growing bio-energy demands in addition to traditional forest products. As a result, there is a need to refine current forest policies to reconcile production and ecosystem function within the context of ecologically sustainable management. This study assessed understory plants' richness, evenness, and diversity in six harvested boreal black spruce-dominated stands situated on loam, sand, and peat site types 15 years after the application of four harvest treatments of increasing biomass removals. Treatments included uncut, stem-only harvest, full-tree harvest, and full-tree harvest + blading of O horizon. Following canopy removal, species richness and diversity (Shannon's and Simpson's indices) increased on all soil types. The more than doubling of slash loading on the stem-only treatment plots compared to the full-tree plots led to significantly lower species diversity on loam sites; however, the reverse was observed on peat sites where the slash provided warmer, drier microsites facilitating the establishment of a broader array of species. Preexisting ericaceous shrub and sphagnum components continued to dominate on the peat sites. Compositional shifts were most evident for the full-tree + bladed treatment on all soil types, with increases in herbaceous cover including ruderal species. The results suggest that the intensification of harvesting on plant diversity varies with soil type, and these differential results should be considered in the refinement of forest biomass-harvesting guidelines to ensure ecological sustainability and biodiversity conservation over a broad suite of soil types. PMID:26092048

  9. Reconciling Harvest Intensity and Plant Diversity in Boreal Ecosystems: Does Intensification Influence Understory Plant Diversity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kershaw, H. Maureen; Morris, Dave M.; Fleming, Robert L.; Luckai, Nancy J.

    2015-11-01

    Overall demand for forest products in the boreal forest is increasing to supply growing bio-energy demands in addition to traditional forest products. As a result, there is a need to refine current forest policies to reconcile production and ecosystem function within the context of ecologically sustainable management. This study assessed understory plants' richness, evenness, and diversity in six harvested boreal black spruce-dominated stands situated on loam, sand, and peat site types 15 years after the application of four harvest treatments of increasing biomass removals. Treatments included uncut, stem-only harvest, full-tree harvest, and full-tree harvest + blading of O horizon. Following canopy removal, species richness and diversity (Shannon's and Simpson's indices) increased on all soil types. The more than doubling of slash loading on the stem-only treatment plots compared to the full-tree plots led to significantly lower species diversity on loam sites; however, the reverse was observed on peat sites where the slash provided warmer, drier microsites facilitating the establishment of a broader array of species. Preexisting ericaceous shrub and sphagnum components continued to dominate on the peat sites. Compositional shifts were most evident for the full-tree + bladed treatment on all soil types, with increases in herbaceous cover including ruderal species. The results suggest that the intensification of harvesting on plant diversity varies with soil type, and these differential results should be considered in the refinement of forest biomass-harvesting guidelines to ensure ecological sustainability and biodiversity conservation over a broad suite of soil types.

  10. Wintertime photosynthetic capacity of black spruce (Picea mariana) in boreal forests in interior Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujino, T.; Koyama, L. A.; Kielland, K.

    2015-12-01

    In boreal forests, the growing season is short, and winter temperature is low and fluctuates from considerably below freezing point to intermittent warm spells. Under such conditions, it is important for plants to retain their photosynthetic capacity throughout the winter. To understand the importance of wintertime photosynthetic activity for evergreen boreal coniferous species, the light response curve of black spruce (Picea mariana) was monitored in Fairbanks, interior Alaska (64°86'N, 147°84'W) throughout the winter, and compared with those in the summer. Cuttings of black spruce were collected, and gas exchange of their needles was measured in the incubator set to 0 °C using a gas analyzer (LI-6400, Li-Cor Inc.). A non-rectangular hyperbolic model was fitted to these data, and physiological parameters such as the maximum photosynthesis rate, dark respiration rate and quantum yield of photosynthesis were extracted. The apparent quantum yield of photosynthesis remained low throughout the winter for black spruce. The maximum photosynthesis rate was downregulated as air temperature fell in early winter, but did not increase in March when air temperature rose. This suggests that photoinhibition may occur more strongly in March than in early winter. The average maximum rates of photosynthesis in winter were almost 10% of the value measured in summer. On the other hand, the dark respiration rate did not considerably differ between seasons. These results provide new insights into winter photosynthetic activity and its role in boreal forest ecosystems.

  11. Regulation of Boreal soil respiration: evidence from a Swedish forest fire chronosequence.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Kelly; Oakley, Simon; Ostle, Nicholas; DeLuca, Thomas; Arróniz-Crespo, María; Jones, Davey

    2014-05-01

    Globally, boreal forests occupy 14% of total land surface and are important regions for biogeochemical cycling of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N)1. They are recognised as stores of terrestrial C and reservoirs of uniquely adapted biodiversity. Like many forest biomes, boreal forests are under pressure from climate change and growing populations. C and N cycling in the boreal region is strongly influenced by the occurrence of forest fires, which return large amounts of stored N back into an otherwise N limited system2. The frequency and intensity of boreal forest fires is expected to increase in the next century as the global atmosphere warms and N deposition continues to increase due to human activities3,4. Despite the importance of these ecosystems, there is limited knowledge of the effects of interactions between climate and N limitation on soil respiration and feedbacks of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) to the atmosphere. In this research we aimed to improve understanding of how changes in the frequency and intensity of fires might alter N and C dynamics in the boreal region. Specifically, we examined the degree of N limitation and the temperature sensitivity of GHG (CO2, N2O and CH4) fluxes from soils underlying carpets of Pleurozium schreberi, a feather moss known to form important symbiotic relationships with N-fixing cyanobacteria1, from a fire chronosequence of Swedish boreal forest stands. We hypothesised that: (1) soil respiration in late succession ecosystems is most N limited due to high soil C:N ratios and high microbial biomass; and (2) early succession forest soil respiration is most temperature sensitive due to higher N availability and higher bacterial biomass. To test these hypotheses, we took soil cores from a chronosequence of six sites in the northern boreal region of Sweden, including two early, two mid, and two late succession stands. These sites are dominated by mixed Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies, with an understory

  12. Carbon balance in the temperate and boreal forests

    SciTech Connect

    Kohlmaier, G.H.; Wurth, G.; Hager, C.; Ludeke, M.

    1994-12-31

    Statistical evaluation of the UN-ECE/FAO studies on temperate and boreal forests with respect to carbon uptake and release leads to the conclusion that these forests are at present a global carbon sink between 0.5--0.9 Gt C/year. Any understanding of the future development of these forests will depend on the insight in the change in the disturbance regimes introduced by humans in particular through the management of forests. As a theoretical instrument the authors use the Leslie matrix approach to project a present age class distribution of forests in a particular region of the world into the future. Any prediction of the future conditions will depend specifically on two major changes, namely the increase of atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration and the social economic development. Depending on the scenario used in the simulations the present forests sink function of the regions considered will persist or will diminish within the next century. A modification of the forest management like changes in the felling rate or in the area reforested may lead to a different sink strength of the forest complexes or even to a carbon source. 30 refs.

  13. Remote Sensing of Forest Cover in Boreal Zones of the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sedykh, V. N.

    2011-12-01

    Ecological tension resulting from human activities generates a need for joint efforts of countries in the boreal zone aimed at sustainable forest development, including: conservation of forests binding carbon and ensuring stability of the atmosphere gas composition; preservation of purity and water content of forest areas as conditions ensuring sustainability of the historically formed structure of forest landscapes; and preservation of all flora and fauna species composition diversity as a condition for sustainable existence and functioning of forest ecosystems. We have to address these problems urgently due to climate warming which can interact with the forest cover. In particular, in the forest zone of Siberia, the climate aridization will inevitably result in periodic drying of shallow bogs and upland forests with thick forest litter. This will bring fires of unprecedented intensity which will lead to catastrophic atmospheric pollution. In this connection, the above problems can be solved only by the united efforts of boreal-zone countries, through establishing a uniform system for remote sensing of forests aimed at obtaining and periodic update of comprehensive information for rational decision-making in prevention of adverse human effect on the forest. A need to join efforts in this field of natural resource management is determined by disparate data which were created expressly for economic accounting units used mainly for the solution of economic timber resource problems. However, ecological tasks outlined above can be solved appropriately only by using uniform technologies that are registered within natural territorial complexes (landscapes) established throughout the entire boreal zone. Knowledge of forest state within natural territorial entities having specific physiographic conditions, with account for current and future anthropogenic load, allow one to define evidence-based forest growth potential at these landscapes to ensure development of

  14. Timing of plant phenophases since 1752 in the boreal forest environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kubin, Eero; Tolvanen, Anne; Karhu, Jouni; Valkama, Jari

    2016-04-01

    almost constant in the southern boreal zone. Effective temperature sum is important for the timing of the bud burst. The timing of phenological phenomena of forest vegetation, berry and seed crops reflects information about the response of the forest environment to the changes in the environmental factors. The global warming will be at its most powerful in the northern latitudes and this phenomenon is predicted to become increasingly more powerful in the future. Study of the regional differences will yield information about the changes in the northern limits of distribution of different plant species, and these changes can significantly affect the quantitative proportions of plant species. These changes, in turn, have an indirect impact on the entire ecosystem and the sources of livelihood relying on it. Phenological monitoring is nowadays more important than ever especially in boreal regions, where spring temperatures are elevated. Compilation and documentation of observations on plant phenophases play a key role in working out the rate of global climate change. To utilize citizen-science data together with the scientific monitoring will be discussed in the conference.

  15. Retrieval of seasonal dynamics of forest understory reflectance from semi-arid to boreal forests using MODIS BRDF data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pisek, Jan; Chen, Jing; Kobayashi, Hideki; Rautiainen, Miina; Schaepman, Michael; Karnieli, Arnon; Sprintsin, Michael; Ryu, Youngryel; Nikopensius, Maris; Raabe, Kairi

    2016-04-01

    Ground vegetation (understory) provides an essential contribution to the whole-stand reflectance signal in many boreal, sub-boreal, and temperate forests. Accurate knowledge about forest understory reflectance is urgently needed in various forest reflectance modelling efforts. However, systematic collections of understory reflectance data covering different sites and ecosystems are almost missing. Measurement of understory reflectance is a real challenge because of an extremely high variability of irradiance at the forest floor, weak signal in some parts of the spectrum, spectral separability issues of over- and understory and its variable nature. Understory can consist of several sub-layers (regenerated tree, shrub, grasses or dwarf shrub, mosses, lichens, litter, bare soil), it has spatially-temporally variable species composition and ground coverage. Additional challenges are introduced by patchiness of ground vegetation, ground surface roughness, and understory-overstory relations. Due to this variability, remote sensing might be the only means to provide consistent data at spatially relevant scales. In this presentation, we report on retrieving seasonal courses of understory Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from multi-angular MODIS BRDF/Albedo data. We compared satellite-based seasonal courses of understory NDVI against an extended collection of different types of forest sites with available in-situ understory reflectance measurements. These sites are distributed along a wide latitudinal gradient on the Northern hemisphere: a sparse and dense black spruce forests in Alaska and Canada, a northern European boreal forest in Finland, hemiboreal needleleaf and deciduous stands in Estonia, a mixed temperate forest in Switzerland, a cool temperate deciduous broadleaf forest in Korea, and a semi-arid pine plantation in Israel. Our results indicated the retrieval method performs well particularly over open forests of different types. We also demonstrated

  16. Nitrogen dynamics in managed boreal forests: Recent advances and future research directions.

    PubMed

    Sponseller, Ryan A; Gundale, Michael J; Futter, Martyn; Ring, Eva; Nordin, Annika; Näsholm, Torgny; Laudon, Hjalmar

    2016-02-01

    Nitrogen (N) availability plays multiple roles in the boreal landscape, as a limiting nutrient to forest growth, determinant of terrestrial biodiversity, and agent of eutrophication in aquatic ecosystems. We review existing research on forest N dynamics in northern landscapes and address the effects of management and environmental change on internal cycling and export. Current research foci include resolving the nutritional importance of different N forms to trees and establishing how tree-mycorrhizal relationships influence N limitation. In addition, understanding how forest responses to external N inputs are mediated by above- and belowground ecosystem compartments remains an important challenge. Finally, forestry generates a mosaic of successional patches in managed forest landscapes, with differing levels of N input, biological demand, and hydrological loss. The balance among these processes influences the temporal patterns of stream water chemistry and the long-term viability of forest growth. Ultimately, managing forests to keep pace with increasing demands for biomass production, while minimizing environmental degradation, will require multi-scale and interdisciplinary perspectives on landscape N dynamics. PMID:26744052

  17. Charcoal reflectance reveals early holocene boreal deciduous forests burned at high intensities.

    PubMed

    Hudspith, Victoria A; Belcher, Claire M; Kelly, Ryan; Hu, Feng Sheng

    2015-01-01

    Wildfire size, frequency, and severity are increasing in the Alaskan boreal forest in response to climate warming. One of the potential impacts of this changing fire regime is the alteration of successional trajectories, from black spruce to mixed stands dominated by aspen, a vegetation composition not experienced since the early Holocene. Such changes in vegetation composition may consequently alter the intensity of fires, influencing fire feedbacks to the ecosystem. Paleorecords document past wildfire-vegetation dynamics and as such, are imperative for our understanding of how these ecosystems will respond to future climate warming. For the first time, we have used reflectance measurements of macroscopic charcoal particles (>180μm) from an Alaskan lake-sediment record to estimate ancient charring temperatures (termed pyrolysis intensity). We demonstrate that pyrolysis intensity increased markedly from an interval of birch tundra 11 ky ago (mean 1.52%Ro; 485°C), to the expansion of trees on the landscape ~10.5 ky ago, remaining high to the present (mean 3.54%Ro; 640°C) irrespective of stand composition. Despite differing flammabilities and adaptations to fire, the highest pyrolysis intensities derive from two intervals with distinct vegetation compositions. 1) the expansion of mixed aspen and spruce woodland at 10 cal. kyr BP, and 2) the establishment of black spruce, and the modern boreal forest at 4 cal. kyr BP. Based on our analysis, we infer that predicted expansion of deciduous trees into the boreal forest in the future could lead to high intensity, but low severity fires, potentially moderating future climate-fire feedbacks. PMID:25853712

  18. Charcoal Reflectance Reveals Early Holocene Boreal Deciduous Forests Burned at High Intensities

    PubMed Central

    Hudspith, Victoria A.; Belcher, Claire M.; Kelly, Ryan; Hu, Feng Sheng

    2015-01-01

    Wildfire size, frequency, and severity are increasing in the Alaskan boreal forest in response to climate warming. One of the potential impacts of this changing fire regime is the alteration of successional trajectories, from black spruce to mixed stands dominated by aspen, a vegetation composition not experienced since the early Holocene. Such changes in vegetation composition may consequently alter the intensity of fires, influencing fire feedbacks to the ecosystem. Paleorecords document past wildfire-vegetation dynamics and as such, are imperative for our understanding of how these ecosystems will respond to future climate warming. For the first time, we have used reflectance measurements of macroscopic charcoal particles (>180μm) from an Alaskan lake-sediment record to estimate ancient charring temperatures (termed pyrolysis intensity). We demonstrate that pyrolysis intensity increased markedly from an interval of birch tundra 11 ky ago (mean 1.52%Ro; 485°C), to the expansion of trees on the landscape ∼10.5 ky ago, remaining high to the present (mean 3.54%Ro; 640°C) irrespective of stand composition. Despite differing flammabilities and adaptations to fire, the highest pyrolysis intensities derive from two intervals with distinct vegetation compositions. 1) the expansion of mixed aspen and spruce woodland at 10 cal. kyr BP, and 2) the establishment of black spruce, and the modern boreal forest at 4 cal. kyr BP. Based on our analysis, we infer that predicted expansion of deciduous trees into the boreal forest in the future could lead to high intensity, but low severity fires, potentially moderating future climate-fire feedbacks. PMID:25853712

  19. AVIRIS Land-Surface Mapping in Support of the Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Dar A.; Gamon, John; Keightley, Keir; Prentiss, Dylan; Reith, Ernest; Green, Robert

    2001-01-01

    A key scientific objective of the original Boreal Ecosystem-Atmospheric Study (BOREAS) field campaign (1993-1996) was to obtain the baseline data required for modeling and predicting fluxes of energy, mass, and trace gases in the boreal forest biome. These data sets are necessary to determine the sensitivity of the boreal forest biome to potential climatic changes and potential biophysical feedbacks on climate. A considerable volume of remotely-sensed and supporting field data were acquired by numerous researchers to meet this objective. By design, remote sensing and modeling were considered critical components for scaling efforts, extending point measurements from flux towers and field sites over larger spatial and longer temporal scales. A major focus of the BOREAS follow-on program is concerned with integrating the diverse remotely sensed and ground-based data sets to address specific questions such as carbon dynamics at local to regional scales. The Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) has the potential of contributing to BOREAS through: (1) accurate retrieved apparent surface reflectance; (2) improved landcover classification; and (3) direct assessment of biochemical/biophysical information such as canopy liquid water and chlorophyll concentration through pigment fits. In this paper, we present initial products for major flux tower sites including: (1) surface reflectance of dominant cover types; (2) a land-cover classification developed using spectral mixture analysis (SMA) and Multiple Endmember Spectral Mixture Analysis (MESMA); and (3) liquid water maps. Our goal is to compare these land-cover maps to existing maps and to incorporate AVIRIS image products into models of photosynthetic flux.

  20. Effects of warming on the structure and function of a boreal black spruce forest

    SciTech Connect

    Stith T.Gower

    2010-03-03

    A strong argument can be made that there is a greater need to study the effect of warming on boreal forests more than on any other terrestrial biome. Boreal forests, the second largest forest biome, are predicted to experience the greatest warming of any forest biome in the world, but a process-based understanding of how warming will affect the structure and function of this economically and ecologically important forest biome is lacking. The effects of warming on species composition, canopy structure and biogeochemical cycles are likely to be complex; elucidating the underlying mechanisms will require long-term whole-ecosystem manipulation to capture all the complex feedbacks (Shaver et al. 2000, Rustad et al. 2001, Stromgren 2001). The DOE Program for Ecosystem Research funded a three year project (2002-2005) to use replicated heated chambers on soil warming plots in northern Manitoba to examine the direct effects of whole-ecosystem warming. We are nearing completion of our first growing season of measurements (fall 2004). In spite of the unforeseen difficulty of installing the heating cable, our heating and irrigation systems worked extremely well, maintaining environmental conditions within 5-10% of the specified design 99% of the time. Preliminary data from these systems, all designed and built by our laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, support our overall hypothesis that warming will increase the carbon sink strength of upland boreal black spruce forests. I request an additional three years of funding to continue addressing the original objectives: (1) Examine the effect of warming on phenology of overstory, understory and bryophyte strata. Sap flux systems and dendrometer bands, monitored by data loggers, will be used to quantify changes in phenology and water use. (2) Quantify the effects of warming on nitrogen and water use by overstory, understory and bryophytes. (3) Compare effects of warming on autotrophic respiration and above- and belowground

  1. Vulnerability of carbon storage in North American boreal forests to wildfires during the 21st century

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Balshi, M. S.; McGuire, Anthony David; Duffy, P.; Flannigan, M.; Kicklighter, David W.; Melillo, J.

    2009-01-01

    The boreal forest contains large reserves of carbon. Across this region, wildfires influence the temporal and spatial dynamics of carbon storage. In this study, we estimate fire emissions and changes in carbon storage for boreal North America over the 21st century. We use a gridded data set developed with a multivariate adaptive regression spline approach to determine how area burned varies each year with changing climatic and fuel moisture conditions. We apply the process-based Terrestrial Ecosystem Model to evaluate the role of future fire on the carbon dynamics of boreal North America in the context of changing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and climate in the A2 and B2 emissions scenarios of the CGCM2 global climate model. Relative to the last decade of the 20th century, decadal total carbon emissions from fire increase by 2.5–4.4 times by 2091–2100, depending on the climate scenario and assumptions about CO2fertilization. Larger fire emissions occur with warmer climates or if CO2 fertilization is assumed to occur. Despite the increases in fire emissions, our simulations indicate that boreal North America will be a carbon sink over the 21st century if CO2 fertilization is assumed to occur in the future. In contrast, simulations excluding CO2 fertilization over the same period indicate that the region will change to a carbon source to the atmosphere, with the source being 2.1 times greater under the warmer A2 scenario than the B2 scenario. To improve estimates of wildfire on terrestrial carbon dynamics in boreal North America, future studies should incorporate the role of dynamic vegetation to represent more accurately post-fire successional processes, incorporate fire severity parameters that change in time and space, account for human influences through increased fire suppression, and integrate the role of other disturbances and their interactions with future fire regime.

  2. Trace gas emissions from chaparral and boreal forest fires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cofer, Wesley R., III; Levine, Joel S.; Sebacher, Daniel I.; Winstead, Edward L.; Riggan, Philip J.; Stocks, Brian J.; Brass, James A.; Ambrosia, Vincent G.

    1989-01-01

    Using smoke samples collected during low-level helicopter flights, the mixing ratios of CO2, CO, CH4, total nonmethane hydrocarbons, H2, and N2O over burning chaparral in southern California and over a burning boreal forest site in northern Ontario, Canada, were determined. Carbon dioxide-normalized emission ratios were determined for each trace gas for conditions of flaming, mixed, and smoldering combustion. The emission ratios for these trace gases were found to be highest for the smoldering combustion, generally thought to be the least efficient combustion stage. However, high emission ratios for these gases could be also produced during very vigorous flaming combustion.

  3. Salvage logging following fires can minimize boreal caribou habitat loss while maintaining forest quotas: An example of compensatory cumulative effects.

    PubMed

    Beguin, Julien; McIntire, Eliot J B; Raulier, Frédéric

    2015-11-01

    Protected area networks are the dominant conservation approach that is used worldwide for protecting biodiversity. Conservation planning in managed forests, however, presents challenges when endangered species use old-growth forests targeted by the forest industry for timber supply. In many ecosystems, this challenge is further complicated by the occurrence of natural disturbance events that disrupt forest attributes at multiple scales. Using spatially explicit landscape simulation experiments, we gather insights into how these large scale, multifaceted processes (fire risk, timber harvesting and the amount of protected area) influenced both the persistence of the threatened boreal caribou and the level of timber supply in the boreal forest of eastern Canada. Our result showed that failure to account explicitly and a priori for fire risk in the calculation of timber supply led to an overestimation of timber harvest volume, which in turn led to rates of cumulative disturbances that threatened both the long-term persistence of boreal caribou and the sustainability of the timber supply itself. Salvage logging, however, allowed some compensatory cumulative effects. It minimised the reductions of timber supply within a range of ∼10% while reducing the negative impact of cumulative disturbances caused by fire and logging on caribou. With the global increase of the human footprint on forest ecosystems, our approach and results provide useful tools and insights for managers to resolve what often appear as lose-lose situation between the persistence of species at risk and timber harvest in other forest ecosystems. These tools contribute to bridge the gap between conservation and forest management, two disciplines that remain too often disconnected in practice. PMID:26321533

  4. AVIRIS Land-Surface Mapping in Support of the Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, R.; Roberts, D.; Gamon, J.; Keightley, K.; Prentiss, D.; Reith, E.

    2000-01-01

    A key scientific objective of the original BOREAS field campaign (1993-1996) was to obtain the baseline data required for modeling and predicting fluxes of energy, mass and trace gases in the boreal forest biome.

  5. Deciduous Tree Species Alter Nitrogen and Phosphorus Availability in Mid-successional Alaskan Boreal Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melvin, A. M.; Mack, M. C.; Johnstone, J. F.; Schuur, E. A.

    2013-12-01

    In Alaskan boreal forest, increased fire severity associated with climate change is altering successional processes and ecosystem nutrient dynamics. Fire is a common disturbance in Interior Alaska and typically burns forests dominated by black spruce (Picea mariana), a tree species associated with slow nutrient turnover and high soil organic matter accumulation rates. Historically, low severity fires have driven black spruce regeneration post-fire, thereby maintaining slow nutrient cycling rates and large soil organic matter stocks. In contrast, high severity fires consume the organic layer and can lead to the establishment of deciduous tree species on exposed mineral soil, which produce less recalcitrant leaf litter and exhibit faster nutrient cycling rates. To improve our understanding of the long-term impacts of tree species composition on nutrient cycling in boreal forest, we quantified nitrogen (N) cycling rates and estimated soil N, phosphorus (P), and base cation pools in adjacent, mid-successional stands of black spruce and Alaska paper birch (Betula neoalaskana) that established following a 1960 fire near Fairbanks, Alaska. Results indicate significantly higher net N mineralization in paper birch soils relative to black spruce for both the fibric organic layer and top 10 cm of mineral soil during 30-day and 90-day lab incubation studies. Net nitrification was significantly higher in the paper birch fibric layer after 90 days. Total soil N concentrations did not differ between paper birch and black spruce stands, however the black spruce organic layer was significantly larger than that of birch, resulting in larger organic layer N stocks (130 vs. 87 g N m2). In contrast, total P concentrations were significantly higher in the organic layer in birch forest, but the total P stocks did not differ significantly between species because of the larger mass of soil organic matter in the black spruce. These findings suggest that a shift towards greater deciduous

  6. Diverse growth trends and climate responses across Eurasia’s boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hellmann, Lena; Agafonov, Leonid; Charpentier Ljungqvist, Fredrik; Churakova (Sidorova, Olga; Düthorn, Elisabeth; Esper, Jan; Hülsmann, Lisa; Kirdyanov, Alexander V.; Moiseev, Pavel; Myglan, Vladimir S.; Nikolaev, Anatoly N.; Reinig, Frederick; Schweingruber, Fritz H.; Solomina, Olga; Tegel, Willy; Büntgen, Ulf

    2016-07-01

    The area covered by boreal forests accounts for ∼16% of the global and 22% of the Northern Hemisphere landmass. Changes in the productivity and functioning of this circumpolar biome not only have strong effects on species composition and diversity at regional to larger scales, but also on the Earth’s carbon cycle. Although temporal inconsistency in the response of tree growth to temperature has been reported from some locations at the higher northern latitudes, a systematic dendroecological network assessment is still missing for most of the boreal zone. Here, we analyze the geographical patterns of changes in summer temperature and precipitation across northern Eurasia >60 °N since 1951 AD, as well as the growth trends and climate responses of 445 Pinus, Larix and Picea ring width chronologies in the same area and period. In contrast to widespread summer warming, fluctuations in precipitation and tree growth are spatially more diverse and overall less distinct. Although the influence of summer temperature on ring formation is increasing with latitude and distinct moisture effects are restricted to a few southern locations, growth sensitivity to June–July temperature variability is only significant at 16.6% of all sites (p ≤ 0.01). By revealing complex climate constraints on the productivity of Eurasia’s northern forests, our results question the a priori suitability of boreal tree-ring width chronologies for reconstructing summer temperatures. This study further emphasizes regional climate differences and their role on the dynamics of boreal ecosystems, and also underlines the importance of free data access to facilitate the compilation and evaluation of massively replicated and updated dendroecological networks.

  7. Simulating boreal forest carbon dynamics after stand-replacing fire disturbance: insights from a global process-based vegetation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yue, C.; Ciais, P.; Luyssaert, S.; Cadule, P.; Harden, J.; Randerson, J.; Bellassen, V.; Wang, T.; Piao, S. L.; Poulter, B.; Viovy, N.

    2013-04-01

    Stand-replacing fires are the dominant fire type in North American boreal forest and leave a historical legacy of a mosaic landscape of different aged forest cohorts. To accurately quantify the role of fire in historical and current regional forest carbon balance using models, one needs to explicitly simulate the new forest cohort that is established after fire. The present study adapted the global process-based vegetation model ORCHIDEE to simulate boreal forest fire CO2 emissions and follow-up recovery after a stand-replacing fire, with representation of postfire new cohort establishment, forest stand structure and the following self-thinning process. Simulation results are evaluated against three clusters of postfire forest chronosequence observations in Canada and Alaska. Evaluation variables for simulated postfire carbon dynamics include: fire carbon emissions, CO2 fluxes (gross primary production, total ecosystem respiration and net ecosystem exchange), leaf area index (LAI), and biometric measurements (aboveground biomass carbon, forest floor carbon, woody debris carbon, stand individual density, stand basal area, and mean diameter at breast height). The model simulation results, when forced by local climate and the atmospheric CO2 history on each chronosequence site, generally match the observed CO2 fluxes and carbon stock data well, with model-measurement mean square root of deviation comparable with measurement accuracy (for CO2 flux ~100 g C m-2 yr-1, for biomass carbon ~1000 g C m-2 and for soil carbon ~2000 g C m-2). We find that current postfire forest carbon sink on evaluation sites observed by chronosequence methods is mainly driven by historical atmospheric CO2 increase when forests recover from fire disturbance. Historical climate generally exerts a negative effect, probably due to increasing water stress caused by significant temperature increase without sufficient increase in precipitation. Our simulation results demonstrate that a global

  8. Simulating boreal forest carbon dynamics after stand-replacing fire disturbance: insights from a global process-based vegetation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yue, C.; Ciais, P.; Luyssaert, S.; Cadule, P.; Harden, J.; Randerson, J.; Bellassen, V.; Wang, T.; Piao, S. L.; Poulter, B.; Viovy, N.

    2013-12-01

    Stand-replacing fires are the dominant fire type in North American boreal forests. They leave a historical legacy of a mosaic landscape of different aged forest cohorts. This forest age dynamics must be included in vegetation models to accurately quantify the role of fire in the historical and current regional forest carbon balance. The present study adapted the global process-based vegetation model ORCHIDEE to simulate the CO2 emissions from boreal forest fire and the subsequent recovery after a stand-replacing fire; the model represents postfire new cohort establishment, forest stand structure and the self-thinning process. Simulation results are evaluated against observations of three clusters of postfire forest chronosequences in Canada and Alaska. The variables evaluated include: fire carbon emissions, CO2 fluxes (gross primary production, total ecosystem respiration and net ecosystem exchange), leaf area index, and biometric measurements (aboveground biomass carbon, forest floor carbon, woody debris carbon, stand individual density, stand basal area, and mean diameter at breast height). When forced by local climate and the atmospheric CO2 history at each chronosequence site, the model simulations generally match the observed CO2 fluxes and carbon stock data well, with model-measurement mean square root of deviation comparable with the measurement accuracy (for CO2 flux ~100 g C m-2 yr-1, for biomass carbon ~1000 g C m-2 and for soil carbon ~2000 g C m-2). We find that the current postfire forest carbon sink at the evaluation sites, as observed by chronosequence methods, is mainly due to a combination of historical CO2 increase and forest succession. Climate change and variability during this period offsets some of these expected carbon gains. The negative impacts of climate were a likely consequence of increasing water stress caused by significant temperature increases that were not matched by concurrent increases in precipitation. Our simulation results

  9. Simulating boreal forest carbon dynamics after stand-replacing fire disturbance: insights from a global process-based vegetation model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yue, C.; Ciais, P.; Luyssaert, S.; Cadule, P.; Harden, J.; Randerson, J.; Bellassen, V.; Wang, T.; Piao, S.L.; Poulter, B.; Viovy, N.

    2013-01-01

    Stand-replacing fires are the dominant fire type in North American boreal forests. They leave a historical legacy of a mosaic landscape of different aged forest cohorts. This forest age dynamics must be included in vegetation models to accurately quantify the role of fire in the historical and current regional forest carbon balance. The present study adapted the global process-based vegetation model ORCHIDEE to simulate the CO2 emissions from boreal forest fire and the subsequent recovery after a stand-replacing fire; the model represents postfire new cohort establishment, forest stand structure and the self-thinning process. Simulation results are evaluated against observations of three clusters of postfire forest chronosequences in Canada and Alaska. The variables evaluated include: fire carbon emissions, CO2 fluxes (gross primary production, total ecosystem respiration and net ecosystem exchange), leaf area index, and biometric measurements (aboveground biomass carbon, forest floor carbon, woody debris carbon, stand individual density, stand basal area, and mean diameter at breast height). When forced by local climate and the atmospheric CO2 history at each chronosequence site, the model simulations generally match the observed CO2 fluxes and carbon stock data well, with model-measurement mean square root of deviation comparable with the measurement accuracy (for CO2 flux ~100 g C m−2 yr−1, for biomass carbon ~1000 g C m−2 and for soil carbon ~2000 g C m−2). We find that the current postfire forest carbon sink at the evaluation sites, as observed by chronosequence methods, is mainly due to a combination of historical CO2 increase and forest succession. Climate change and variability during this period offsets some of these expected carbon gains. The negative impacts of climate were a likely consequence of increasing water stress caused by significant temperature increases that were not matched by concurrent increases in precipitation. Our simulation

  10. Forest-climate feedbacks mediated through fire in the Eastern boreal forests of Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernier, P. Y.; Girardin, M. P.; Desjardins, R. L.; Gauthier, S.; Karimi-Zindashty, Y.; Worth, D.; Beaudoin, A.; Luo, Y.; Wang, S.

    2010-12-01

    Boreal forests are one of the largest biomes on earth, covering 27% of the world’s forests. In Canada, the dynamics of the boreal forests are largely dominated by large scale disturbances, with crown fires being the most geographically and temporally common. The probability of fire occurrence is strongly coupled to climate, making fire regimes quite variable across the country. Recent trends in fire regimes as well as predicted trends under climate scenarios also vary spatially. We present the results of two studies in which we have evaluated the climate - fire - forest feedbacks in parts of the boreal forest. Results show that feedbacks can be substantial and can alter the importance and even the direction of forest impacts on the climate system. The first feedback investigated was the link between fire-driven changes in forest cover properties and albedo in the boreal forests of Eastern Canada. Repeated disturbances in closed canopy forest dominated by black spruce (Picea mariana) on coarse soils sometimes push stands into an alternate stable open lichen woodland state. These lichen woodlands have a high albedo on account of the pale ground cover. Calculations show that the increase in albedo due to the opening of the canopy has a greater radiative forcing effect than that of the CO2 emitted to the atmosphere on account of the burning of the original forest. In these regions, climate-driven fire regimes thus generate a negative feedback to the climate system through their effects on forest cover properties. The second feedback investigated is linked to a recent decrease in fire frequency in Eastern Canada, and how this decrease might be affecting the growth-enhancing effect of a warmer climate because of its impact on the age-class distribution of the forest. The fire regime drives the age class distribution of forest landscapes. Since age class distribution drives landscape-level productivity, we have studied how this effect interacts with climate warming in

  11. Trophic cascades, invasive species and body-size hierarchies interactively modulate climate change responses of ecotonal temperate-boreal forest.

    PubMed

    Frelich, Lee E; Peterson, Rolf O; Dovčiak, Martin; Reich, Peter B; Vucetich, John A; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2012-11-01

    As the climate warms, boreal tree species are expected to be gradually replaced by temperate species within the southern boreal forest. Warming will be accompanied by changes in above- and below-ground consumers: large moose (Alces alces) replaced by smaller deer (Odocoileus virginianus) above-ground, and small detritivores replaced by larger exotic earthworms below-ground. These shifts may induce a cascade of ecological impacts across trophic levels that could alter the boreal to temperate forest transition. Deer are more likely to browse saplings of temperate tree species, and European earthworms favour seedlings of boreal tree species more than temperate species, potentially hindering the ability of temperate tree species to expand northwards. We hypothesize that warming-induced changes in consumers will lead to novel plant communities by changing the filter on plant species success, and that above- and below-ground cascades of trophic interactions will allow boreal tree species to persist during early phases of warming, leading to an abrupt change at a later time. The synthesis of evidence suggests that consumers can modify the climate change-induced transition of ecosystems. PMID:23007083

  12. Trophic cascades, invasive species and body-size hierarchies interactively modulate climate change responses of ecotonal temperate–boreal forest

    PubMed Central

    Frelich, Lee E.; Peterson, Rolf O.; Dovčiak, Martin; Reich, Peter B.; Vucetich, John A.; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2012-01-01

    As the climate warms, boreal tree species are expected to be gradually replaced by temperate species within the southern boreal forest. Warming will be accompanied by changes in above- and below-ground consumers: large moose (Alces alces) replaced by smaller deer (Odocoileus virginianus) above-ground, and small detritivores replaced by larger exotic earthworms below-ground. These shifts may induce a cascade of ecological impacts across trophic levels that could alter the boreal to temperate forest transition. Deer are more likely to browse saplings of temperate tree species, and European earthworms favour seedlings of boreal tree species more than temperate species, potentially hindering the ability of temperate tree species to expand northwards. We hypothesize that warming-induced changes in consumers will lead to novel plant communities by changing the filter on plant species success, and that above- and below-ground cascades of trophic interactions will allow boreal tree species to persist during early phases of warming, leading to an abrupt change at a later time. The synthesis of evidence suggests that consumers can modify the climate change-induced transition of ecosystems. PMID:23007083

  13. Monitoring boreal ecosystem phenology with integrated active/passive microwave remote sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McDonald, K. C.; Njoku, E.; Kimball, J.; Running, S.; Thompson, C.; Lee, J. K.

    2002-01-01

    The important role of the high latitudes in the functioning of global processes is becoming well established. The size and remoteness of arctic and boreal ecosystems, however, pose a challenge to quantification of both terrestrial ecosystem processes and their feedbacks to regional and global climate conditions. Boreal and arctic regions form a complex land cover mosaic where vegetation structure, condition and distribution are strongly regulated by environmental factors such as moisture availability, permafrost, growing season length, disturbance and soil nutrients.

  14. Estimating aboveground biomass in the boreal forests of the Yukon River Basin, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, L.; Wylie, B. K.; Nossov, D.; Peterson, B.; Waldrop, M. P.; McFarland, J.; Alexander, H. D.; Mack, M. C.; Rover, J. A.; Chen, X.

    2011-12-01

    Quantification of aboveground biomass (AGB) in Alaska's boreal forests is essential to accurately evaluate terrestrial carbon stocks and dynamics in northern high-latitude ecosystems. However, regional AGB datasets with spatially detailed information (<500 m) are not available for this extensive and remote area. Our goal was to map AGB at 30-m resolution for the boreal forests in the Yukon River Basin of Alaska using recent Landsat data and ground measurements. We collected field data in the Yukon River Basin from 2008 to 2010. Ground measurements included diameter at breast height (DBH) or basal diameter (BD) for live and dead trees and shrubs (>1 m tall), which were converted to plot-level AGB using allometric equations. We acquired Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) images from the Web Enabled Landsat Data (WELD) that provides multi-date composites of top-of-atmosphere reflectance and brightness temperature for Alaska. From the WELD images, we generated a three-year (2008 - 2010) image composite for the Yukon River Basin using a series of compositing criteria including non-saturation, non-cloudiness, maximal normalize difference vegetation index (NDVI), and maximal brightness temperature. Airborne lidar datasets were acquired for two sub-regions in the central basin in 2009, which were converted to vegetation height datasets using the bare-earth digital surface model (DSM) and the first-return DSM. We created a multiple regression model in which the response variable was the field-observed AGB and the predictor variables were Landsat-derived reflectance, brightness temperature, and spectral vegetation indices including NDVI, soil adjusted vegetation index (SAVI), enhanced vegetation index (EVI), normalized difference infrared index (NDII), and normalized difference water index (NDWI). Principal component analysis was incorporated in the regression model to remedy the multicollinearity problems caused by high correlations between predictor variables

  15. Altitudinal vs Latitudinal Climactic Drivers: A Comparison of a Relict Picea and Abies Forest in the Southern Appalachians versus the Hemi-Boreal Transition Zone off Southern Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, A.; Lafon, C. W.

    2015-12-01

    Identification of biotic and abiotic determinants of tree species range limits is critical for understanding the effects of climate change on species distributions. Upward shifts of species distributions in montane areas have been widely reported but there have been few reports of latitudinal range retractions. Previous studies have indicated that southern latitudinal limits of a species range are dictated by biotic factors such as competition while others have suggested that abiotic factors, such as temperature, dictate these limits. We investigated the potential climatic gradients at the southern latitudinal limit of the Spruce (Picea) and Fir (Abies) species that dominate the Canadian boreal forest community as well as relict boreal forests containing similar species found in the high elevation areas of the Southern Appalachians. Existing research has suggested that relict ecosystems are more sensitive to climate change and can be indicative of future changes at latitudinal range limits. Expanding on this literature, we hypothesized that we would see similar gradients in climatic variables at the southern latitudinal limit of the Canadian boreal forest and those in the relict boreal forests southern Appalachians acting as controlling factors of these species distributions. We used forty years of climate data from weather stations along the southern edge of the boreal forest in the Canadian Shield provinces, species distribution data from the Canadian National Forest Inventory, (CNFI) geospatial data from the National Park Service (NPS), and historical weather data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to perform our analysis. Our results indicate different climate variables act as controls of warm edge range limits of the Canadian boreal forest than those of the relict boreal forest of the southern Appalachians. However, we believe range retractions of the relict forest may be indicative of a more gradual response of similar species

  16. Antioxidant Potential of Bark Extracts from Boreal Forest Conifers.

    PubMed

    Legault, Jean; Girard-Lalancette, Karl; Dufour, Dominic; Pichette, André

    2013-01-01

    The bark of boreal forest conifers has been traditionally used by Native Americans to treat various ailments and diseases. Some of these diseases involve reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can be prevented by the consumption of antioxidants such as phenolic compounds that can be found in medicinal plants. In this study, ultrasonic assisted extraction has been performed under various solvent conditions (water:ethanol mixtures) on the bark of seven boreal forest conifers used by Native Americans including: Pinus strobus, Pinus resinosa, Pinus banksiana, Picea mariana, Picea glauca, Larix laricina, and Abies balsamea. The total phenolic content, as well as ORACFL potency and cellular antioxidant activity (IC50), were evaluated for all bark extracts, and compared with the standardized water extract of Pinus maritima bark (Pycnogenol), which showed clinical efficiency to prevent ROS deleterious effects. The best overall phenolic extraction yield and antioxidant potential was obtained with Picea glauca and Picea mariana. Interestingly, total phenolic content of these bark extracts was similar to Pycnogenol but their antioxidant activity were higher. Moreover, most of the extracts did not inhibit the growth of human skin fibroblasts, WS1. A significant correlation was found between the total phenolic content and the antioxidant activity for water extracts suggesting that these compounds are involved in the activity. PMID:26784337

  17. Management to conserve forest ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, C.S.

    1984-01-01

    Historically, management of forests for wildlife has emphasized creation of openings and provision for a maximum of edge habitats. Wildlife managers have believed, quite logically, that increased sunlight enhances productivity among plants and insects, resulting in greater use by game animals and other wildlife. Recent studies comparing breeding bird populations of extensive forests with those of isolated woodlots have shown that the smaller woodlots, especially those under 35 ha (about 85 acres), lack many species that are typical of the larger tracts. The missing species can be predicted, and basically are the neotropical migrants. These long-distance migrants share several characteristics that make them especially vulnerable to reproductive failure in situations where predation and cowbird parasitism are high: they are primarily single-brooded, open nesters that lay small clutches on or near the ground. Edge habitats and forest openings attract cowbirds and predators. The edge species of birds, which are mostly permanent residents or short-distance migrants, are well adapted to survive and reproduce in small isolated woodlands without the benefit of special habitat management. The obligate forest interior species, on the other hand, are decreasing in those parts of North America where extensive forests are being replaced by isolated woodlands. If we are to preserve ecosystems intact for the benefit of future generations, and maintain a viable gene pool for the scarcer species, we must think in terms of retaining large, unbroken tracts of forest and of limiting disturbance in the more remote portions of these tracts.

  18. Uncertainty about future nitrogen availability dominates boreal forest growth projections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mäkelä, Annikki; Kalliokoski, Tuomo; Peltoniemi, Mikko

    2015-04-01

    There is broad consensus among scientists that the capacity of forests in the boreal zone to take up carbon will increase as a result of climate change. However, boreal forests are strongly nitrogen limited. This may hamper the potential increase in GPP for forest productivity and carbon sequestration, but little is known about the impact of climate change on nitrogen availability in forests. Here we use OptiPipe, a model of optimal carbon and nitrogen co-allocation to analyse the role of nitrogen availability in growth limitation under climate change in Finland. We predict changes in metabolic rates related to the C balance using existing models and data, and we explore three alternative, plausible scenarios of N availability under climate change. Three climate scenarios based on three SRES emissions scenarios - B1 (low), A1B (moderate) and A2 (high) - are used for projecting changes of daily temperature, precipitation, vapour pressure deficit and solar radiation for periods 2011-2040, 2041-2070 and 2071-2100. We use a mean among 8 climate models. CO2 concentrations corresponding to the SRES scenarios come from (IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis) The results will be presented across Finland on a 10 km x 10 km grid. The results indicate that NPP and woody growth will increase under climate change if N availability is also increasing. If N availability is limited, volume growth will to reduce, because maintenance costs (respiration and turnover) increase. If N availability increases relatively as much or more than C availability, reduced allocation requirements to fine roots will lead to more foliage with higher photosynthetic capacity, thus increasing woody volume growth disproportionately. These results are attributable to optimised carbon and nitrogen co-allocation. In order to reduce the uncertainty of growth predictions, a better understanding of the mechanisms related to N availability is needed.

  19. Comparing Effects of Climate Warming, Fire, and Timber Harvesting on a Boreal Forest Landscape in Northeastern China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiaona; He, Hong S.; Wu, Zhiwei; Liang, Yu; Schneiderman, Jeffrey E.

    2013-01-01

    Forest management under a changing climate requires assessing the effects of climate warming and disturbance on the composition, age structure, and spatial patterns of tree species. We investigated these effects on a boreal forest in northeastern China using a factorial experimental design and simulation modeling. We used a spatially explicit forest landscape model (LANDIS) to evaluate the effects of three independent variables: climate (current and expected future), fire regime (current and increased fire), and timber harvesting (no harvest and legal harvest). Simulations indicate that this forested landscape would be significantly impacted under a changing climate. Climate warming would significantly increase the abundance of most trees, especially broadleaf species (aspen, poplar, and willow). However, climate warming would have less impact on the abundance of conifers, diversity of forest age structure, and variation in spatial landscape structure than burning and harvesting. Burning was the predominant influence in the abundance of conifers except larch and the abundance of trees in mid-stage. Harvesting impacts were greatest for the abundance of larch and birch, and the abundance of trees during establishment stage (1–40 years), early stage (41–80 years) and old- growth stage (>180 years). Disturbance by timber harvesting and burning may significantly alter forest ecosystem dynamics by increasing forest fragmentation and decreasing forest diversity. Results from the simulations provide insight into the long term management of this boreal forest. PMID:23573209

  20. Priming Effects in Boreal Black Spruce Forest Soils: Quantitative Evaluation and Sensitivity Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Zhaosheng; Jastrow, Julie D.; Liang, Chao; Matamala, Roser; Miller, Raymond Michael

    2013-01-01

    Laboratory studies show that introduction of fresh and easily decomposable organic carbon (OC) into soil-water systems can stimulate the decomposition of soil OC (SOC) via priming effects in temperate forests, shrublands, grasslands, and agro-ecosystems. However, priming effects are still not well understood in the field setting for temperate ecosystems and virtually nothing is known about priming effects (e.g., existence, frequency, and magnitude) in boreal ecosystems. In this study, a coupled dissolved OC (DOC) transport and microbial biomass dynamics model was developed to simultaneously simulate co-occurring hydrological, physical, and biological processes and their interactions in soil pore-water systems. The developed model was then used to examine the importance of priming effects in two black spruce forest soils, with and without underlying permafrost. Our simulations showed that priming effects were strongly controlled by the frequency and intensity of DOC input, with greater priming effects associated with greater DOC inputs. Sensitivity analyses indicated that priming effects were most sensitive to variations in the quality of SOC, followed by variations in microbial biomass dynamics (i.e., microbial death and maintenance respiration), highlighting the urgent need to better discern these key parameters in future experiments and to consider these dynamics in existing ecosystem models. Water movement carries DOC to deep soil layers that have high SOC stocks in boreal soils. Thus, greater priming effects were predicted for the site with favorable water movement than for the site with limited water flow, suggesting that priming effects might be accelerated for sites where permafrost degradation leads to the formation of dry thermokarst. PMID:24205010

  1. Ectomycorrhizal-Dominated Boreal and Tropical Forests Have Distinct Fungal Communities, but Analogous Spatial Patterns across Soil Horizons

    PubMed Central

    McGuire, Krista L.; Allison, Steven D.; Fierer, Noah; Treseder, Kathleen K.

    2013-01-01

    Fungi regulate key nutrient cycling processes in many forest ecosystems, but their diversity and distribution within and across ecosystems are poorly understood. Here, we examine the spatial distribution of fungi across a boreal and tropical ecosystem, focusing on ectomycorrhizal fungi. We analyzed fungal community composition across litter (organic horizons) and underlying soil horizons (0–20 cm) using 454 pyrosequencing and clone library sequencing. In both forests, we found significant clustering of fungal communities by site and soil horizons with analogous patterns detected by both sequencing technologies. Free-living saprotrophic fungi dominated the recently-shed leaf litter and ectomycorrhizal fungi dominated the underlying soil horizons. This vertical pattern of fungal segregation has also been found in temperate and European boreal forests, suggesting that these results apply broadly to ectomycorrhizal-dominated systems, including tropical rain forests. Since ectomycorrhizal and free-living saprotrophic fungi have different influences on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics, information on the spatial distribution of these functional groups will improve our understanding of forest nutrient cycling. PMID:23874569

  2. Understanding COS Fluxes in a Boreal Forest: Towards COS-Based GPP Estimates.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, H.; Kooijmans, L.; Franchin, A.; Keskinen, H.; Levula, J.; Mammarella, I.; Maseyk, K. S.; Pihlatie, M.; Praplan, A. P.; Seibt, U.; Sun, W.; Vesala, T.

    2015-12-01

    Carbonyl Sulfide (COS) is a promising new tracer that can be used to partition the Net Ecosystem Exchange into gross primary production (GPP) and respiration. COS and CO2 vegetation fluxes are closely related as these gases share the same diffusion pathway into stomata, which makes COS a potentially powerful tracer for GPP. While vegetative uptake is the largest sink of COS, the environmental drivers are poorly understood, and soil fluxes represent an important but relatively unconstrained component. Therefore, the realization of the COS tracer method requires proper characterization of both soil and ecosystem fluxes. A campaign to provide better constrained soil and ecosystem COS flux data for boreal forests took place in the summer of 2015 at the SMEAR II site in Hyytiälä, Finland. Eddy covariance flux measurements were made above the forest canopy on an Aerodyne continuous-wave quantum cascade laser (QCL) system that is capable of measuring COS, CO2, CO and H2O. Soil COS fluxes were obtained using modified LI-COR LI-8100 chambers together with high accuracy concentration measurements from another Aerodyne QCL instrument. The same instrument alternately measured concentrations in and above the canopy on a cycle through 4 heights, which will be used to calculate ecosystem fluxes using the Radon-tracer method, providing ecosystem fluxes under low-turbulent conditions. We will compare ecosystem fluxes from both eddy covariance and profile measurements and show estimates of the fraction of ecosystem fluxes attributed to the soil component. With the better understanding of ecosystem and soil COS fluxes, as obtained with this dataset, we will be able to derive COS-based GPP estimates for the Hyytiälä site.

  3. Aquatic ecosystem responses to Holocene climate change and biome development in boreal, central Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackay, Anson W.; Bezrukova, Elena V.; Leng, Melanie J.; Meaney, Miriam; Nunes, Ana; Piotrowska, Natalia; Self, Angela; Shchetnikov, Alexander; Shilland, Ewan; Tarasov, Pavel; Wang, Luo; White, Dustin

    2012-05-01

    Boreal ecosystems are highly vulnerable to climate change, and severe ecological impacts in the near future are virtually certain to occur. We undertook a multiproxy study on an alpine lake (ESM-1) at the modern tree-line in boreal, southern Siberia. Steppe and tundra biomes were extensive in eastern Sayan landscapes during the early Holocene. Boreal forest quickly expanded by 9.1 ka BP, and dominated the landscape until c 0.7 ka BP, when the greatest period of compositional turnover occurred. At this time, alpine meadow landscape expanded and Picea obovata colonised new habitats along river valleys and lake shorelines, because of prevailing cool, moist conditions. During the early Holocene, chironomid assemblages were dominated by cold stenotherms. Diatoms for much of the Holocene were dominated by alkaliphilous, fragilarioid taxa, up until 0.2 ka BP, when epiphytic species expanded, indicative of increased habitat availability. C/N mass ratios ranged between 9.5 and 13.5 (11.1-15.8 C/N atomic ratios), indicative of algal communities dominating organic matter contributions to bottom sediments with small, persistent contributions from vascular plants. However, δ13C values increased steadily from -34.9‰ during the early Holocene (9.3 ka BP) to -24.8‰ by 0.6 ka BP. This large shift in magnitude may be due to a number of factors, including increasing within-lake productivity, increasing disequilibrium between the isotopic balance of the lake with the atmosphere as the lake became isotopically ‘mature’, and declining soil respiration linked to small, but distinct retreat in forest biomes. The influence of climatic variables on landscape vegetation was assessed using redundancy analysis (RDA), a linear, direct ordination technique. Changes in July insolation at 60 °N significantly explained over one-fifth of the variation in species composition, while changes in estimates of northern hemisphere temperature and ice-rafted debris events in the North Atlantic

  4. Carbon sequestration is related to mycorrhizal fungal community shifts during long-term succession in boreal forests.

    PubMed

    Clemmensen, Karina E; Finlay, Roger D; Dahlberg, Anders; Stenlid, Jan; Wardle, David A; Lindahl, Björn D

    2015-03-01

    Boreal forest soils store a major proportion of the global terrestrial carbon (C) and below-ground inputs contribute as much as above-ground plant litter to the total C stored in the soil. A better understanding of the dynamics and drivers of root-associated fungal communities is essential to predict long-term soil C storage and climate feedbacks in northern ecosystems. We used 454-pyrosequencing to identify fungal communities across fine-scaled soil profiles in a 5000 yr fire-driven boreal forest chronosequence, with the aim of pinpointing shifts in fungal community composition that may underlie variation in below-ground C sequestration. In early successional-stage forests, higher abundance of cord-forming ectomycorrhizal fungi (such as Cortinarius and Suillus species) was linked to rapid turnover of mycelial biomass and necromass, efficient nitrogen (N) mobilization and low C sequestration. In late successional-stage forests, cord formers declined, while ericoid mycorrhizal ascomycetes continued to dominate, potentially facilitating long-term humus build-up through production of melanized hyphae that resist decomposition. Our results suggest that cord-forming ectomycorrhizal fungi and ericoid mycorrhizal fungi play opposing roles in below-ground C storage. We postulate that, by affecting turnover and decomposition of fungal tissues, mycorrhizal fungal identity and growth form are critical determinants of C and N sequestration in boreal forests. PMID:25494880

  5. Tracking changes of forest carbon density following mega-fires: comparison studies in the Yellowstone National Park and Boreal Forests of Northeast China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Feng; Huang, Chengquan; Huang, Chao; He, Hong; Zhu, Zhiliang

    2016-04-01

    Wildfires and post-fire management directly change C stored in biomass and soil pools, and can have indirect impacts on long-term C balance. Two mega fires occurred in the Yellowstone National Park (YNP) and the boreal forests of Northeast China in 1988 and 1987, respectively, making them ideal sites to examine and compare the effects of management and disturbances on regional carbon dynamics. In this study, we quantified effects of the 1988 Yellowstone fires on YNP carbon storages and fluxes. And then we tracked and modeled post-1988 forest carbon stocks change in YNP, and compared with simulation results of carbon stock changes in post-1987 fire boreal forests of Northeast China. Preliminary results show that in YNP, the mega fires in 1988 were responsible for an immediate loss of 900 g/m2 ecosystem average C density and it would take about a decade before the YNP ecosystem recover to the pre-fire average C condition. In boreal forests of Northeast China, fire reduced aboveground and belowground carbon by 230±60 g/m2 and 460±340 g/m2, respectively.

  6. Acid Precipitation and the Forest Ecosystem

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dochinger, Leon S.; Seliga, Thomas A.

    1975-01-01

    The First International Symposium on Acid Precipitation and the Forest Ecosystem dealt with the potential magnitude of the global effects of acid precipitation on aquatic ecosystems, forest soils, and forest vegetation. The problem is discussed in the light of atmospheric chemistry, transport, and precipitation. (Author/BT)

  7. Comprehensive radiative forcing assesment highlights trade-offs in climate mitigation potential of managed boreal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalliokoski, Tuomo; Berninger, Frank; Bäck, Jaana; Boy, Michael; Kuusinen, Nea; Mäkelä, Annikki; Matthies, Brent; Minkkinen, Kari; Mogensen, Ditte; Peltoniemi, Mikko; Sievänen, Risto; Zhou, Luxi; Vanhatalo, Anni; Valsta, Lauri; Nikinmaa, Eero

    2016-04-01

    Boreal forests have an important role in the mitigation of climate change. In this study we evaluated four key climate impacts of forest management: (1) carbon sequestration (in forest ecosystems and wood products), (2) surface albedo of forest area, (3) forest originating Secondary Organic Aerosols (SOA) and (4) avoided CO2-emissions from wood energy and product substitution. We calculated their net effect at both a single stand and regional level using Finland as a case study. We made analyses both in current climate up to a year 2050 and in the projected climate of year 2050. At the stand level, the carbon sequestration effect and avoided CO2 emissions due to substituted materials dominated in net RF in current climate. The warming effect of surface albedo of forest cover was lower or of same magnitude than cooling effect of SOAs. Together, the rarely considered SOAs and product substitution corresponded over 70% of the total cooling effect of forest cover. The cooling effect of net radiative forcing increased along the increasing site fertility. Although the carbon stocks of broadleaved trees were smaller than that of conifers their total radiative cooling effect was larger due to the integrated albedo and aerosol effects. In the projected climate of 2050, the radiative cooling of aerosols approached the level of forest carbon fixation. These results emphasize the need for holistic evaluation of climate impacts over simple carbon sequestration analysis to understand the role of forest management in climate change mitigation. Landscape level analyses emphasized the broad range of options to reach the cooling effect. The lowest harvest regime, 50% of current annual increment (CAI), yielded the largest cooling effect. Yet, harvests up to CAI produced only slightly less cooling RF if avoided emissions were considered. This result was highly sensitive to used substitution factors. Our result highlights that the combination of intensive harvests and the use of wood

  8. Modeling the forest transition: forest scarcity and ecosystem service hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Satake, Akiko; Rudel, Thomas K

    2007-10-01

    An historical generalization about forest cover change in which rapid deforestation gives way over time to forest restoration is called "the forest transition." Prior research on the forest transition leaves three important questions unanswered: (1) How does forest loss influence an individual landowner's incentives to reforest? (2) How does the forest recovery rate affect the likelihood of forest transition? (3) What happens after the forest transition occurs? The purpose of this paper is to develop a minimum model of the forest transition to answer these questions. We assume that deforestation caused by landowners' decisions and forest regeneration initiated by agricultural abandonment have aggregated effects that characterize entire landscapes. These effects include feedback mechanisms called the "forest scarcity" and "ecosystem service" hypotheses. In the forest scarcity hypothesis, forest losses make forest products scarcer, which increases the economic value of forests. In the ecosystem service hypothesis, the environmental degradation that accompanies the loss of forests causes the value of ecosystem services provided by forests to decline. We examined the impact of each mechanism on the likelihood of forest transition through an investigation of the equilibrium and stability of landscape dynamics. We found that the forest transition occurs only when landowners employ a low rate of future discounting. After the forest transition, regenerated forests are protected in a sustainable way if forests regenerate slowly. When forests regenerate rapidly, the forest scarcity hypothesis expects instability in which cycles of large-scale deforestation followed by forest regeneration repeatedly characterize the landscape. In contrast, the ecosystem service hypothesis predicts a catastrophic shift from a forested to an abandoned landscape when the amount of deforestation exceeds the critical level, which can lead to a resource degrading poverty trap. These findings imply

  9. Temperate and boreal forest mega-fires: characteristics and challenges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stephens, Scott L.; Burrows, Neil; Buyantuyev, Alexander; Gray, Robert W.; Keane, Robert E.; Kubian, Rick; Liu, Shirong; Seijo, Francisco; Shu, Lifu; Tolhurst, Kevin G.; Van Wagtendonk, Jan W.

    2014-01-01

    Mega-fires are often defined according to their size and intensity but are more accurately described by their socioeconomic impacts. Three factors – climate change, fire exclusion, and antecedent disturbance, collectively referred to as the “mega-fire triangle” – likely contribute to today's mega-fires. Some characteristics of mega-fires may emulate historical fire regimes and can therefore sustain healthy fire-prone ecosystems, but other attributes decrease ecosystem resiliency. A good example of a program that seeks to mitigate mega-fires is located in Western Australia, where prescribed burning reduces wildfire intensity while conserving ecosystems. Crown-fire-adapted ecosystems are likely at higher risk of frequent mega-fires as a result of climate change, as compared with other ecosystems once subject to frequent less severe fires. Fire and forest managers should recognize that mega-fires will be a part of future wildland fire regimes and should develop strategies to reduce their undesired impacts.

  10. Long term effects of fire on the carbon balance in boreal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berninger, Frank; Köster, Kaja; Pumpanen, Jukka

    2013-04-01

    and show that post-fire depression of microbial activities are important on the ecosystem and landscape level. Since fire frequencies in boreal forests will increase in many areas as the result of climate change, it will be important to better understand the effects of fire on the soil carbon turnover and to incorporate it into carbon cycle models.

  11. A model inter-comparison study of forest growth on two coastal and boreal forest landscapes in Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernier, P. Y.; Wang, Z.; Grant, R. F.; Arain, A.; Chen, B.; Chen, J.; Coops, N.; Govind, A.; Guindon, L.; Hember, R.; Kurz, W. A.; Peng, C.; Price, D. T.; Stinson, G.; Sun, J.; Trofymow, J. A.

    2009-05-01

    Projection of carbon stocks in Canada is presently accomplished using CBM-CFS3, an inventory-based model. We have performed a comparison exercise among 6 process-based models of forest growth (Can-IBIS, INTEC, ECOSYS, 3PG, TRIPLEX, CN-CLASS) and CBM-CFS3 as part of an effort to better capture inter-annual climate variability in the carbon accounting of Canada's forests. Comparisons were made on multi-decadal simulations for a Pacific Coastal Douglas-fir forest (2500ha, Oyster River, British Columbia) and a Boreal Black Spruce forest (3825ha, Chibougamau, Quebec). Models were initiated using reconstructions of forest composition and biomass from 1920 (Oyster River, OR) and 1928 (Chibougamau, CH), followed by transition to current forest composition as derived from recent forest inventories (OR 1999, CH 1998). Forest management events and natural disturbances over the simulation period were provided as maps and disturbance impacts on a number of carbon pools were simulated using the same transfer coefficients parameters as CBM-CFS3. Simulations were conducted from 1920 to 2006 for OR, and from 1928 to 1998 for CH. For CH, final above-ground tree biomass in 1998 was also extracted from the independent forest inventory. The coastal OR area initially contained about four times more ecosystem C than the boreal CH area. CBM- CFS3 simulations suggest a decline in ecosystem carbon by about 200 Mg C ha-1, dominated by a loss of biomass and woody debris C, over the 86-year period in OR as the entire area transitioned from coastal old- growth to second growth conditions. In CH, a smaller proportion of the area was affected by management and the CBM-CFS3 estimated a small net increase in total ecosystem C of about 11 Mg C ha-1 over 70 years, almost all attributed to increased biomass. Changes in tree biomass at CH were 10% less than estimates derived by difference between successive inventories. The source of this small simulation bias is attributable to the underlying growth

  12. Boreal ditched forest and peatland are more vulnerable to forest fire than unditched areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Köhler, Stephan J.; Granath, Gustav; Landahl, Anna; Fölster, Jens

    2016-04-01

    During summer of 2014 the largest wildfire in Swedish modern history occurred. The fire was ignited in a forest close to the Swedish town Sala and incinerated a total of 14 000 ha. The frequency of wildfires is expected to increase, due to effects of climate change such as increased temperature and decreased precipitation during the summer months. Wildfires can have a considerable impact on aquatic ecosystems and previous studies of wildfires have shown elevated concentrations of nutrients, cat- and anions. The area of the fire mainly consists of forestland, peatland and lakes and has been affected by acidification and intensive forestry. To assess the fire severity and the effects on the water chemistry, the fire severity were analyzed and classified using aerial phtographs and high resolution LIDAR data. The analysis indicated that increased fire intensity caused increased fire severity and that drained forested areas were more vulnerable to fire than undrained peatland. Measurements of water chemistry were conducted at nine streams and ten lakes inside the affected area. At two sites sensors for multiple parameters were deployed. During the initial three months of the post-fire period large peaks of ammonia-N and sulphate were observed in the streams and in a majority of the lakes while DOC was suppressed. In one stream Gärsjöbäcken the median concentrations of ammonia-N were 79 times higher after the fire. Due to nitrification the elevated concentrations of ammonia-N-nitrogen caused elevated concentrations of nitrate-nitrogen. The initial peak of sulphate caused a drop in ANC but after the peak had past ANC increased due to elevated concentrations of base cations. Correlation analysis of fire severity and water chemistry indicated that the maximum concentrations of ammonia-N increased with severely burned canopies in drained forested peatlands and in scorched open peatland. In a future climate with increased dry spells extensive ditching operations in

  13. Differences in fire regimes and fire-climate feedbacks in North American and Eurasian boreal forests.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, B. M.; Randerson, J. T.; Soja, A. J.

    2012-12-01

    Boreal forests contribute 9% of current annual fire emissions and contain nearly 40% of the world's terrestrial carbon stocks. Temperatures are projected to increase by the greatest magnitudes in high latitudes and lead to increased frequencies of forest fires. However, because of variations in climate and species-driven forest structure, fire regimes of North American and Eurasian boreal forests are distinctly different. These differences are generally not accounted for in global models. We quantified variations in fire and burn severity between the two continents using MODIS fire radiative power, differenced Normalized Burn Ratio, and spring albedo. These metrics suggest that Eurasian boreal fires are on average less than half as severe as those in North America. We examine how boreal forest fires may respond to 21st century climate change using the Community Land Model, and consider how these regimes may feed back to climate through fire-emitted aerosols, greenhouse gas fluxes, and land surface characteristics.

  14. Fire dynamics and implications for nitrogen cycling in boreal forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harden, J.W.; Mack, M.; Veldhuis, H.; Gower, S.T.

    2003-01-01

    We used a dynamic, long-term mass balance approach to track cumulative carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) losses to fire in boreal Manitoba over the 6500 years since deglaciation. Estimated C losses to decomposition and fire, combined with measurements of N pools in mature and burned forest floors, suggest that loss of N by combustion has likely resulted in a long-term loss that exceeds the amount of N stored in soil today by 2 to 3 times. These estimates imply that biological N fixation rates could be as high as 5 to 10 times atmospheric deposition rates in boreal regions. At the site scale, the amount of N lost is due to N content of fuels, which varies by stand type and fire severity, which in turn vary with climate and fire dynamics. The interplay of fire frequency, fire severity, and N partitioning during regrowth are important for understanding rates and sustainability of nutrient and carbon cycling over millenia and over broad regions.

  15. Simulating effects of fire disturbance and climate change on boreal forest productivity and evapotranspiration.

    PubMed

    Kang, Sinkyu; Kimball, John S; Running, Steven W

    2006-06-01

    We used a terrestrial ecosystem process model, BIOME-BGC, to investigate historical climate change and fire disturbance effects on regional carbon and water budgets within a 357,500 km(2) portion of the Canadian boreal forest. Historical patterns of increasing atmospheric CO2, climate change, and regional fire activity were used as model drivers to evaluate the relative effects of these impacts to spatial patterns and temporal trends in forest net primary production (NPP) and evapotranspiration (ET). Historical trends of increasing atmospheric CO2 resulted in overall 13% and 5% increases in annual NPP and ET from 1994 to 1996, respectively. NPP was found to be relatively sensitive to changes in air temperature (T(a)), while ET was more sensitive to precipitation (P) change within the ranges of observed climate variability (e.g., +/-2 degrees C for T(a) and +/-20% for P). In addition, the potential effect of climate change related warming on NPP is exacerbated or offset depending on whether these changes are accompanied by respective decreases or increases in precipitation. Historical fire activity generally resulted in reductions of both NPP and ET, which consumed an average of approximately 6% of annual NPP from 1959 to 1996. Areas currently occupied by dry conifer forests were found to be subject to more frequent fire activity, which consumed approximately 8% of annual NPP. The results of this study show that the North American boreal ecosystem is sensitive to historical patterns of increasing atmospheric CO2, climate change and regional fire activity. The relative impacts of these disturbances on NPP and ET interact in complex ways and are spatially variable depending on regional land cover and climate gradients. PMID:16364407

  16. Assessment of boreal forest historical C dynamics in the Yukon River Basin: relative roles of warming and fire regime change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yuan, F.M.; Yi, S.H.; McGuire, A.D.; Johnson, K.D.; Liang, J.; Harden, J.W.; Kasischke, E.S.; Kurz, W.A.

    2012-01-01

    Carbon (C) dynamics of boreal forest ecosystems have substantial implications for efforts to mitigate the rise of atmospheric CO2 and may be substantially influenced by warming and changing wildfire regimes. In this study we applied a large-scale ecosystem model that included dynamics of organic soil horizons and soil organic matter characteristics of multiple pools to assess forest C stock changes of the Yukon River Basin (YRB) in Alaska, USA, and Canada from 1960 through 2006, a period characterized by substantial climate warming and increases in wildfire. The model was calibrated for major forests with data from long-term research sites and evaluated using a forest inventory database. The regional assessment indicates that forest vegetation C storage increased by 46 Tg C, but that total soil C storage did not change appreciably during this period. However, further analysis suggests that C has been continuously lost from the mineral soil horizon since warming began in the 1970s, but has increased in the amorphous organic soil horizon. Based on a factorial experiment, soil C stocks would have increased by 158 Tg C if the YRB had not undergone warming and changes in fire regime. The analysis also identified that warming and changes in fire regime were approximately equivalent in their effects on soil C storage, and interactions between these two suggests that the loss of organic horizon thickness associated with increases in wildfire made deeper soil C stocks more vulnerable to loss via decomposition. Subbasin analyses indicate that C stock changes were primarily sensitive to the fraction of burned forest area within each subbasin and that boreal forest ecosystems in the YRB are currently transitioning from being sinks to sources at ∼0.7% annual area burned. We conclude that it is important for international mitigation efforts focused on controlling atmospheric CO2 to consider how climate warming and changes in fire regime may concurrently affect the CO2 sink

  17. Assessment of boreal forest historical C dynamics in Yukon River Basin: relative roles of warming and fire regime change

    SciTech Connect

    Yuan, Fengming; Yi, Shuhua; McGuire, A. David; Johnson, Kristopher D; Liang, Jingjing; Harden, Jennifer; Kasischke, Eric S.; Kurz, Werner

    2012-01-01

    Carbon (C) dynamics of boreal forest ecosystems have substantial implications for efforts to mitigate the rise of atmospheric CO2 and may be substantially influenced by warming and changing wildfire regimes. In this study we applied a large-scale ecosystem model that included dynamics of organic soil horizons and soil organic matter characteristics of multiple pools to assess forest C stock changes of the Yukon River Basin (YRB) in Alaska, USA, and Canada from 1960 through 2006, a period characterized by substantial climate warming and increases in wildfire. The model was calibrated for major forests with data from long-term research sites and evaluated using a forest inventory database. The regional assessment indicates that forest vegetation C storage increased by 46 Tg C, but that total soil C storage did not change appreciably during this period. However, further analysis suggests that C has been continuously lost from the mineral soil horizon since warming began in the 1970s, but has increased in the amorphous organic soil horizon. Based on a factorial experiment, soil C stocks would have increased by 158 Tg C if the YRB had not undergone warming and changes in fire regime. The analysis also identified that warming and changes in fire regime were approximately equivalent in their effects on soil C storage, and interactions between these two suggests that the loss of organic horizon thickness associated with increases in wildfire made deeper soil C stocks more vulnerable to loss via decomposition. Subbasin analyses indicate that C stock changes were primarily sensitive to the fraction of burned forest area within each subbasin and that boreal forest ecosystems in the YRB are currently transitioning from being sinks to sources at ;0.7% annual area burned. We conclude that it is important for international mitigation efforts focused on controlling atmospheric CO2 to consider how climate warming and changes in fire regime may concurrently affect the CO2 sink

  18. Connecting forest ecosystem and microwave backscatter models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasischke, Eric S.; Christensen, Norman L., Jr.

    1990-01-01

    A procedure is outlined to connect data obtained from active microwave remote sensing systems with forest ecosystem models. The hierarchy of forest ecosystem models is discussed, and the levels at which microwave remote sensing data can be used as inputs are identified. In addition, techniques to utilize forest ecosystem models to assist in the validation of theoretical microwave backscatter models are identified. Several examples to illustrate these connecting processes are presented.

  19. Satellite chlorophyll fluorescence measurements reveal large-scale decoupling of photosynthesis and greenness dynamics in boreal evergreen forests.

    PubMed

    Walther, Sophia; Voigt, Maximilian; Thum, Tea; Gonsamo, Alemu; Zhang, Yongguang; Köhler, Philipp; Jung, Martin; Varlagin, Andrej; Guanter, Luis

    2016-09-01

    Mid-to-high latitude forests play an important role in the terrestrial carbon cycle, but the representation of photosynthesis in boreal forests by current modelling and observational methods is still challenging. In particular, the applicability of existing satellite-based proxies of greenness to indicate photosynthetic activity is hindered by small annual changes in green biomass of the often evergreen tree population and by the confounding effects of background materials such as snow. As an alternative, satellite measurements of sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) can be used as a direct proxy of photosynthetic activity. In this study, the start and end of the photosynthetically active season of the main boreal forests are analysed using spaceborne SIF measurements retrieved from the GOME-2 instrument and compared to that of green biomass, proxied by vegetation indices including the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) derived from MODIS data. We find that photosynthesis and greenness show a similar seasonality in deciduous forests. In high-latitude evergreen needleleaf forests, however, the length of the photosynthetically active period indicated by SIF is up to 6 weeks longer than the green biomass changing period proxied by EVI, with SIF showing a start-of-season of approximately 1 month earlier than EVI. On average, the photosynthetic spring recovery as signalled by SIF occurs as soon as air temperatures exceed the freezing point (2-3 °C) and when the snow on the ground has not yet completely melted. These findings are supported by model data of gross primary production and a number of other studies which evaluated in situ observations of CO2 fluxes, meteorology and the physiological state of the needles. Our results demonstrate the sensitivity of space-based SIF measurements to light-use efficiency of boreal forests and their potential for an unbiased detection of photosynthetic activity even under the challenging conditions interposed by evergreen

  20. Decreases in Soil Moisture and Organic Matter Quality Suppress Microbial Decomposition Following a Boreal Forest Fire

    SciTech Connect

    Holden, Sandra R.; Berhe, Asmeret A.; Treseder, Kathleen K.

    2015-08-01

    Climate warming is projected to increase the frequency and severity of wildfires in boreal forests, and increased wildfire activity may alter the large soil carbon (C) stocks in boreal forests. Changes in boreal soil C stocks that result from increased wildfire activity will be regulated in part by the response of microbial decomposition to fire, but post-fire changes in microbial decomposition are poorly understood. Here, we investigate the response of microbial decomposition to a boreal forest fire in interior Alaska and test the mechanisms that control post-fire changes in microbial decomposition. We used a reciprocal transplant between a recently burned boreal forest stand and a late successional boreal forest stand to test how post-fire changes in abiotic conditions, soil organic matter (SOM) composition, and soil microbial communities influence microbial decomposition. We found that SOM decomposing at the burned site lost 30.9% less mass over two years than SOM decomposing at the unburned site, indicating that post-fire changes in abiotic conditions suppress microbial decomposition. Our results suggest that moisture availability is one abiotic factor that constrains microbial decomposition in recently burned forests. In addition, we observed that burned SOM decomposed more slowly than unburned SOM, but the exact nature of SOM changes in the recently burned stand are unclear. Finally, we found no evidence that post-fire changes in soil microbial community composition significantly affect decomposition. Taken together, our study has demonstrated that boreal forest fires can suppress microbial decomposition due to post-fire changes in abiotic factors and the composition of SOM. Models that predict the consequences of increased wildfires for C storage in boreal forests may increase their predictive power by incorporating the observed negative response of microbial decomposition to boreal wildfires.

  1. CO2 balance of boreal, temperate, and tropical forests derived from a global database

    SciTech Connect

    Luyssaert, S.; Inglima, I.; Jung, M.; Reichstein, Markus; Papale, D.; Piao, S.; Schulze, E.-D.; Wingate, L.; Matteucci, G.; Aubinet, M.; Beer, C.; Bernhofer, C.; Black, K. G.; Bonal, D.; Chambers, J.; Ciais, P.; Davis, Ken J.; Delucia, Evan H.; Dolman, A. J.; Don, A.; Gielen, B.; Grace, John; Granier, A.; Grelle, A.; Griffis, T.; Grunwald, T.; Guidolotti, G.; Hanson, P. J.; Harding, R.; Hollinger, D.; Kolari, P.; Kruijt, B.; Kutsch, W.; Lagergren, F.; Laurila, T.; Law, B.; Le Maire, G.; Lindroth, A.; Magnani, F.; Marek, M.; Mateus, J.; Migliavacca, M.; Mission, L.; Montagnani, L.; Moncrief, J.; Moors, E.; Munger, J. W.; Nikinmaa, E.; Loustau, D.; Pita, G.; Rebmann, C.; Richardson, A. D.; Roupsard, O.; Saigusa, N.; Sanz, M. J.; Seufert, G.; Sorensen, L.; Tang, J.; Valentini, R.; Vesala, T.; Janssens, I. A.

    2007-01-01

    Forests sequester large amounts of atmospheric carbon. However, considerable uncertainties remain regarding the fate of this carbon over both short and long timescales. Relevant data to address these uncertainties have been and are being collected at many sites around the world, but synthesis of these data is still sparse. To facilitate synthesis activities, we have assembled a comprehensive global database for forest ecosystems, which includes carbon budget variables (fluxes and stocks), ecosystem traits (e.g. leaf area index, age) as well as ancillary site information such as management regime, climate and soil characteristics. This can be used to: quantify global, regional to biome-specific carbon-budgets, to re-examine established relationships, test emerging hypotheses about ecosystem functioning (e.g. a constant NEP to GPP), and provide benchmarks for model evaluations. Our synthesis highlighted that globally, gross primary production of forests benefited from higher temperatures and precipitation whereas net primary production saturated beyond a threshold of 1500 mm precipitation or a mean annual temperature of 10 C. The global pattern in NEP was found insensitive to climate and appears to be mainly determined by non-climatic conditions such as successional stage, management, site history and site disturbance. At the biome level, only the carbon fluxes in temperate humid evergreen and temperate humid deciduous forests were sufficiently robust. All other biomes still need further study to reduce uncertainties in their carbon balance. Carbon budgets of boreal semi-arid and tropical semi-arid forests would benefit most from additional data inputs. Closing the CO2-balances of specific biomes required the introduction of closure terms. These closure terms were substantial for all biomes and suggested that to better close carbon balances, more data are needed especially on respiratory processes, advection and on non-CO2 carbon fluxes.

  2. Patterns of NPP, GPP, Respiration and NEP During Boreal Forest Succession

    SciTech Connect

    Goulden, Michael L.; McMillan, Andrew; Winston, Greg; Rocha, Adrian; Manies, Kristen; Harden, Jennifer W.; Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin

    2010-12-15

    We deployed a mesonet of year-round eddy covariance towers in boreal forest stands that last burned in ~1850, ~1930, 1964, 1981, 1989, 1998, and 2003 to understand how CO2 exchange changes during secondary succession.The strategy of using multiple methods, including biometry and micrometeorology, worked well. In particular, the three independent measures of NEP during succession gave similar results. A stratified and tiered approach to deploying eddy covariance systems that combines many lightweight and portable towers with a few permanent ones is likely to maximize the science return for a fixed investment. The existing conceptual models did a good job of capturing the dominant patterns of NPP, GPP, Respiration and NEP during succession. The initial loss of carbon following disturbance was neither as protracted nor large as predicted. This muted response reflects both the rapid regrowth of vegetation following fire and the prevalence of standing coarse woody debris following the fire, which is thought to decay slowly. In general, the patterns of forest recovery from disturbance should be expected to vary as a function of climate, ecosystem type and disturbance type. The NPP decline at the older stands appears related to increased Rauto rather than decreased GPP. The increase in Rauto in the older stands does not appear to be caused by accelerated maintenance respiration with increased biomass, and more likely involves increased allocation to fine root turnover, root metabolism, alternative forms of respiration, mycorrhizal relationships, or root exudates, possibly associated with progressive nutrient limitation. Several studies have now described a similar pattern of NEP following boreal fire, with 10-to-15 years of modest carbon loss followed by 50-to-100 years of modest carbon gain. This trend has been sufficiently replicated and evaluated using independent techniques that it can be used to quantify the likely effects of changes in boreal fire frequency and

  3. Air pollutants effects on forest ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-01-01

    This book presents the papers given at a conference on the effects of acid rain on forests. The conference was sponsored by the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP). Topics considered at the conference included the status of US research on acid deposition and its effects contributing factors to the decline of forests, evidence for effects on ecosystems, the effects of air pollutants on forest ecosystems in North America and Europe, forest management, and future scientific research programs and management approaches.

  4. The impact of boreal deciduous and evergreen forests on atmospheric CO2 seasonality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welp, L.; Graven, H. D.; Keeling, R. F.; Bi, J.

    2015-12-01

    The seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO2 is largely controlled by the terrestrial biosphere. It is well known that the seasonal amplitude of net ecosystem productivity (NEP) is the largest in the far north, where forest productivity is compressed into a short growing season. Since 1960, the seasonal amplitude of atmospheric CO2 north of 45N has increased by 35-55%. The increase in the seasonal amplitude is a difficult benchmark for coupled climate-carbon models to replicate. In fact, the models vary widely in their mean seasonal cycle representation. The boreal region has a strong influence on CO2 seasonality at Barrow. Deciduous and evergreen plant functional types (PFTs) have different patterns of NEP. We identified four pairs of nearby deciduous and evergreen forest PFTs with eddy covariance measurements. Evergreen forests show an early peak in NEP in May-June, while deciduous forests have a larger peak in NEP later in June-July. The influence of each PFT on the seasonal cycle at Barrow was computed from atmospheric transport results. We normalized the amplitude influence by the growing season NEP of the tower-based PFT flux and found that deciduous forests have 1.4 to 1.8 times more influence (per unit of growing season NEP) at Barrow than evergreen PFT. This diagnosis depends on the timing of the sharp seasonal draw-down at Barrow, which occurs too late to be explained by evergreen forests. The cycle at Barrow therefore appears to be strongly influenced by deciduous PFT, despite the dominance of evergreen PFTs in boreal forests. This paradoxical conclusion is also reached when examining the seasonality of land surface fluxes calculated using atmospheric inverse methods. We examine how these different PFTs, and possible trends in relative abundance, affect the seasonality of atmosphere CO2 using FluxNet data and atmospheric transport modelling. Our results highlight the importance of parameterizing multiple PFTs or individual species within grid cells in models in

  5. Preliminary Assessment of JERS-1 SAR to Discriminating Boreal Landscape Features for the Boreal Forest Mapping Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McDonald, Kyle; Williams, Cynthia; Podest, Erika; Chapman, Bruce

    1999-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of the JERS-1 North American Boreal Forest Mapping Project and a preliminary assessment of JERS-1 SAR imagery for application to discriminating features applicable to boreal landscape processes. The present focus of the JERS-1 North American Boreal Forest Mapping Project is the production of continental scale wintertime and summertime SAR mosaics of the North American boreal forest for distribution to the science community. As part of this effort, JERS-1 imagery has been collected over much of Alaska and Canada during the 1997-98 winter and 1998 summer seasons. To complete the mosaics, these data will be augmented with data collected during previous years. These data will be made available to the scientific community via CD ROM containing these and similar data sets compiled from companion studies of Asia and Europe. Regional landscape classification with SAR is important for the baseline information it will provide about distribution of woodlands, positions of treeline, current forest biomass, distribution of wetlands, and extent of major rivercourses. As well as setting the stage for longer term change detection, comparisons across several years provides additional baseline information about short-term landscape change. Rapid changes, including those driven by fire, permafrost heat balance, flooding, and insect outbreaks can dominate boreal systems. We examine JERS-1 imagery covering selected sites in Alaska and Canada to assess quality and applicability to such relevant ecological and hydrological issues. The data are generally of high quality and illustrate many potential applications. A texture-based classification scheme is applied to selected regions to assess the applicability of these data for distinguishing distribution of such landcover types as wetland, tundra, woodland and forested landscapes.

  6. Decadal and long-term boreal soil carbon and nitrogen sequestration rates across a variety of ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manies, Kristen L.; Harden, Jennifer W.; Fuller, Christopher C.; Turetsky, Merritt

    2016-01-01

    Boreal soils play a critical role in the global carbon (C) cycle; therefore, it is important to understand the mechanisms that control soil C accumulation and loss for this region. Examining C & nitrogen (N) accumulation rates over decades to centuries may provide additional understanding of the dominant mechanisms for their storage, which can be masked by seasonal and interannual variability when investigated over the short term. We examined longer-term accumulation rates, using 210Pb and 14C to date soil layers, for a wide variety of boreal ecosystems: a black spruce forest, a shrub ecosystem, a tussock grass ecosystem, a sedge-dominated ecosystem, and a rich fen. All ecosystems had similar decadal C accumulation rates, averaging 84 ± 42 gC m−2 yr−1. Long-term (century) C accumulation rates were slower than decadal rates, averaging 14 ± 5 gC m−2 yr−1 for all ecosystems except the rich fen, for which the long-term C accumulation rates was more similar to decadal rates (44 ± 5 and 76 ± 9 gC m−2 yr−1, respectively). The rich fen also had the highest long-term N accumulation rates (2.7 gN m−2 yr−1). The lowest N accumulation rate, on both a decadal and long-term basis, was found in the black spruce forest (0.2 and 1.4 gN m−2 yr−1, respectively). Our results suggest that the controls on long-term C and N cycling at the rich fen is fundamentally different from the other ecosystems, likely due to differences in the predominant drivers of nutrient cycling (oxygen availability, for C) and reduced amounts of disturbance by fire (for C and N). This result implies that most shifts in ecosystem vegetation across the boreal region, driven by either climate or succession, will not significantly impact regional C or N dynamics over years to decades. However, ecosystem transitions to or from a rich fen will promote significant shifts in soil C and N storage.

  7. Decadal and long-term boreal soil carbon and nitrogen sequestration rates across a variety of ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manies, Kristen L.; Harden, Jennifer W.; Fuller, Christopher C.; Turetsky, Merritt R.

    2016-08-01

    Boreal soils play a critical role in the global carbon (C) cycle; therefore, it is important to understand the mechanisms that control soil C accumulation and loss for this region. Examining C & nitrogen (N) accumulation rates over decades to centuries may provide additional understanding of the dominant mechanisms for their storage, which can be masked by seasonal and interannual variability when investigated over the short term. We examined longer-term accumulation rates, using 210Pb and 14C to date soil layers, for a wide variety of boreal ecosystems: a black spruce forest, a shrub ecosystem, a tussock grass ecosystem, a sedge-dominated ecosystem, and a rich fen. All ecosystems had similar decadal C accumulation rates, averaging 84 ± 42 gC m-2 yr-1. Long-term (century) C accumulation rates were slower than decadal rates, averaging 14 ± 5 gC m-2 yr-1 for all ecosystems except the rich fen, for which the long-term C accumulation rates was more similar to decadal rates (44 ± 5 and 76 ± 9 gC m-2 yr-1, respectively). The rich fen also had the highest long-term N accumulation rates (2.7 gN m-2 yr-1). The lowest N accumulation rate, on both a decadal and long-term basis, was found in the black spruce forest (0.2 and 1.4 gN m-2 yr-1, respectively). Our results suggest that the controls on long-term C and N cycling at the rich fen is fundamentally different from the other ecosystems, likely due to differences in the predominant drivers of nutrient cycling (oxygen availability, for C) and reduced amounts of disturbance by fire (for C and N). This result implies that most shifts in ecosystem vegetation across the boreal region, driven by either climate or succession, will not significantly impact regional C or N dynamics over years to decades. However, ecosystem transitions to or from a rich fen will promote significant shifts in soil C and N storage.

  8. Organic matter biogeochemistry in the western boreal forest of Canada (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norris, C. E.; Mercier Quideau, S.

    2013-12-01

    The western boreal forest of Canada is characterized by mixed and pure stands of aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) and pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.). This study presents results on the characterization and cycling of soil organic matter in these boreal ecosystems derived from examining both climatic and edaphic gradients. The extent of decomposition for pine forest floors was observed to decrease with increasing stand age and decreasing temperature along a latitudinal climatic transect as determined by solid state nuclear magnetic resonance. In a survey of mature aspen, spruce and pine sites, forest floors reflected the dominant vegetative inputs as demonstrated by long chain (≥ C21) n-alkane biomarkers. Utilizing a range of techniques, including compound-specific analysis of phospholipid fatty acids in a laboratory incubation, we determined that while soil microbial communities under aspen and spruce both readily consumed 13C-glucose, their structures remained unique. We also were interested in determining the response of aspen and spruce soil microbial communities to more complex vegetation inputs, and consequently generated double labelled (13C and 15N) aspen litter using multiple pulses of 13CO2(g) and K15NO3(l). Enriched aspen leaves were then applied in the field to the forest floors of aspen and spruce stands. Nitrogen cycling readily occurred on both sites as evidenced by 15N enrichment of above-ground vegetation. While the soil microbial community structures remained distinct between the two stand types across the field incubation, there was overlap in terms of the microorganisms involved in the decomposition of the applied organic matter.

  9. Traditional use of medicinal plants in the boreal forest of Canada: review and perspectives

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The boreal forest of Canada is home to several hundred thousands Aboriginal people who have been using medicinal plants in traditional health care systems for thousands of years. This knowledge, transmitted by oral tradition from generation to generation, has been eroding in recent decades due to rapid cultural change. Until now, published reviews about traditional uses of medicinal plants in boreal Canada have focused either on particular Aboriginal groups or on restricted regions. Here, we present a review of traditional uses of medicinal plants by the Aboriginal people of the entire Canadian boreal forest in order to provide comprehensive documentation, identify research gaps, and suggest perspectives for future research. Methods A review of the literature published in scientific journals, books, theses and reports. Results A total of 546 medicinal plant taxa used by the Aboriginal people of the Canadian boreal forest were reported in the reviewed literature. These plants were used to treat 28 disease and disorder categories, with the highest number of species being used for gastro-intestinal disorders, followed by musculoskeletal disorders. Herbs were the primary source of medicinal plants, followed by shrubs. The medicinal knowledge of Aboriginal peoples of the western Canadian boreal forest has been given considerably less attention by researchers. Canada is lacking comprehensive policy on harvesting, conservation and use of medicinal plants. This could be explained by the illusion of an infinite boreal forest, or by the fact that many boreal medicinal plant species are widely distributed. Conclusion To our knowledge, this review is the most comprehensive to date to reveal the rich traditional medicinal knowledge of Aboriginal peoples of the Canadian boreal forest. Future ethnobotanical research endeavours should focus on documenting the knowledge held by Aboriginal groups that have so far received less attention, particularly those of the western

  10. Forest management and biodiversity conservation based on natural ecosystem dynamics in northern Europe: the complexity challenge.

    PubMed

    Kuuluvainen, Timo

    2009-09-01

    Recent research in northern Europe has revised many long-held conceptions of the complexity of forest ecosystems and their natural structure and dynamics. The unveiling of the picture of natural characteristics of forest ecosystem structure and dynamics reveals much more diversity than its traditional complement, highlighting the importance of non-stand-replacing disturbances and the associated heterogeneous and dynamic stand and landscape structures. This increasing detail is a reflection of a fundamental change in the ecological understanding of forests as complex ecosystems. In particular, the generalization that the boreal forest is regulated by fierce stand-replacing disturbances, leading to the dominance of even-aged stand successions, has been disproved. However, this misconception has, until now, been repeated and used to legitimize the dominant practice of clear-cutting as a nature-based way to manage the forest. The practical conclusion of this review paper is that the dominating forest management model in North European boreal forests, which is based on the clear-cut harvesting of timber and growing of even-aged stands, is in contradiction with the variable and complex characteristics of the disturbance-succession cycle observed in naturally dynamic forests with negligible human impact. As a consequence, the structural variation of the boreal forest under management has been grossly truncated compared with its natural range. Because of this, and due to the scarcity of protection areas in many regions of northern Europe, it is not likely that the conservation of native biodiversity and ecological sustainability will be attained, assuming that the model of forest management remains unchanged. Thus, there is a strong incentive for change in the prevailing forest management model toward one that is based on natural ecosystem dynamics and an understanding of forests as complex systems. PMID:19860154

  11. 3D simulation of boreal forests: structure and dynamics in complex terrain and in a changing climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazhnik, Ksenia; Shugart, Herman H.

    2015-10-01

    To understand how the Siberian boreal forests may respond to near-future climate change, we employed a modeling approach and examined thresholds for significant and irreversible changes in forest structure and composition that are likely to be reached by mid-21st century. We applied the new spatially-explicit gap-dynamics model SIBBORK toward the understanding of how transition zones, namely treelines, which are notoriously undersampled and difficult to model, may change in the near future. We found that a 2 °C change in annual average air temperature significantly altered the structure, composition, and productivity of boreal forests stands both in the northern and the southern treeline ecotones. Treeline migration occurs at smaller temperature changes. Based on the current (1990-2014) observed warming trends, a 2 °C increase in annual average temperature compared to historical climate (1961-1990) is likely to be experienced at the northern treeline by 2040 and at the southern treeline by 2050. With regards to the forest biome, the most significant warming to date has been predicted and observed in Siberia. A 2 °C increase in annual average temperature compared to the second half of the 19th century is smaller than the predictions of even the most conservative RCP2.6 climate change scenario (IPCC 2013), and has previously been assumed to not likely result in dramatic changes to ecosystems or biome shifts. We show that at a +2 °C change, biome shifts from forest to steppe are likely to occur across a large area in southern Siberia. These changes in land cover will inevitably result in changes in the biodiversity, carbon storage, and the ecosystem services provided by the boreal forests of southern Siberia.

  12. Long-term 15N tracking from biological N fixation across different plant and humus components of the boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arroniz-Crespo, Maria; Jones, David L.; Zackrisson, Olle; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; DeLuca, Thomas H.

    2014-05-01

    Biological N2 fixation by cyanobacteria associated with feather mosses is an important cog in the nitrogen (N) cycle of boreal forests; still, our understanding of the turnover and fate of N fixed by this association remains greatly incomplete. The 15N signature of plants and soil serves as a powerful tool to explore N dynamics in forest ecosystems. In particular, in the present study we aimed to investigate the contribution of N2 fixation to δ15N signatures of plants and humus component of the boreal forest. Here we present results from a long-term (7 years) tacking of labelled 15N2 across the humus layer, seedlings of the tree species Pinus sylvestris, two common dwarf shrub species (Empetrum hermaphroditum and Vaccinium vitis-idaea) and the feather moss Pleurozium schreibery. The enriched experiment was conducted in 2005 in a natural boreal forest in northern Sweden. Two different treatments (10% 15N2 headspace enrichment and control) were setup in nine different plots (0.5 x 0.5 m) within the forest. We observed a significant reduction of δ15N signature of the 15N-enriched moss that could be explained by a growth dilution effect. Nevertheless, after 5 years since 15N2 enrichment some of the label 15N was still detected on the moss and in particular in the dead tissue. We could not detect a clear transfer of the labelled 15N2 from the moss-cyanobacteria system to other components of the ecosystem. However, we found consistence relationship through time between increments of δ15N signature of some of the forest components in plots which exhibited higher N fixation rates in the moss. In particular, changes in natural abundance δ15N that could be associated with N fixation were more apparent in the humus layer, the dwarf shrub Vaccinium vitis-idaea and the pine seedlings when comparing across plots and years.

  13. Measurements of aerosol chemical composition in boreal forest summer conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ńijälä, M.; Junninen, H.; Ehn, M.; Petäjä, T.; Vogel, A.; Hoffmann, T.; Corrigan, A.; Russell, L.; Makkonen, U.; Virkkula, A.; Mäntykenttä, J.; Kulmala, M.; Worsnop, D.

    2012-04-01

    Boreal forests are an important biome, covering vast areas of the northern hemisphere and affecting the global climate change via various feedbacks [1]. Despite having relatively few anthropogenic primary aerosol sources, they always contain a non-negligible aerosol population [2]. This study describes aerosol chemical composition measurements using Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (C-ToF AMS, [3]), carried out at a boreal forest area in Hyytiälä, Southern Finland. The site, Helsinki University SMEAR II measurement station [4], is situated at a homogeneous Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) forest stand. In addition to the station's permanent aerosol, gas phase and meteorological instruments, during the HUMPPA (Hyytiälä United Measurements of Photochemistry and Particles in Air) campaign in July 2010, a very comprehensive set of atmospheric chemistry measurement instrumentation was provided by the Max Planck Institute for chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg-University, University of California and the Finnish Meteorological institute. In this study aerosol chemical composition measurements from the campaign are presented. The dominant aerosol chemical species during the campaign were the organics, although periods with elevated amounts of particulate sulfates were also seen. The overall AMS measured particle mass concentrations varied from near zero to 27 μg/m observed during a forest fire smoke episode. The AMS measured aerosol mass loadings were found to agree well with DMPS derived mass concentrations (r2=0.998). The AMS data was also compared with three other aerosol instruments. The Marga instrument [5] was used to provide a quantitative semi-online measurement of inorganic chemical compounds in particle phase. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis was performed on daily filter samples, enabling the identification and quantification of organic aerosol subspecies. Finally an Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer (APCI

  14. Studies of microwave scattering and canopy architecture for boreal forests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lockhart, G. Lance; Gogineni, S. P.

    1994-01-01

    Our primary objectives during the last year have been to develop a helicopter-borne radar system for measuring microwave backscatter from vegetation and to use this system to study the characteristics of backscatter from the boreal forest. Our research is aimed at refining the current microwave models and using these improvements for more accurate interpretation of SAR data. SAR data are very useful for monitoring the boreal forest region because of the microwave signal's ability to penetrate clouds and to see at night. Meeting these objectives involves several stages of development. The first stage is the design and implementation of a frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FM-CW) radar system with the capability of measuring backscatter at three frequencies and four polarizations at each frequency. These requirements necessitate a twelve-channel radar system. Using three frequencies is advantageous because it allows us to look at different parts of the canopy. For instance, the lower frequency signal penetrates deeper into the canopy and allows us to see the ground while the high frequency signal is scattered more by the leaves and needles and typically does not penetrate to the floor of the forest. We designed the radar starting with the antenna system. We then developed the intermediate frequency (IF) and radio frequency (RF) sections of the radar. Also, the need to collect data from twelve channels during each flight line presented a complex data acquisition problem that we solved by using a high-speed data acquisition board. After construction, the radar was tested at the lab. We performed extensive testing of the IF and RF systems of the radar during this time. Once we were satisfied with the operation of the radar it was shipped to Canada for use in the second intensive field campaign (IFC-2) from July 16 - August 8, 1994. During IFC-2, we collected backscatter data over the experimental sites in the southern study area (SSA). Additionally, we used a ground

  15. ECOLOGICAL RESPONSE SURFACES FOR NORTH AMERICAN BOREAL TREE SPECIES AND THEIR USE IN FOREST CLASSIFICATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Empirical ecological response surfaces were derived for eight dominant tree species in the boreal forest region of Canada. tepwise logistic regression was used to model species dominance as a response to five climatic predictor variables. he predictor variables (annual snowfall, ...

  16. UAVSAR's first campaign over temperate and boreal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simard, M.; Pinto, N.; Dubayah, R.; Hensley, S.

    2009-12-01

    We present the first analysis and results of the August 2009 UAVSAR and field campaign in temperate and boreal forests. UAVSAR is an airborne fully polarimetric L-band radar capable of repeat-pass interferometry (inSAR). We focus on 3 sites located in New Hampshire, Maine and Québec. The UAVSAR sites covered Bartlett, Hubbard Brook, Penobscot, Howland and Mont-Morency experimental forests in addition to covering part of White Mountain National Forest, Laurentides Wildlife Reserve, Jacques-Cartier and Grand-Jardins National Parks. We collected field data on forest structure in a total of 50 plots with measurements including tree height, DBH, species as well as crown sizes. We compiled the field data to derive canopy structure metrics such as canopy height and tree size class distribution. UAVSAR collected data over the 3 sites on 4 different days spread throughout the 11-day campaign. This timing strategy was to enable us to investigate the impact of temporal change on inSAR coherence. However, in this presentation, we focus on the analysis of single coherence measurements and polarimetric radar backscatter. We investigate their dependence on vegetation type, slope as well as weather. This is achieved by direct comparison with field, forestry and lidar data, and with a 3D vegetation model. We use a "Regression Tree" model with explicit relationships between field- and lidar-estimated canopy heights, environmental variables, radar backscatter and coherence, and MODIS percent tree cover. We assess the potential of this approach and the usefulness of each input datasets. Finally, we report on the specific accuracy of L-band radar polarimetry to estimate biomass throughout the UAVSAR sites. UAVSAR first image near Quebec city.

  17. Nitrous oxide uptake rates in boreal coniferous forests are associated with soil characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siljanen, Henri; Biasi, Christina; Martikainen, Pertti

    2014-05-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a strong greenhouse gas and a significant contributor to the destruction of the ozone layer. The radiative forcing of N2O is considered to be 320 more efficient than carbon dioxide.The major portion of global N2O is emitted from agricultural soils. There are studies suggesting that N2O has also a sink in forest soils. However there is relatively limited knowledge on factors controlling N2O consumption in forest soils. Hence N2O consumption was studied in boreal coniferous forests having different forest cover, soil chemical and physical structure and land-use history. The N2O consumption was measured by static chamber technique in the field across spatio-seasonal sampling design. Typical and atypical denitrifiers were quantified with nosZ functional gene marker. Additionally chemical and physical environmental parameters were analyzed to link N2O flux, microbial community and composition of soils. Nitrous oxide uptake could be associated with specific ecosystem and environmental conditions. Soil physical structure and land-use history were shown to be prior factors determining the strength of the uptake rate.

  18. Boreal forest soil erosion and soil-atmosphere carbon exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Billings, S. A.; Harden, J. W.; O'Donnell, J.; Sierra, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    did not induce meaningful changes in model estimates of atmospheric C source or sink strength, likely due to the low turnover rate of SOC in this system. However, variation in mineral soil erosion rates induced large shifts in the source and sink strengths for atmospheric C; after 50 y of mineral soil erosion at 5 cm y-1, we observed a maximum C source of 35 kg C m-2 and negligible sink strength. Doubling the erosion rate approximately doubled the source strength. Scaling these estimates to the region requires estimates of the area undergoing mineral soil erosion in forests similar to those modeled. We suggest that erosion is an important but little studied feature of fire-driven boreal systems that will influence atmospheric CO2 budgets.

  19. Seasonality and nitrogen supply modify carbon partitioning in understory vegetation of a boreal coniferous forest.

    PubMed

    Hasselquist, N J; Metcalfe, D B; Marshall, J D; Lucas, R W; Högberg, P

    2016-03-01

    Given the strong coupling between the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles, there is substantial interest in understanding how N availability affects C cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, especially in ecosystems limited by N. However, most studies in temperate and boreal forests have focused on the effects of N addition on tree growth. By comparison, less is known about the effects of N availability on the cycling of C in understory vegetation despite some evidence that dwarf shrubs, mosses, and lichens play an important role in the forest C balance. In this study, we used an in situ 13CO2 pulse-labeling technique to examine the short-term dynamics of C partitioning in understory vegetation in three boreal Pinus sylvestris forest stands exposed to different rates of N addition: a low and high N addition that receive annual additions of NH4NO3 of 20 and 100 kg N/ha, respectively, and this is a typo. It should be an unfertilized control. Labeling was conducted at two distinct periods (early vs. late growing season), which provided a seasonal picture of how N addition affects C dynamics in understory vegetation. In contrast to what has been found in trees, there was no obvious trend in belowground C partitioning in ericaceous plants in response to N additions or seasonality. Increasing N addition led to a greater percentage of 13C being incorporated into ericaceous leaves with a high turnover, whereas high rates of N addition strongly reduced the incorporation of 13C into less degradable moss tissues. Addition of N also resulted in a greater percentage of the 13C label being respired back to the atmosphere and an overall reduction in total understory carbon use efficiency. Taken together, our results suggest a faster cycling of C in understory vegetation with increasing N additions; yet the magnitude of this general response was strongly dependent on the amount of N added and varied seasonally. These results provide some of the first in situ C and N partitioning

  20. Patterns of NPP, GPP, respiration, and NEP during boreal forest succession

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goulden, M.L.; Mcmillan, A.M.S.; Winston, G.C.; Rocha, A.V.; Manies, K.L.; Harden, J.W.; Bond-Lamberty, B. P.

    2011-01-01

    We combined year-round eddy covariance with biometry and biomass harvests along a chronosequence of boreal forest stands that were 1, 6, 15, 23, 40, 74, and 154 years old to understand how ecosystem production and carbon stocks change during recovery from stand-replacing crown fire. Live biomass (Clive) was low in the 1 and 6 year old stands, and increased following a logistic pattern to high levels in the 74 and 154year old stands. Carbon stocks in the forest floor (Cforest floor) and coarse woody debris (CCWD) were comparatively high in the 1year old stand, reduced in the 6 through 40year old stands, and highest in the 74 and 154year old stands. Total net primary production (TNPP) was reduced in the 1 and 6year old stands, highest in the 23 through 74year old stands and somewhat reduced in the 154year old stand. The NPP decline at the 154year old stand was related to increased autotrophic respiration rather than decreased gross primary production (GPP). Net ecosystem production (NEP), calculated by integrated eddy covariance, indicated the 1 and 6 year old stands were losing carbon, the 15year old stand was gaining a small amount of carbon, the 23 and 74year old stands were gaining considerable carbon, and the 40 and 154year old stands were gaining modest amounts of carbon. The recovery from fire was rapid; a linear fit through the NEP observations at the 6 and 15year old stands indicated the transition from carbon source to sink occurred within 11-12 years. The NEP decline at the 154year old stand appears related to increased losses from Clive by tree mortality and possibly from Cforest floor by decomposition. Our findings support the idea that NPP, carbon production efficiency (NPP/GPP), NEP, and carbon storage efficiency (NEP/TNPP) all decrease in old boreal stands. ?? 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  1. Impact of Forest Harvesting on Trophic Structure of Eastern Canadian Boreal Shield Lakes: Insights from Stable Isotope Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Glaz, Patricia; Sirois, Pascal; Archambault, Philippe; Nozais, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Perturbations on ecosystems can have profound immediate effects and can, accordingly, greatly alter the natural community. Land-use such as forestry activities in the Canadian Boreal region have increased in the last decades, raising concerns about their potential impact on aquatic ecosystems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of forest harvesting on trophic structure in eastern Canadian Boreal Shield lakes. We measured carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes values for aquatic primary producers, terrestrial detritus, benthic macroinvertebrates, zooplankton and brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) over a three-year period in eight eastern Boreal Shield lakes. Four lakes were studied before, one and two years after forest harvesting (perturbed lakes) and compared with four undisturbed reference lakes (unperturbed lakes) sampled at the same time. Stable isotope mixing models showed leaf-litter to be the main food source for benthic primary consumers in both perturbed and unperturbed lakes, suggesting no logging impact on allochthonous subsidies to the littoral food web. Brook trout derived their food mainly from benthic predatory macroinvertebrates in unperturbed lakes. However, in perturbed lakes one year after harvesting, zooplankton appeared to be the main contributor to brook trout diet. This change in brook trout diet was mitigated two years after harvesting. Size-related diet shift were also observed for brook trout, indicating a diet shift related to size. Our study suggests that carbon from terrestrial habitat may be a significant contribution to the food web of oligotrophic Canadian Boreal Shield lakes. Forest harvesting did not have an impact on the diet of benthic primary consumers. On the other hand, brook trout diet composition was affected by logging with greater zooplankton contribution in perturbed lakes, possibly induced by darker-colored environment in these lakes one year after logging. PMID:24763366

  2. Impact of forest harvesting on trophic structure of eastern Canadian Boreal Shield lakes: insights from stable isotope analyses.

    PubMed

    Glaz, Patricia; Sirois, Pascal; Archambault, Philippe; Nozais, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Perturbations on ecosystems can have profound immediate effects and can, accordingly, greatly alter the natural community. Land-use such as forestry activities in the Canadian Boreal region have increased in the last decades, raising concerns about their potential impact on aquatic ecosystems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of forest harvesting on trophic structure in eastern Canadian Boreal Shield lakes. We measured carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes values for aquatic primary producers, terrestrial detritus, benthic macroinvertebrates, zooplankton and brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) over a three-year period in eight eastern Boreal Shield lakes. Four lakes were studied before, one and two years after forest harvesting (perturbed lakes) and compared with four undisturbed reference lakes (unperturbed lakes) sampled at the same time. Stable isotope mixing models showed leaf-litter to be the main food source for benthic primary consumers in both perturbed and unperturbed lakes, suggesting no logging impact on allochthonous subsidies to the littoral food web. Brook trout derived their food mainly from benthic predatory macroinvertebrates in unperturbed lakes. However, in perturbed lakes one year after harvesting, zooplankton appeared to be the main contributor to brook trout diet. This change in brook trout diet was mitigated two years after harvesting. Size-related diet shift were also observed for brook trout, indicating a diet shift related to size. Our study suggests that carbon from terrestrial habitat may be a significant contribution to the food web of oligotrophic Canadian Boreal Shield lakes. Forest harvesting did not have an impact on the diet of benthic primary consumers. On the other hand, brook trout diet composition was affected by logging with greater zooplankton contribution in perturbed lakes, possibly induced by darker-colored environment in these lakes one year after logging. PMID:24763366

  3. The summertime Boreal forest field measurement intensive (HUMPPA-COPEC-2010): an overview of meteorological and chemical influences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, J.; Crowley, J.; Fischer, H.; Harder, H.; Martinez, M.; Petäjä, T.; Rinne, J.; Bäck, J.; Boy, M.; Dal Maso, M.; Hakala, J.; Kajos, M.; Keronen, P.; Rantala, P.; Aalto, J.; Aaltonen, H.; Paatero, J.; Vesala, T.; Hakola, H.; Levula, J.; Pohja, T.; Herrmann, F.; Auld, J.; Mesarchaki, E.; Song, W.; Yassaa, N.; Nölscher, A.; Johnson, A. M.; Custer, T.; Sinha, V.; Thieser, J.; Pouvesle, N.; Taraborrelli, D.; Tang, M. J.; Bozem, H.; Hosaynali-Beygi, Z.; Axinte, R.; Oswald, R.; Novelli, A.; Kubistin, D.; Hens, K.; Javed, U.; Trawny, K.; Breitenberger, C.; Hidalgo, P. J.; Ebben, C. J.; Geiger, F. M.; Corrigan, A. L.; Russell, L. M.; Ouwersloot, H. G.; Vilà-Guerau de Arellano, J.; Ganzeveld, L.; Vogel, A.; Beck, M.; Bayerle, A.; Kampf, C. J.; Bertelmann, M.; Köllner, F.; Hoffmann, T.; Valverde, J.; González, D.; Riekkola, M.-L.; Kulmala, M.; Lelieveld, J.

    2011-10-01

    This paper describes the background, instrumentation, goals, and the regional influences on the HUMPPA-COPEC intensive field measurement campaign, conducted at the Boreal forest research station SMEAR II (Station for Measuring Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relation) in Hyytiälä, Finland from 12 July-12 August 2010. The prevailing meteorological conditions during the campaign are examined and contrasted with those of the past six years. Back trajectory analyses show that meteorological conditions at the site in 2010 were characterized by a higher proportion of southerly flow than in the other years studied. As a result the summer of 2010 was anomalously warm and high in ozone making the campaign relevant for the analysis of possible future climates. A comprehensive land use analysis, provided on both 5 and 50 km scales, shows that the main vegetation types surrounding the site on both the regional and local scales are: coniferous forest (Scots pine and/or Norway spruce); mixed forest (Birch and conifers); and woodland scrub (e.g. Willows, Aspen); indicating that the campaign results can be taken as representative of the Boreal forest ecosystem. In addition to the influence of biogenic emissions, the measurement site was occasionally impacted by sources other than vegetation. Specific tracers have been used here to identify the time periods when such sources have impacted the site namely: biomass burning (acetonitrile and CO), urban anthropogenic pollution (pentane and SO2) and the nearby Korkeakoski sawmill (enantiomeric ratio of chiral monoterpenes). None of these sources dominated the study period, allowing the Boreal forest summertime emissions to be assessed and contrasted with various other source signatures.

  4. The summertime Boreal forest field measurement intensive (HUMPPA-COPEC-2010): an overview of meteorological and chemical influences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, J.; Crowley, J.; Fischer, H.; Harder, H.; Martinez, M.; Petäjä, T.; Rinne, J.; Bäck, J.; Boy, M.; Dal Maso, M.; Hakala, J.; Kajos, M.; Keronen, P.; Rantala, P.; Aalto, J.; Aaltonen, H.; Paatero, J.; Vesala, T.; Hakola, H.; Levula, J.; Pohja, T.; Herrmann, F.; Auld, J.; Mesarchaki, E.; Song, W.; Yassaa, N.; Nölscher, A.; Johnson, A. M.; Custer, T.; Sinha, V.; Thieser, J.; Pouvesle, N.; Taraborrelli, D.; Tang, M. J.; Bozem, H.; Hosaynali-Beygi, Z.; Axinte, R.; Oswald, R.; Novelli, A.; Kubistin, D.; Hens, K.; Javed, U.; Trawny, K.; Breitenberger, C.; Hidalgo, P. J.; Ebben, C. J.; Geiger, F. M.; Corrigan, A. L.; Russell, L. M.; Ouwersloot, H.; Vilà-Guerau de Arellano, J.; Ganzeveld, L.; Vogel, A.; Beck, M.; Bayerle, A.; Kampf, C. J.; Bertelmann, M.; Köllner, F.; Hoffmann, T.; Valverde, J.; González, D.; Riekkola, M.-L.; Kulmala, M.; Lelieveld, J.

    2011-05-01

    This paper describes the background, instrumentation, goals, and the regional influences on the HUMPPA-COPEC intensive field measurement campaign, conducted at the Boreal forest research station SMEAR II (Station for Measuring Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relation) in Hyytiälä, Finland from 12 July-12 August 2010. The prevailing meteorological conditions during the campaign are examined and contrasted with those of the past six years. Back trajectory analyses show that meteorological conditions at the site were characterized by a higher proportion of southerly flow. As a result the summer of 2010 was anomalously warm and high in ozone making the campaign relevant for the analysis of possible future climates. A comprehensive land use analysis, provided on both 5 and 50 km scales, shows that the main vegetation types surrounding the site on both the regional and local scales are: coniferous forest (Scots pine and/or Norway spruce); mixed forest (Birch and conifers); and woodland scrub (e.g. Willows, Aspen); indicating that the campaign results can be taken as representative of the Boreal forest ecosystem. In addition to the influence of biogenic emissions, the measurement site was occasionally impacted by sources other than vegetation. Specific tracers have been used here to identify the time periods when such sources have impacted the site namely: biomass burning (acetonitrile and CO), urban anthropogenic pollution (pentane and SO2) and the nearby Korkeakoski sawmill (enantiomeric ratio of chiral monoterpenes). None of these sources dominated the study period, allowing the Boreal forest summertime emissions to be assessed and contrasted with various other source signatures.

  5. The summertime Boreal forest field measurement intensive (HUMPPA-COPEC-2010): an overview of meteorological and chemical influences.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, J.; Petäjä, T.

    2012-04-01

    This submission describes the background, instrumentation, goals, and the regional influences on the HUMPPA-COPEC intensive field measurement campaign, conducted at the Boreal forest research station SMEAR II (Station for Measuring Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relation) in Hyytiälä, Finland from 12th July-12th August 2010. The prevailing meteorological conditions during the campaign are examined and contrasted with those of the past six years. Back trajectory analyses show that meteorological conditions at the site in 2010 were characterized by a higher proportion of southerly flow than in the other years studied. As a result the summer of 2010 was anomalously warm and high in ozone making the campaign relevant for the analysis of possible future climates. A comprehensive land use analysis, provided on both 5 and 50 km scales, shows that the main vegetation types surrounding the site on both the regional and local scales are: coniferous forest (Scots pine and/or Norway spruce); mixed forest (Birch and conifers); and woodland scrub (e.g. Willows, Aspen); indicating that the campaign results can be taken as representative of the Boreal forest ecosystem. In addition to the influence of biogenic emissions, the measurement site was occasionally impacted by sources other than vegetation. Specific tracers have been used here to identify the time periods when such sources have impacted the site namely: biomass burning (acetonitrile and CO), urban anthropogenic pollution (pentane and SO2) and the nearby Korkeakoski sawmill (enantiomeric ratio of chiral monoterpenes). None of these sources dominated the study period, allowing the Boreal forest summertime emissions to be assessed and contrasted with various other source signatures.

  6. Widespread negative correlations between black spruce growth and temperature across topographic moisture gradients in the boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Xanthe; Johnstone, Jill F.

    2014-05-01

    The responses of tree growth to recent climate warming may signal changes in the susceptibility of forest communities to compositional change and consequently impact a wide range of ecosystem processes and services. Previous research in the boreal forest has largely documented negative growth responses to climate in forest species and habitats characteristic of drier conditions, emphasizing the sensitivity of drier or warmer landscape positions to climate warming. In this study, we explored relationships between climate and tree-ring growth of black spruce, a dominant tree species typical of cool and moist habitats in the boreal forests of North America. We assessed how these responses varied with stand characteristics and landscape position across four different regions in Alaska and Yukon Territory. Approximately half of the trees measured across regions and topographic gradients exhibited reduced radial growth in response to warm temperatures in the previous growing season and current spring, which we interpret as a signal of drought stress. Although we found considerable variation in the growth responses of individual trees within sites, landscape position and stand characteristics were weak predictors of this variability, explaining ≦̸12% of the variation in any region. Our results indicate that future warming, particularly in spring, is likely to result in drought stress and a reduction of black spruce radial growth independent of region, landscape position, or stand characteristics. The occurrence of negative growth responses to temperature, even in cool and moist habitats, suggests that drought stress limitations may be more widespread in the northern boreal forest than previously anticipated, indicating broad sensitivity of ecosystem processes and services to climate change across a diverse range of habitat types.

  7. Understanding the Effect of Land Cover Classification on Model Estimates of Regional Carbon Cycling in the Boreal Forest Biome

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kimball, John; Kang, Sinkyu

    2003-01-01

    The original objectives of this proposed 3-year project were to: 1) quantify the respective contributions of land cover and disturbance (i.e., wild fire) to uncertainty associated with regional carbon source/sink estimates produced by a variety of boreal ecosystem models; 2) identify the model processes responsible for differences in simulated carbon source/sink patterns for the boreal forest; 3) validate model outputs using tower and field- based estimates of NEP and NPP; and 4) recommend/prioritize improvements to boreal ecosystem carbon models, which will better constrain regional source/sink estimates for atmospheric C02. These original objectives were subsequently distilled to fit within the constraints of a 1 -year study. This revised study involved a regional model intercomparison over the BOREAS study region involving Biome-BGC, and TEM (A.D. McGuire, UAF) ecosystem models. The major focus of these revised activities involved quantifying the sensitivity of regional model predictions associated with land cover classification uncertainties. We also evaluated the individual and combined effects of historical fire activity, historical atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and climate change on carbon and water flux simulations within the BOREAS study region.

  8. Ecosystem carbon dioxide fluxes after disturbance in forests of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amiro, B. D.; Barr, A. G.; Barr, J. G.; Black, T. A.; Bracho, R.; Brown, M.; Chen, J.; Clark, K. L.; Davis, K. J.; Desai, A. R.; Dore, S.; Engel, V.; Fuentes, J. D.; Goldstein, A. H.; Goulden, M. L.; Kolb, T. E.; Lavigne, M. B.; Law, B. E.; Margolis, H. A.; Martin, T.; McCaughey, J. H.; Misson, L.; Montes-Helu, M.; Noormets, A.; Randerson, J. T.; Starr, G.; Xiao, J.

    2010-10-01

    Disturbances are important for renewal of North American forests. Here we summarize more than 180 site years of eddy covariance measurements of carbon dioxide flux made at forest chronosequences in North America. The disturbances included stand-replacing fire (Alaska, Arizona, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan) and harvest (British Columbia, Florida, New Brunswick, Oregon, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Wisconsin) events, insect infestations (gypsy moth, forest tent caterpillar, and mountain pine beetle), Hurricane Wilma, and silvicultural thinning (Arizona, California, and New Brunswick). Net ecosystem production (NEP) showed a carbon loss from all ecosystems following a stand-replacing disturbance, becoming a carbon sink by 20 years for all ecosystems and by 10 years for most. Maximum carbon losses following disturbance (g C m-2y-1) ranged from 1270 in Florida to 200 in boreal ecosystems. Similarly, for forests less than 100 years old, maximum uptake (g C m-2y-1) was 1180 in Florida mangroves and 210 in boreal ecosystems. More temperate forests had intermediate fluxes. Boreal ecosystems were relatively time invariant after 20 years, whereas western ecosystems tended to increase in carbon gain over time. This was driven mostly by gross photosynthetic production (GPP) because total ecosystem respiration (ER) and heterotrophic respiration were relatively invariant with age. GPP/ER was as low as 0.2 immediately following stand-replacing disturbance reaching a constant value of 1.2 after 20 years. NEP following insect defoliations and silvicultural thinning showed lesser changes than stand-replacing events, with decreases in the year of disturbance followed by rapid recovery. NEP decreased in a mangrove ecosystem following Hurricane Wilma because of a decrease in GPP and an increase in ER.

  9. Ecosystem carbon dioxide fluxes after disturbance in forests of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amiro, B. D.; Barr, A. G.; Barr, J. G.; Black, T. A.; Bracho, R.; Brown, M.; Chen, J.; Clark, K. L.; Davis, K. J.; Desai, A. R.; Dore, S.; Engel, V.; Fuentes, J. D.; Goldstein, A. H.; Goulden, M. L.; Kolb, T. E.; Lavigne, M. B.; Law, B. E.; Margolis, H. A.; Martin, T.; McCaughey, J. H.; Misson, L.; Montes-Helu, M.; Noormets, A.; Randerson, J. T.; Starr, G.; Xiao, J.

    2010-12-01

    Disturbances are important for renewal of North American forests. Here we summarize more than 180 site years of eddy covariance measurements of carbon dioxide flux made at forest chronosequences in North America. The disturbances included stand-replacing fire (Alaska, Arizona, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan) and harvest (British Columbia, Florida, New Brunswick, Oregon, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Wisconsin) events, insect infestations (gypsy moth, forest tent caterpillar, and mountain pine beetle), Hurricane Wilma, and silvicultural thinning (Arizona, California, and New Brunswick). Net ecosystem production (NEP) showed a carbon loss from all ecosystems following a stand-replacing disturbance, becoming a carbon sink by 20 years for all ecosystems and by 10 years for most. Maximum carbon losses following disturbance (g C m-2y-1) ranged from 1270 in Florida to 200 in boreal ecosystems. Similarly, for forests less than 100 years old, maximum uptake (g C m-2y-1) was 1180 in Florida mangroves and 210 in boreal ecosystems. More temperate forests had intermediate fluxes. Boreal ecosystems were relatively time invariant after 20 years, whereas western ecosystems tended to increase in carbon gain over time. This was driven mostly by gross photosynthetic production (GPP) because total ecosystem respiration (ER) and heterotrophic respiration were relatively invariant with age. GPP/ER was as low as 0.2 immediately following stand-replacing disturbance reaching a constant value of 1.2 after 20 years. NEP following insect defoliations and silvicultural thinning showed lesser changes than stand-replacing events, with decreases in the year of disturbance followed by rapid recovery. NEP decreased in a mangrove ecosystem following Hurricane Wilma because of a decrease in GPP and an increase in ER.

  10. Carbon balance of an old hemi-boreal pine forest in Southern Estonia determined by different methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soosaar, Kaido; Repp, Kalev; Lõhmus, Krista; Uri, Veiko; Rannik, Kaire; Krasnova, Alisa; Ostonen, Ivika; Kukumägi, Mai; Maddison, Martin; Mander, Ülo

    2016-04-01

    The Soontaga Forest Station is located in hemi-boreal 200-years old pine forest (South Estonia; 58o01'N 26o04'E) with a second layer of spruce. The station has the instrumentation to assess the exchange of carbon dioxide (net ecosystem exchange, NEE), soil respiration, tree biomass (above and below ground biomass) and different environmental and meteorological parameters. In this study we quantified carbon balance by analyzing eddy-covariance CO2 flux data (carbon exchange) vs chamber-based measurements (ecosystem respiration) and CO2assimilation (soil and biomass). The annual NEE in this mature coniferous forest was -2.3 t C ha yr‑1, showing a clear diurnal and seasonal trend. During the daytime in summer the forest sequestered CO2, while during the night and late night CO2 emitted from the ecosystem to the atmosphere. Within the growing period, the sequestration of CO2 by plants was greater than soil respiration. Thus, the ecosystem sequestered carbon. Most of the carbon is bound in tree biomass (above and below ground biomass) but as well into soil, while the sequestration in soil increases with stand age. In addition, the biomass of understory, especially belowground litter, is playing essential part in carbon input. A modelling approach of long-term C budget in the Soontaga pine forest is presented.

  11. Influence of Forest-Cover Types on Spring Thaw Timing in the Southern Boreal Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, H. F.; Helgason, W.; Barr, A.; Black, T. A.

    2015-12-01

    The boreal forest is one of the largest of the world's biomes covering about 11% of its terrestrial surface and accounting for about 18% of its total terrestrial carbon pool. The timing of spring thaw, resulting in a lengthening or shortening of the growing season, has a strong influence on boreal forest productivity and associated carbon dioxide exchange with the atmosphere. A study of the influence of forest-cover type upon spring-thaw timing in the southern Canadian boreal forest has been undertaken using 18 years of soil temperature measurements at depths of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 cm. Soil was considered to be thawing during days of consistent near-zero soil temperature (daily mean of -0.5 to 0.5 °C and standard deviation of near zero). We compared the temporal pattern (first and last day) of soil thaw at three mature forest stands: trembling aspen, black spruce, and jack pine located in central Saskatchewan (~54°N, ~105°W). The soil freezing depth was deepest at the jack pine site (>100 cm) and shallowest at the black spruce site (<50 cm during most years). The mean last day of thaw at the 5-cm depth was earliest for the aspen site followed by jack pine and black spruce, respectively, with approximately 4 days difference among sites. Deeper in the soil profile, the trend of soil thaw remained in the same order, however, with much larger differences among sites: jack pine thawed 16 days later than aspen and black spruce thawed 18 days later than jack pine. Our analysis will relate the observed site differences in thaw timing to differences in site (soil and canopy) characteristics. Developing an improved understanding of the factors influencing the inter-annual and inter-site variability of soil thaw at these sites is required to appropriately characterize the ecological and hydrological responses of these sites to projected climate change.

  12. Absence of snow cover reduces understory plant cover and alters plant community composition in boreal forests.

    PubMed

    Kreyling, Juergen; Haei, Mahsa; Laudon, Hjalmar

    2012-02-01

    Snow regimes affect biogeochemistry of boreal ecosystems and are altered by climate change. The effects on plant communities, however, are largely unexplored despite their influence on relevant processes. Here, the impact of snow cover on understory community composition and below-ground production in a boreal Picea abies forest was investigated using a long-term (8-year) snow cover manipulation experiment consisting of the treatments: snow removal, increased insulation (styrofoam pellets), and control. The snow removal treatment caused longer (118 vs. 57 days) and deeper soil frost (mean minimum temperature -5.5 vs. -2.2°C) at 10 cm soil depth in comparison to control. Understory species composition was strongly altered by the snow cover manipulations; vegetation cover declined by more than 50% in the snow removal treatment. In particular, the dominant dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus (-82%) and the most abundant mosses Pleurozium schreberi (-74%) and Dicranum scoparium (-60%) declined strongly. The C:N ratio in V. myrtillus leaves and plant available N in the soil indicated no altered nitrogen nutrition. Fine-root biomass in summer, however, was negatively affected by the reduced snow cover (-50%). Observed effects are attributed to direct frost damage of roots and/ or shoots. Besides the obvious relevance of winter processes on plant ecology and distribution, we propose that shifts in the vegetation caused by frost damage may be an important driver of the reported alterations in biogeochemistry in response to altered snow cover. Understory plant performance clearly needs to be considered in the biogeochemistry of boreal systems in the face of climate change. PMID:21850524

  13. Form, quantity, and fate of nitrogen inputs along a boreal forest climate transect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    VandenBoer, T. C.; Edwards, K.; Ziegler, S. E.

    2013-12-01

    The cycling and fate of soil organic matter, a globally significant carbon (C) reservoir, is intimately linked to the availability and form of nitrogen (N). Nitrogen inputs to remote ecosystems from the atmosphere have been accelerated by increases in agricultural fertilizer use, and fossil fuel use. Such inputs may influence the biogeochemistry of high latitude ecosystems where soil organic matter reservoirs are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The Newfoundland and Labrador Boreal Ecosystem Latitudinal Transect (NL-BELT) network has been actively monitoring C and N pools across three watershed regions spanning 47° to 53° N to understand boreal forest ecosystem responses to a warming climate. Litterfall inputs exhibited decreasing stable nitrogen isotope (d15N) values from south to north along the transect (-2, -3, and -6 ‰) and also among litter sources (deciduous > green needles > brown needles). These regional trends in d15N persist in the bryophytic biomass and throughout the soil organic horizons. Litterfall C:N increased from approximately 55 in the south to 75 in the north. In each region, C:N also exhibited consistent patterns between litterfall input types, with C:N of brown needles > deciduous > green needles. Differences between green and brown needle litterfall C:N increased along this climate gradient indicating that trees increased their N-resorption from south to north, perhaps due to increased N-limitation. Two possible phenomena could explain the trends observed: i) atmospheric N-inputs vary in quantity and composition with latitude along the transect; and/or ii) more rapid recycling of N at the most southern site reduces N-limitation relative to cooler regions. Fractionation during long-range transport of atmospheric reactive-N leads to depletion of 15N and subsequent deposition to the NL-BELT regions could explain these observations. The forms and quantities of atmospheric N-inputs are not constrained for the NL-BELT forests and

  14. Importance of climate, forest fires and human population size on the long-term boreal forest dynamics in Northern Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuosmanen, Niina; Seppä, Heikki; Alenius, Teija; Bradshaw, Richard; Clear, Jennifer; Filimonova, Fludmila; Heikkilä, Maija; Renssen, Hans; Tallavaara, Miikka; Reitalu, Triin

    2016-04-01

    Palaeoecological data provides valuable information for understanding the processes behind the past changes in forest composition, and hence can provide important knowledge regarding the potential effects of future changes in climate on boreal vegetation. Furthermore, it is essential to consider both regional and local factors in order to better understand the processes behind the boreal forest dynamics. The relative importance of climate, forest fires and human population size on long-term boreal forest composition were statistically investigated at regional and local scales in Fennoscandia. Statistical method variation partitioning was employed to assess the relative importance of these three variables. Fossil pollen data reflecting long-term boreal forest composition, at both regional (lake records) and local (small hollow records) scales from Russia, Finland and Sweden, were used as response matrix. Climate, generated from a climate model and oxygen isotope data, past forest fires generated from sedimentary charcoal data and human population size derived from radiocarbon dated archaeological findings were used as potential drivers of long-term boreal vegetation. Though the results clearly demonstrate that climate is the main driver of long-term vegetation changes at the regional scale, the role of climate notably is smaller at local scale and the influence of local site specific factors increases. However, the relative importance of forest fires on long-term changes in boreal forest composition remain generally low both at regional and local scale. The relatively low importance of both climate and forest fires on the variation in long-term boreal forest composition at local scale demonstrates the complexity of factors affecting stand-scale forest dynamics. In general, the relative importance of human population size on long-term changes in boreal vegetation was low. However, this was the first time that this type of human population size data was statistically

  15. [Carbon exchange of Chinese boreal forest during its growth season and related regulation mechanisms].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Li-yan; Jia, Bing-rui; Zhou, Guang-sheng; Zeng, Wei; Wang, Yu

    2010-10-01

    Based on the two-year continuous observation on the carbon exchange of Chinese boreal forest during its growth seasons in 2007 and 2008 by the method of open path eddy covariance, this paper analyzed the seasonal dynamics of the gross ecosystem productivity (GEP), ecosystem respiration (Re), and net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE) of the forest, with related regulation mechanisms approached. The GEP, Re, and NEE of the forest reached to their maximum in the vigorous growth period from late June to mid August, but the dates of the maximum appeared differed. The mean daily GEP, Re, and NEE were 19.45, 15.15, and -1.45 g CO2 x m(-2) x d(-1) in 2007, and 17.67, 14.11, and -1.37 g CO2 x m(-2) x d(-1) in 2008, respectively. The intensity of the carbon exchange during growth season was obviously stronger in 2007 than in 2008, possibly due to the higher mean air temperature (12.46 degrees C in 2007 vs. 11.04 degrees C in 2008) and the higher mean photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) (697 micromol x m(-2) x s(-1) in 2007 vs. 639 micromol x m(-2) x s(-1) in 2008). The GEP had close linear relationships with air temperature and PAR, and the correlation coefficient of GEP and air temperature was around 0.55 (P<0.01). The Re was mainly controlled by air temperature, with the correlation coefficient being 0.66-0.72 (P<0.01), and the NEE was mainly controlled by PAR, with the correlation coefficient being 0.59-0.63 (P<0.01). PMID:21328928

  16. Management of forest fires to maximize carbon sequestration in temperate and boreal forests

    SciTech Connect

    Guggenheim, D.E. |

    1996-12-31

    This study examines opportunities for applying prescribed burning strategies to forest stands to enhance net carbon sequestration and compared prescribed burning strategies with more conventional forestry-based climate change mitigation alternatives, including fire suppression and afforestation. Biomass burning is a major contributor to greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere. Biomass burning has increased by 50% since 1850. Since 1977, the annual extent of burning in the northern temperate and boreal forests has increased dramatically, from six- to nine-fold. Long-term suppression of fires in North America, Russia, and other parts of the world has led to accumulated fuel load and an increase in the destructive power of wildfires. Prescribed burning has been used successfully to reduce the destructiveness of wildfires. However, across vast areas of Russia and other regions, prescribed burning is not a component of forest management practices. Given these factors and the sheer size of the temperate-boreal carbon sink, increasing attention is being focused on the role of these forests in mitigating climate change, and the role of fire management strategies, such as prescribed burning, which could work alongside more conventional forestry-based greenhouse gas offset strategies, such as afforestation.

  17. Annual Dynamics of Green House Gases in a Swedish Boreal Forested Catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oquist, M. G.; Klemedtsson, L.; Bishop, K.; Grip, H.; Laudon, H.; Nilsson, M.

    2003-04-01

    We investigated the spatial and temporal variation of CO_2, CH_4 and N_2O in a boreal forested catchment with respect to their atmospheric exchange and their below-ground concentration dynamics. The measurements were carried out at three sites distributed along a gently sloping 22 m transect draining into a small creek. Vegetation was dominated by a 95 year old Norway spruce stand and soil types ranged from organic (a riparian zone histosol) to mineral (podzol on sandy till). Soil gas concentrations (at 5, 10, 20, 40 and 60 cm depth) were measured weekly for 18 months, while gas fluxes were measured weekly during the snow-free season and at 4 campaigns during the winter season. During the growing season average CO_2 efflux from the three sites ranged from 0.7--1.8 g m-2 d-1, while CH_4 displayed a net uptake rate of 0.1--0.3 mg m-2 d-1. Detectable amounts of N_2O emissions appeared sporadically, but never exceeded 0.04 mg m-2 d-1. The variation in CO_2 flux had the same temporal pattern as the variation in soil temperature (5--25 cm depth; r^2 = 0.6--0.85), while ca 40% of the differences in CH_4 consumption could be accounted for by the variations in soil moisture in the top 20 cm. During winter, fluxes of CO_2 and CH_4 were of the same order of magnitude as during summer, but the N_2O emissions were considerably higher, averaging around 0.4 mg m-2 d-1. Furthermore, soil gas concentrations of N_2O during winter showed a strong positive temperature correlation with a ca10-fold increase in concentration per ^oC (r^2 = 0.93). Our results stress the importance of the winter season for the greenhouse gas dynamics of the boreal landscape, and also that both N_2O and CH_4 exchange have the potential to influence how these ecosystems interact with the Earth's radiative balance. Moreover, the strength of atmospheric CH_4 consumption rates in these systems appears to be indifferent to season, which has implications for regional estimates of CH_4 budgets. The temperature

  18. Climatic factors and reindeer grazing -- the effects on soil carbon dynamics in subarctic boreal pine forest.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Köster, Kajar; Köster, Egle; Berninger, Frank; Pumpanen, Jukka

    2016-04-01

    Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus L.) are the most important large mammalian herbivores in the northern ecosystems, affecting plant diversity, soil nutrient cycling and soil organic matter decomposition. Changes caused by reindeer in vegetation have indirect effects on physical features of the soil e.g. soil microclimate, root biomass and also on soil carbon dynamics. In a field experiment in Finnish Lapland, Värriö Strict Nature Reserve (67° 46' N, 29° 35' E) we investigated how the reindeer grazing in subarctic boreal forest combined with climate (air temperature and precipitation) affects soil temperature, soil water content, and ultimately the CO2 efflux from forest soils. The study was carried out in the growing seasons of the years 2013 and 2014, where 2013 was an extremely dry year (specially the summer), and the year 2014 was a "normal" year in means of precipitations. Our study areas are located in the northern boreal subarctic coniferous forest at the zone of the last intact forest landscapes in Fennoscandia, where large areas of relatively undisturbed subarctic Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests can still be found. We established the experiment as a split plot experiment with 2 blocks and 5 sub-plots per treatment that were divided into grazed and non-grazed parts, separated with a fence. The sample plots are located along the borderline between Finland and Russia, where the ungrazed area was excluded from reindeer already in 1918, to prevent the Finnish reindeer from going to the Russian side and there are not many reindeer on Russian side of the area. Our study showed that in subarctic mature pine forests, soil temperatures were higher, and soil water content was fluctuating more on grazed areas compared to non-grazed areas in both years. In both years, the soil water content on the grazed area was highest in June. The situation changed somewhere in the second half of July when the moisture content in the non-grazed area was higher. We found

  19. Remote Sensing of Boreal Forest Biophysical and Inventory Parameters: A Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutz, D. A.; Washington-Allen, R. A.

    2007-12-01

    Vegetation makes up nearly 70 % of the Earth's terrestrial surface and products from vegetated systems are vitally important for human populations. The growing need to manage vegetation resources at regional and global spatial scales has led to the increased use of remote sensing technologies among forestry scientists and managers for use in their investigation and supervision of forested landscapes. With a panoply of extant and developing airborne and satellite sensors, as well as multiple analysis techniques, there is a need to discern the most acceptable methods in which to examine remotely sensed imagery for forest ecosystem parameters. This includes both biophysical and inventory indicators. This study investigates the methods used to examine plant parameters in the boreal forest, and attempts to derive the most appropriate methods for extracting information regarding plant structure and stand information. A suggested methodology is constructed for use by remote sensors and forest managers. Specifically, we reviewed the literature on the remote sensing of boreal forests that featured airborne and satellite optical, passive and active radar, and lidar systems in order to determine if common frameworks for monitoring and assessing change in forest biophysical and inventory parameters could be developed. Other important remote sensing techniques such as change detection and land cover identification were also examined. Our review considered the purpose of each study, the type of sensor(s) used [e.g., Landsat or Lidar], where the study occurred, the methods used, including what vegetation and soil parameters or processes were considered, and the remote sensing indicator developed to measure this parameter [e.g., the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is a surrogate for phytomass, LAI, land cover type, and other plant parameters]. We also investigated how the measured indicators were calibrated and validated as well as the limitations of the sensors that

  20. Long-term fertilization of a boreal Norway spruce forest increases the temperature sensitivity of soil organic carbon mineralization.

    PubMed

    Coucheney, Elsa; Strömgren, Monika; Lerch, Thomas Z; Herrmann, Anke M

    2013-12-01

    Boreal ecosystems store one-third of global soil organic carbon (SOC) and are particularly sensitive to climate warming and higher nutrient inputs. Thus, a better description of how forest managements such as nutrient fertilization impact soil carbon (C) and its temperature sensitivity is needed to better predict feedbacks between C cycling and climate. The temperature sensitivity of in situ soil C respiration was investigated in a boreal forest, which has received long-term nutrient fertilization (22 years), and compared with the temperature sensitivity of C mineralization measured in the laboratory. We found that the fertilization treatment increased both the response of soil in situ CO2 effluxes to a warming treatment and the temperature sensitivity of C mineralization measured in the laboratory (Q10). These results suggested that soil C may be more sensitive to an increase in temperature in long-term fertilized in comparison with nutrient poor boreal ecosystems. Furthermore, the fertilization treatment modified the SOC content and the microbial community composition, but we found no direct relationship between either SOC or microbial changes and the temperature sensitivity of C mineralization. However, the relation between the soil C:N ratio and the fungal/bacterial ratio was changed in the combined warmed and fertilized treatment compared with the other treatments, which suggest that strong interaction mechanisms may occur between nutrient input and warming in boreal soils. Further research is needed to unravel into more details in how far soil organic matter and microbial community composition changes are responsible for the change in the temperature sensitivity of soil C under increasing mineral N inputs. Such research would help to take into account the effect of fertilization managements on soil C storage in C cycling numerical models. PMID:24455147

  1. Long-term fertilization of a boreal Norway spruce forest increases the temperature sensitivity of soil organic carbon mineralization

    PubMed Central

    Coucheney, Elsa; Strömgren, Monika; Lerch, Thomas Z; Herrmann, Anke M

    2013-01-01

    Boreal ecosystems store one-third of global soil organic carbon (SOC) and are particularly sensitive to climate warming and higher nutrient inputs. Thus, a better description of how forest managements such as nutrient fertilization impact soil carbon (C) and its temperature sensitivity is needed to better predict feedbacks between C cycling and climate. The temperature sensitivity of in situ soil C respiration was investigated in a boreal forest, which has received long-term nutrient fertilization (22 years), and compared with the temperature sensitivity of C mineralization measured in the laboratory. We found that the fertilization treatment increased both the response of soil in situ CO2 effluxes to a warming treatment and the temperature sensitivity of C mineralization measured in the laboratory (Q10). These results suggested that soil C may be more sensitive to an increase in temperature in long-term fertilized in comparison with nutrient poor boreal ecosystems. Furthermore, the fertilization treatment modified the SOC content and the microbial community composition, but we found no direct relationship between either SOC or microbial changes and the temperature sensitivity of C mineralization. However, the relation between the soil C:N ratio and the fungal/bacterial ratio was changed in the combined warmed and fertilized treatment compared with the other treatments, which suggest that strong interaction mechanisms may occur between nutrient input and warming in boreal soils. Further research is needed to unravel into more details in how far soil organic matter and microbial community composition changes are responsible for the change in the temperature sensitivity of soil C under increasing mineral N inputs. Such research would help to take into account the effect of fertilization managements on soil C storage in C cycling numerical models. PMID:24455147

  2. Combining MODIS and Landsat imagery to estimate and map boreal forest cover loss

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Potapov, P.; Hansen, M.C.; Stehman, S.V.; Loveland, T.R.; Pittman, K.

    2008-01-01

    Estimation of forest cover change is important for boreal forests, one of the most extensive forested biomes, due to its unique role in global timber stock, carbon sequestration and deposition, and high vulnerability to the effects of global climate change. We used time-series data from the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to produce annual forest cover loss hotspot maps. These maps were used to assign all blocks (18.5 by 18.5??km) partitioning the boreal biome into strata of high, medium and low likelihood of forest cover loss. A stratified random sample of 118 blocks was interpreted for forest cover and forest cover loss using high spatial resolution Landsat imagery from 2000 and 2005. Area of forest cover gross loss from 2000 to 2005 within the boreal biome is estimated to be 1.63% (standard error 0.10%) of the total biome area, and represents a 4.02% reduction in year 2000 forest cover. The proportion of identified forest cover loss relative to regional forest area is much higher in North America than in Eurasia (5.63% to 3.00%). Of the total forest cover loss identified, 58.9% is attributable to wildfires. The MODIS pan-boreal change hotspot estimates reveal significant increases in forest cover loss due to wildfires in 2002 and 2003, with 2003 being the peak year of loss within the 5-year study period. Overall, the precision of the aggregate forest cover loss estimates derived from the Landsat data and the value of the MODIS-derived map displaying the spatial and temporal patterns of forest loss demonstrate the efficacy of this protocol for operational, cost-effective, and timely biome-wide monitoring of gross forest cover loss. ?? 2008 Elsevier Inc.

  3. Multi-Sensor Characterization of the Boreal Forest: Initial Findings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reith, Ernest; Roberts, Dar A.; Prentiss, Dylan

    2001-01-01

    Results are presented in an initial apriori knowledge approach toward using complementary multi-sensor multi-temporal imagery in characterizing vegetated landscapes over a site in the Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS). Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) and Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) data were segmented using multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis and binary decision tree approaches. Individual date/sensor land cover maps had overall accuracies between 55.0% - 69.8%. The best eight land cover layers from all dates and sensors correctly characterized 79.3% of the cover types. An overlay approach was used to create a final land cover map. An overall accuracy of 71.3% was achieved in this multi-sensor approach, a 1.5% improvement over our most accurate single scene technique, but 8% less than the original input. Black spruce was evaluated to be particularly undermapped in the final map possibly because it was also contained within jack pine and muskeg land coverages.

  4. Ecosystem scale methane emission from a boreal wetland: Annual balances and interannual variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rinne, J.; Alekseychik, P.; Haapanala, S.; Raivonen, M.; Mammarella, I.; Peltola, O.; Aurela, M.; Pihlatie, M.; Tuittila, E.; Vesala, T.

    2013-12-01

    We have conducted measurements of methane and carbon dioxide exchange between atmosphere and a pristine boreal fen ecosystem, Siikaneva, continuously by eddy covariance technique since 2005. The results show methane emission to be a significant part of the carbon balance of this ecosystem. Methane emission also shows a strong seasonal cycle reflecting the seasonality of the driving variables in boreal regions. Of the environmental parameters, methane emission correlates best with peat temperature, whereas no correlation with water table position is found. The interannual variability of the annual methane emission is relatively low. We will explore the possible drivers of this variability. We also study the contribution of methane to the carbon balance in interannual scale. The effects of methane and carbon dioxide exchange of pristine wetland ecosystems on the radiative forcing will be discussed. Monthly means of ecosystem scale methane emission from Siikaneva fen during 2015-2010, with errorbars indicating standard deviations between years.

  5. Forest ecosystems in the Alaskan taiga

    SciTech Connect

    Van Cleve, K.; Chapin, F.S. III; Flanagan, P.W.; Viereck, L.A.

    1986-01-01

    This volume in the series ''Ecological Studies'' provides an overview and synthesis of research on the structure and function of taiga forest ecosystems of interior Alaska. The first section discusses the nature of the taiga environment and covers climate, forest ecosystem distribution, natural regeneration of vegetation, and the role of fire. The second edition focuses on environmental controls over organism activity with discussions on growth and nutrient use, nitrogen fixation, physiological ecology of mosses, and microbial activity and element availability. The final section considers environmental controls over ecosystem processes with discussions of processes, plant-animal interactions, and a model of forest growth and yield.

  6. Simulation of Boreal Ecosystem Carbon and Water Budgets: Scaling from Local to Regional Extents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, Eric F.

    1997-01-01

    A coupled water and energy balance model is developed. This model can predict the partitioning of water and energy between major source, sink and storage elements within the Boreal-Ecosystem-Atmospheric Study (BOREAS) areas. The results of testing the model against data collected at BOREAS tower sites during Intensive Field Campaigns and remotely sensed data collected across the BOREAS region are presented.

  7. Spectral reflectance patterns and temporal dynamics of common understory types in hemi-boreal forests in Järvselja, Estonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikopensius, Maris; Raabe, Kairi; Pisek, Jan

    2014-05-01

    The knowledge about spectral properties and seasonal dynamics of understory layers in boreal forests currently holds several gaps. This introduces severe uncertainties while modelling the carbon balance of this ecosystem, which is expected to be prone to major shifts with climate change in the future. In this work the seasonal reflectance dynamics in European hemi-boreal forests are studied. The data for this study was collected at Järvselja Training and Experimental Forestry District (Estonia, 27.26°E 58.30°N). Measurements were taken in three different stands. The silver birch (Betula Pendula Roth) stand grows on typical brown gley-soil and its understory vegetation is dominated by a mixture of several grass species. The Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) stand grows on a bog with understory vegetation composed of sparse labrador tea, cotton grass, and a continuous Sphagnum moss layer. The third stand, Norway spruce (Picea abies), grows on a Gleyi Ferric Podzol site with understory vegetation either partially missing or consisting of mosses such as Hylocomium splendens or Pleurozium schreberi [1]. The sampling design was similar to the study by Rautiainen et al. [3] in northern European boreal forests. At each study site, a 100 m long permanent transect was marked with flags. In addition, four intensive study plots (1 m × 1 m) were marked next to the transects at 20 m intervals. The field campaign lasted from May to September 2013. For each site the fractional cover of understory and understory spectra were estimated ten times i.e. every 2 to 3 weeks. Results from Järvselja forest were compared with the seasonal profiles from boreal forests in Hyytiälä, Finland [2]. References [1] A. Kuusk, M. Lang, J. Kuusk, T. Lükk, T. Nilson, M. Mõttus, M. Rautiainen, and A. Eenmäe, "Database of optical and structural data for validation of radiative transfer models", Technical Report, September 2009 [2] M. Rautiainen, M. Mõttus, J. Heiskanen, A. Akujärvi, T. Majasalmi

  8. Mechanisms for success after long-term nutrient enrichment in a boreal forest understory.

    PubMed

    Grainger, Tess Nahanni; Turkington, Roy

    2013-01-01

    Global levels of reactive nitrogen are predicted to rise in the coming decades as a result of increased deposition from the burning of fossil fuels and the large-scale conversion of nitrogen into a useable form for agriculture. Many plant communities respond strongly to increases in soil nitrogen, particularly in northern ecosystems where nitrogen levels are naturally very low. An experiment in northern Canada that was initiated in 1990 has been investigating the effects of long-term nutrient enrichment (fertilizer added annually) on a boreal forest understory community. We used this experiment to investigate why some species increase in abundance under nutrient enrichment whereas others decline. We focused on four species that differed in their responses to fertilization: Mertensia paniculata and Epilobium angustifolium increased in abundance, Achillea millefolium remained relatively constant and Festuca altaica declined. We hypothesized that the two species that were successful in the new high-nutrient, light-limited environment would be taller, have higher specific leaf area, change phenology by growing earlier in the season and be more morphologically plastic than their less successful counterparts. We compared plant height, specific leaf area, growth spurt date and allocation to leaves in plants grown in control and fertilized plots. We demonstrated that each of the two species that came to dominate fertilized plots has a different combination of traits and responses that likely gave them a competitive advantage; M. paniculata has the highest specific leaf area of the four species whereas E. angustifolium is tallest and exhibits morphological plasticity when fertilized by increasing biomass allocation to leaves. These results indicate that rather than one strategy determining success when nutrients become available, a variety of traits and responses may contribute to a species' ability to persist in a nutrient-enriched boreal forest understory. PMID:23573298

  9. Defining fire environment zones in the boreal forests of northeastern China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhiwei; He, Hong S; Yang, Jian; Liang, Yu

    2015-06-15

    Fire activity in boreal forests will substantially increase with prolonged growing seasons under a warming climate. This trend poses challenges to managing fires in boreal forest landscapes. A fire environment zone map offers a basis for evaluating these fire-related problems and designing more effective fire management plans to improve the allocation of management resources across a landscape. Toward that goal, we identified three fire environment zones across boreal forest landscapes in northeastern China using analytical methods to identify spatial clustering of the environmental variables of climate, vegetation, topography, and human activity. The three fire environment zones were found to be in strong agreement with the spatial distributions of the historical fire data (occurrence, size, and frequency) for 1966-2005. This paper discusses how the resulting fire environment zone map can be used to guide forest fire management and fire regime prediction. PMID:25747370

  10. Changing Boreal Fire Regimes: Impacts on Permafrost Soils and Forest Succession in Siberian Larch Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, H. D.; Mack, M. C.; Natali, S.; Loranty, M. M.; Davydov, S. P.; Zimov, N.

    2014-12-01

    Fire activity has increased across the boreal forest biome in conjuction with climate warming and drying. Because these forests contain a large proportion of global terrestrial carbon (C) stocks, there has been great interest in understanding feedbacks between a changing fire regime and climate warming. An important mechanism by which increased fire activity may alter boreal C balance is by consuming the soil organic layer (SOL). Fire removal of the SOL may alter germination microsites and tree recruitment, thereby altering forest successional trajectories and C accumulation and storage. In permafrost soils, loss of the insulating SOL can increase soil temperature and active layer depth, impacting growth and survival conditions for both soil microbes and vegetation. To assess fire severity effects on permafrost soils and tree recruitment, we conducted plot-level experimental burns in July 2012 in a larch forest near Cherskii, Siberia. We achieved four burn severity treatments based on residual SOL depths: control, low (> 8 cm), moderate (5-8 cm), and high severity (2-5 cm). For two growing seasons post-fire, we measured thaw depth, soil moisture, and soil temperature. We sowed larch seeds in fall 2012 and 2013 and quantified seedling establishment and vegetation re-growth for two growing seasons. Immediately post-fire, thaw depth increased rapidly with increasing fire severity, and this trend has persisted for two years. In 2013 and 2014, thaw depth was ~ 40 cm deeper in high severity plots compared to controls, likely due to lower summer soil insulation, higher black char cover, and higher surface soil temperatures. We observed little to no larch recruitment in unburned and low severity plots, but new seedling density was ~5 seedlings m-2 in moderate and high severity plots, which had low cover of other vegetation types and high soil moisture. Findings suggest that increased fire severity may increase larch recruitment and provide favorable soil conditions for

  11. Greening Trends in North American Boreal Forest and Tundra during 2000-2009 from MODIS and in situ Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, D.; Morton, D. C.; Masek, J. G.; McManus, K. M.; Sexton, J. O.

    2010-12-01

    High northern latitudes have experienced the strongest warming trends during the satellite era (1970-present). The response of boreal forest and tundra vegetation to recent and projected warming plays a pivotal role for carbon cycling in these ecosystems and related feedbacks within the Earth system. Long time series of normalized differenced vegetation index (NDVI), calculated from historical Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data, provided the first opportunity to evaluate vegetation dynamics over decadal temporal scales and continental to global spatial scales. However, due to coarse spatial resolution (1-8 km), previous studies of greening in North America with aggregated AVHRR NDVI data were unable to separate the contributions from changes in growing season length and vegetation cover to the greening signal in forest and tundra ecosystems. In this study, we isolated trends in peak growing season vegetation cover using NDVI data from the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) during 2000-2009. Our time series analysis compared 500 m NDVI data from the same 16-day composite period during peak growing season months to characterize changes in vegetation abundance during 2000-2009. This approach minimized impacts of phenology, changes in growing season length, and clouds or other data artifacts. For comparison with satellite-based observations, we used measurements of upwelling and downwelling spectral radiances over FLUXNET tower sites to derive broadband NDVI values. Trends in vegetation cover from MODIS NDVI during 2000-2009 differ from previous studies with AVHRR data. Approximately 26% of all vegetated area exhibited significant linear trends in NDVI during 2000-2009 (ptrend<0.05). However, only one third of all trends were positive (greening), corresponding to 8.6% of the boreal forest and tundra biomes in North America. Tundra in Quebec, Newfoundland and west Alaska exhibited the strongest greening trends during 2000

  12. Boreal Forests in Permafrost Landscapes: Changing Structure and Function in Response to Climate Warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baltzer, J. L.; Quinton, W. L.; Sonnentag, O.

    2014-12-01

    Boreal forests occupy latitudes that are experiencing the greatest rates of warming on earth, a pattern that is expected to continue over the coming decades. Much of the Boreal is underlain by permafrost, which can be expected to have important consequences for forest structure, composition and functioning as the climate warms. The southern margin of permafrost is especially susceptible to warming, since in this region, the permafrost is discontinuous, relatively thin, warm and ice-rich. In the discontinuous permafrost zone, permafrost often forms the physical foundation on which trees develop, forming tree-covered peat plateaus where trees contribute to permafrost maintenance and aggradation processes through reductions in radiation load and changes in snow accumulation. Forests are restricted to peat plateaus while wetland communities occupy intervening permafrost-free areas. The extent and distribution of each land cover type is an important determinant of how boreal forest-wetland landscapes in the discontinuous permafrost zone function as part of the climate system. Climate warming is rapidly thawing permafrost leading to ground surface subsidence and transformation of the forests into wetlands, increasing both the areal extent and connectivity of the latter. In this presentation, we will use an integrative framework at the ForestGEO Scotty Creek Forest Dynamics Plot site near Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, Canada to demonstrate the changes in ecological, hydrological and biosphere-atmosphere interactions within this boreal forest-wetland landscape characterized by rapidly degrading permafrost.

  13. [Approaches for assessing forest ecosystem health].

    PubMed

    Chen, Gao; Deng, Hongbing; Wang, Qingli; Dai, Limin; Hao, Zhanqing

    2003-06-01

    Assessment and indicator system become the key issues in the research on ecosystem health in 21st century. Assessing forest ecosystem health gradually attach much attention because it is an important component of terrestrial ecosystem. The definition, measurement, evaluation and its management had been discussed broadly, and some theories, assessing methods and frameworks had been proposed, which provides a new concept and a serial research approaches for dealing with the crisis of terrestrial ecosystems, even the environment problems in the world. Now, the common operational models for assessing forest ecosystem health do not exist owing to the manifold limitations. This paper discussed forest ecosystem health problem, and brought forward three preconditions for assessing forest ecosystem health: 1) a clear conceptual framework; 2) adequate data sets; 3) proper research and analysis techniques. The issues of three preconditions were discussed, and the possible approaches for the assessing research on forest ecosystem health, e.g., long-term studies and environment monitoring, space-for-time substation studies, e.g., history approaches, economics valuation and others were expariated. PMID:12974013

  14. Use of Radarsat-2 Polarimetric SAR Images for Fuel Moisture Mapping in Alaska Boreal Forests and South Africa Savannahs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leblon, B.; Bourgeau-Chavez, L. L.; Kong, M.; Buckley, J. R.; Mathieu, R. M.; Charbonneau, F.; Gross, C. P.; Naidoo, L.

    2014-12-01

    The study reported a comparison between two Radarsat-2 polarimetric SAR (polSAR) images from extreme dry versus wet conditions are compared in an effort to determine the value of using polarimetric SAR data for estimating fuel moisture over South Africa savannahs and Alaska boreal forests. The savannahs study area is located into the Kruger National Park area and has 36 sites of lowveld savannas from bare overgrazed sites to medium-dense savannahs. The boreal forest study area has a chronosequence of black spruce ecosystems (recent burns, shrub-dominated regenerating forests , open canopied forests, moderately dense forest cover). Both study areas have a fairly level topography suitable for radar studies. The polSAR images were acquired using the same beam mode (FQ5 (23-25° incidence angle over the boreal sites, FQ15 (34.47-36.05° incidence angle) over the savannahs sites). Over each study area, soil moisture and vegetation structural data were measured in situ concurrently to the acquisition of the SAR imagery. The polSAR images were filtered for speckle noise using a Lee sigma filter and several polarimetric products were computed, such as those directly derived from the images (single linear and polairzed backscatters, polarimetric discriminators) and from target decompositions (Freeman-Durden, new van Zyl, Cloude-Pottier). Because most of these variables have a different unit, a normalized difference (in %) for each variable was calculated using the median values of the dry and wet dates for easier comparison of variable changes between the dates. Over both study areas, the normalized difference between wet and dry conditions was lower when higher tree canopy occurs. Results show utility of C-HH and C-RR polarized backscatters. Several polarimetric discriminators (dmin, Pr max, Pr min, Smax, Smin) were also significantly affected by the soil wetness. The Freeman Durden and van Zyl decomposition parameters outperformed the Cloude-Pottier decomposition

  15. Atmospheric ions, boreal forests and impacts on climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manninen, H. E.; Nieminen, T.; Franchin, A.; Järvinen, E.; Kontkanen, J.; Hirsikko, A.; Hõrrak, U.; Mirme, A.; Tammet, H.; Kerminen, V.-M.; Petäjä, T.; Kulmala, M.

    2012-04-01

    than 2 nm in diameter by charging the aerosol sample with unipolar corona chargers (Manninen et al., 2009). According to earlier studies, the atmospheric nucleation and cluster activation take place at the mobility diameter range of 1.5-2 nm. Therefore, the ion spectrometers allow direct measurements at exactly the size where atmospheric nucleation takes place. The results indicate that the ion-induced nucleation contributes ~1-30% to the NPF events in most atmospheric conditions (Manninen et al., 2010). In other words, neutral particle formation seems to dominate over ion-mediated mechanisms, at least in the boreal forest conditions. Acknowledgements. This research was supported by the Academy of Finland Center of Excellence program (project number 1118615). Hirsikko, A. et al.: Atmospheric ions and nucleation: a review of observations, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 767-798, 2011. IPCC, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis, Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA, 996 pp, 2007. Kulmala, M., and Kerminen, V.-M.: On the growth of atmospheric nanoparticles, Atmos. Res., 90, 132-150, 2008. Manninen, H.E. et al.: Long-term field measurements of charged and neutral clusters using Neutral cluster and Air Ion Spectrometer (NAIS). Boreal Env. Res. 14, 591-605, 2009. Manninen, H.E. et al., EUCAARI ion spectrometer measurements at 12 European sites - analysis of new particle formation events, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 7907-7927, 2010. Mirme, A. et al.: A Wide-range multi-channel Air Ion Spectrometer, Boreal Environ. Res., 12, 247-264, 2007. Tammet, H.: Symmetric inclined grid mobility analyzer for the measurement of charged clusters and fine nanoparticles in atmospheric air. Aerosol Science and Technology, 45, 468 - 479, 2011.

  16. AmeriFlux CA-Gro Ontario - Groundhog River, Boreal Mixedwood Forest.

    DOE Data Explorer

    McCaughey, Harry [Queen's University

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site CA-Gro Ontario - Groundhog River, Boreal Mixedwood Forest.. Site Description - Groundhog River (FCRN or CCP site "ON-OMW") is situated in a typical boreal mixedwood forest in northeastern Ontario (48.217 degrees north and 82.156 degrees west) about 80 km southwest of Timmins in Reeves Twp. near the Groundhog River. Rowe (1972) places the site in the Missinaibi-Cabonga Section of the Boreal Forest Region. In terms of ecoregion and ecozone, the site is in the Lake Timiskaming Lowlands of the Boreal Shield. The forest developed after high-grade logging in the 1930's. The average age in 2013 is estimated at beteen 75 and 80 years. The forest is dominated by five species characteristic of Ontario boreal mixedwoods: trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.), white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench.) Voss.), white birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.), and balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.). The surficial geology is a lacustrine deposit of varved or massive clays, silts and silty sands. The soil is an orthic gleysol with a soil moisture regime classified as fresh to very fresh. Plonski (1974) rates it as a site class 1. The topography is simple and flat with an overall elevation of 340 m ASL.

  17. Relative effects of climatic and local factors on fire occurrence in boreal forest landscapes of northeastern China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhiwei; He, Hong S; Yang, Jian; Liu, Zhihua; Liang, Yu

    2014-09-15

    Fire significantly affects species composition, structure, and ecosystem processes in boreal forests. Our study objective was to identify the relative effects of climate, vegetation, topography, and human activity on fire occurrence in Chinese boreal forest landscapes. We used historical fire ignition for 1966-2005 and the statistical method of Kernel Density Estimation to derive fire-occurrence density (number of fires/km(2)). The Random Forest models were used to quantify the relative effects of climate, vegetation, topography, and human activity on fire-occurrence density. Our results showed that fire-occurrence density tended to be spatially clustered. Human-caused fire occurrence was highly clustered at the southern part of the region, where human population density is high (comprising about 75% of the area's population). In the north-central areas where elevations are the highest in the region and less densely populated, lightning-caused fires were clustered. Climate factors (e.g., fine fuel and duff moisture content) were important at both regional and landscape scales. Human activity factors (e.g., distance to nearest settlement and road) were secondary to climate as the primary fire occurrence factors. Predictions of fire regimes often assume a strong linkage between climate and fire but usually with less emphasis placed on the effects of local factors such as human activity. We therefore suggest that accurate forecasting of fire regime should include human influences such as those measured by forest proximity to roads and human settlements. PMID:24960228

  18. A Geographic Perspective on Factors Controlling Post-Fire Succession in Boreal Black Spruce Forests in Western North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasischke, E. S.; Kane, E. S.; Genet, H.; Turetsky, M. R.; ODonnell, J. A.; Hoy, E.; Barrett, K.; Baltzer, J. L.

    2014-12-01

    Recent changes to climate and the fire regime have resulted in a number of distinct changes to patterns of post-fire succession in the boreal forest region of western North America. In interior Alaska and Yukon, these responses include a shift from spruce to deciduous dominated forests in black spruce forests that experienced exposure of mineral soils from deep burning of surface organic soils, as well as low seedling recruitment in white spruce forests as a result of moisture stress. In this presentation, we will use a physical geography framework to analyze factors controlling low seedling recruitment in recently burned black spruce forests in Alaska. This approach allows for understanding how changes in the biologic components of black spruce forest ecosystems (e.g., biogeography) are controlled by factors related to geomorphology and climate over multiple spatial and temporal scales. In particular, this framework will be used to examine how the interactions between fire, climate, topography and soil texture influence pre-fire and post-fire permafrost conditions, which interact to have a strong influence on variations in soil moisture. In turn, recent changes to climate combined with variations in soil moisture controlled by differences in permafrost conditions (ground ice content, active layer thickness) can be used to explain variations in post-fire seedling recruitment in black spruce forests, where low recruitment is occurring on the sites with the driest soils. In addition, we will examine the need for further research in other boreal forest regions of western North America where the presence of pine species (jack and lodgepole) that are absent in Alaska, as well as differences in soils and permafrost conditions, are likely resulting in additional patterns of post-fire succession as a result of recent changes to climate and the fire regime.

  19. Coupling of soil prokaryotic diversity and plant diversity across latitudinal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jun-Tao; Zheng, Yuan-Ming; Hu, Hang-Wei; Li, Jing; Zhang, Li-Mei; Chen, Bao-Dong; Chen, Wei-Ping; He, Ji-Zheng

    2016-01-01

    The belowground soil prokaryotic community plays a cardinal role in sustaining the stability and functions of forest ecosystems. Yet, the nature of how soil prokaryotic diversity co-varies with aboveground plant diversity along a latitudinal gradient remains elusive. By establishing three hundred 400-m2 quadrats from tropical rainforest to boreal forest in a large-scale parallel study on both belowground soil prokaryote and aboveground tree and herb communities, we found that soil prokaryotic diversity couples with the diversity of herbs rather than trees. The diversity of prokaryotes and herbs responds similarly to environmental factors along the latitudinal gradient. These findings revealed that herbs provide a good predictor of belowground biodiversity in forest ecosystems, and provide new perspective on the aboveground and belowground interactions in forest ecosystems.

  20. Coupling of soil prokaryotic diversity and plant diversity across latitudinal forest ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jun-Tao; Zheng, Yuan-Ming; Hu, Hang-Wei; Li, Jing; Zhang, Li-Mei; Chen, Bao-Dong; Chen, Wei-Ping; He, Ji-Zheng

    2016-01-01

    The belowground soil prokaryotic community plays a cardinal role in sustaining the stability and functions of forest ecosystems. Yet, the nature of how soil prokaryotic diversity co-varies with aboveground plant diversity along a latitudinal gradient remains elusive. By establishing three hundred 400-m2 quadrats from tropical rainforest to boreal forest in a large-scale parallel study on both belowground soil prokaryote and aboveground tree and herb communities, we found that soil prokaryotic diversity couples with the diversity of herbs rather than trees. The diversity of prokaryotes and herbs responds similarly to environmental factors along the latitudinal gradient. These findings revealed that herbs provide a good predictor of belowground biodiversity in forest ecosystems, and provide new perspective on the aboveground and belowground interactions in forest ecosystems. PMID:26781165

  1. Coupling of soil prokaryotic diversity and plant diversity across latitudinal forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun-Tao; Zheng, Yuan-Ming; Hu, Hang-Wei; Li, Jing; Zhang, Li-Mei; Chen, Bao-Dong; Chen, Wei-Ping; He, Ji-Zheng

    2016-01-01

    The belowground soil prokaryotic community plays a cardinal role in sustaining the stability and functions of forest ecosystems. Yet, the nature of how soil prokaryotic diversity co-varies with aboveground plant diversity along a latitudinal gradient remains elusive. By establishing three hundred 400-m(2) quadrats from tropical rainforest to boreal forest in a large-scale parallel study on both belowground soil prokaryote and aboveground tree and herb communities, we found that soil prokaryotic diversity couples with the diversity of herbs rather than trees. The diversity of prokaryotes and herbs responds similarly to environmental factors along the latitudinal gradient. These findings revealed that herbs provide a good predictor of belowground biodiversity in forest ecosystems, and provide new perspective on the aboveground and belowground interactions in forest ecosystems. PMID:26781165

  2. In situ measurements of volatile organic compounds in a boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hakola, H.; Hellén, H.; Hemmilä, M.; Rinne, J.; Kulmala, M.

    2012-12-01

    We present biogenic VOC, including sesquiterpenes, measurements at the SMEAR II station (Station For Measuring Forest Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations) in Finland using an in situ gas chromatograph mass-spectrometer with 2 h time resolution. The measurements were conducted over the period October 2010-October 2011, at least one week every month. To our knowledge there are no earlier species-speciated semi-continuous BVOC data also covering dormant periods. This was also the first time sesquiterpene mixing ratios were measured in a boreal forest. During the winter months, and still in March, the mixing ratios of all biogenic compounds were very low, most of the time below detection limits. The monoterpene mixing ratios increased in April and started to show diurnal variability, with maximum mixing ratio at night and minima during the day. The diurnal variability continued until October, after which the mixing ratios decreased and then only occasional episodes took place. The diurnal variation was affected by boundary layer height. Sesquiterpene mixing ratios were very low, only a few ppt. The main sesquiterpenes were longifolene and isolongifolene. The diurnal variation of isoprene was opposite to the mono- and sesquiterpene diurnal curve due to isoprene's light dependent emissions. Due to its daytime maximum mixing ratios, isoprene also dominated hydroxyl radical reactivity in summer even though our isoprene measurements are underestimates due to a breakthrough in a cold trap.

  3. Sunscreening fungal pigments influence the vertical gradient of pendulous lichens in boreal forest canopies.

    PubMed

    Färber, Leonie; Sølhaug, Knut Asbjorn; Esseen, Per-Anders; Bilger, Wolfgang; Gauslaa, Yngvar

    2014-06-01

    Pendulous lichens dominate canopies of boreal forests, with dark Bryoria species in the upper canopy vs. light Alectoria and Usnea species in lower canopy. These genera offer important ecosystem services such as winter forage for reindeer and caribou. The mechanism behind this niche separation is poorly understood. We tested the hypothesis that species-specific sunscreening fungal pigments protect underlying symbiotic algae differently against high light, and thus shape the vertical canopy gradient of epiphytes. Three pale species with the reflecting pigment usnic acid (Alectoria sarmentosa, Usnea dasypoga, U. longissima) and three with dark, absorbing melanins (Bryoria capillaris, B. fremontii, B. fuscescens) were compared. We subjected the lichens to desiccation stress with and without light, and assessed their performance with chlorophyll fluorescence. Desiccation alone only affected U. longissima. By contrast, light in combination with desiccation caused photoinhibitory damage in all species. Usnic lichens were significantly more susceptible to light during desiccation than melanic ones. Thus, melanin is a more efficient light-screening pigment than usnic acid. Thereby, the vertical gradient of pendulous lichens in forest canopies is consistent with a shift in type and functioning of sunscreening pigments, from high-light-tolerant Bryoria in the upper to susceptible Alectoria and Usnea in the lower canopy. PMID:25039211

  4. Changing temperature response turned boreal forest from carbon sink into carbon source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grelle, Achim; Hadden, David

    2015-04-01

    19 years of flux measurements reveal that a boreal forest in northern Sweden has turned from a carbon sink into a carbon source. A consistent annual uptake of about 4 tonnes CO2 per hectare turned into annual emissions of the same magnitude within a few years. While biomass increment and gross CO2 uptake remained unchanged, gross respiration has increased, mainly during the autumn periods. This increasingly reduced the annual number of days with net CO2 uptake. No significant trend towards higher temperatures could be observed during the measurement period. However, the temperature responses of ecosystem respiration have changed with time, leading to higher respiration rates in the temperature range between 0 °C and 5 °C, which is the most common range during spring and autumn. Consequently, respiration fluxes under those temperature conditions have increased, both in spring and - even more - in autumn. Thus the change of the carbon balance is not directly caused by climate warming, as stated in other studies, but by changes in ecosystem functioning. The reasons for the rapid change in temperature response are still unknown and may be sought in changes of litterfall and dead wood distribution, changes in fungi- and microbial communities, or hydrological changes.

  5. Northeastern North America as a potential refugium for boreal forests in a warming climate.

    PubMed

    D'Orangeville, L; Duchesne, L; Houle, D; Kneeshaw, D; Côté, B; Pederson, N

    2016-06-17

    High precipitation in boreal northeastern North America could help forests withstand the expected temperature-driven increase in evaporative demand, but definitive evidence is lacking. Using a network of tree-ring collections from 16,450 stands across 583,000 km(2) of boreal forests in Québec, Canada, we observe a latitudinal shift in the correlation of black spruce growth with temperature and reduced precipitation, from negative south of 49°N to largely positive to the north of that latitude. Our results suggest that the positive effect of a warmer climate on growth rates and growing season length north of 49°N outweighs the potential negative effect of lower water availability. Unlike the central and western portions of the continent's boreal forest, northeastern North America may act as a climatic refugium in a warmer climate. PMID:27313044

  6. Mapping Above- and Below-Ground Carbon Pools in Boreal Forests: The Case for Airborne Lidar.

    PubMed

    Kristensen, Terje; Næsset, Erik; Ohlson, Mikael; Bolstad, Paul V; Kolka, Randall

    2015-01-01

    A large and growing body of evidence has demonstrated that airborne scanning light detection and ranging (lidar) systems can be an effective tool in measuring and monitoring above-ground forest tree biomass. However, the potential of lidar as an all-round tool for assisting in assessment of carbon (C) stocks in soil and non-tree vegetation components of the forest ecosystem has been given much less attention. Here we combine the use airborne small footprint scanning lidar with fine-scale spatial C data relating to vegetation and the soil surface to describe and contrast the size and spatial distribution of C pools within and among multilayered Norway spruce (Picea abies) stands. Predictor variables from lidar derived metrics delivered precise models of above- and below-ground tree C, which comprised the largest C pool in our study stands. We also found evidence that lidar canopy data correlated well with the variation in field layer C stock, consisting mainly of ericaceous dwarf shrubs and herbaceous plants. However, lidar metrics derived directly from understory echoes did not yield significant models. Furthermore, our results indicate that the variation in both the mosses and soil organic layer C stock plots appears less influenced by differences in stand structure properties than topographical gradients. By using topographical models from lidar ground returns we were able to establish a strong correlation between lidar data and the organic layer C stock at a stand level. Increasing the topographical resolution from plot averages (~2000 m2) towards individual grid cells (1 m2) did not yield consistent models. Our study demonstrates a connection between the size and distribution of different forest C pools and models derived from airborne lidar data, providing a foundation for future research concerning the use of lidar for assessing and monitoring boreal forest C. PMID:26426532

  7. Mapping Above- and Below-Ground Carbon Pools in Boreal Forests: The Case for Airborne Lidar

    PubMed Central

    Kristensen, Terje; Næsset, Erik; Ohlson, Mikael; Bolstad, Paul V.; Kolka, Randall

    2015-01-01

    A large and growing body of evidence has demonstrated that airborne scanning light detection and ranging (lidar) systems can be an effective tool in measuring and monitoring above-ground forest tree biomass. However, the potential of lidar as an all-round tool for assisting in assessment of carbon (C) stocks in soil and non-tree vegetation components of the forest ecosystem has been given much less attention. Here we combine the use airborne small footprint scanning lidar with fine-scale spatial C data relating to vegetation and the soil surface to describe and contrast the size and spatial distribution of C pools within and among multilayered Norway spruce (Picea abies) stands. Predictor variables from lidar derived metrics delivered precise models of above- and below-ground tree C, which comprised the largest C pool in our study stands. We also found evidence that lidar canopy data correlated well with the variation in field layer C stock, consisting mainly of ericaceous dwarf shrubs and herbaceous plants. However, lidar metrics derived directly from understory echoes did not yield significant models. Furthermore, our results indicate that the variation in both the mosses and soil organic layer C stock plots appears less influenced by differences in stand structure properties than topographical gradients. By using topographical models from lidar ground returns we were able to establish a strong correlation between lidar data and the organic layer C stock at a stand level. Increasing the topographical resolution from plot averages (~2000 m2) towards individual grid cells (1 m2) did not yield consistent models. Our study demonstrates a connection between the size and distribution of different forest C pools and models derived from airborne lidar data, providing a foundation for future research concerning the use of lidar for assessing and monitoring boreal forest C. PMID:26426532

  8. Remote sensing of boreal forest terrain: Sub-pixel scale mixture analysis of land cover and biophysical parameters at forest stand and regional scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peddle, Derek Roland

    Increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have focused attention on the global carbon cycle. Predicted climate change scenarios indicate the release of large stores of organic carbon in boreal forest regions could have profound ecological, cultural and economic impacts on agricultural, boreal and Arctic tundra zones. Remote sensing provides the only comprehensive information to monitor such large tracts of land, however, conventional NDVI vegetation index approaches have been shown to be unreliable for extracting required biophysical parameters such as biomass, leaf area index and productivity. In this research. spectral mixture analysis (SMA) and geometric- optical reflectance models provide sub-pixel scale forest information such as sunlit canopy, background and shadow fractions which yield improved biophysical estimates when compared to NDVI. This was validated first for individual forest stands using the NASA C scOVER data set from the Superior National Forest, Minnesota USA. Best results were obtained from shadow function using a spheroid based reflectance model with corrections for mutual shadowing and solar zenith angle variations. Following this, a regional scale methodology was implemented in the Boreal Ecosystem Atmosphere Study (B scOREAS) which coupled canopy reflectance models, spectral mixture analysis, and a powerful evidential reasoning classifier into an integrated, physically based land cover and biophysical algorithm (the M⊕P software package). Field spectrometer data processed to end-member reflectance and stand level tree geometry were input to canopy optical models to produce spectral trajectories of reflectance and forest scene components over a full range of stand densities. These trajectories were input to the new M⊕P software to produce land cover and sub-pixel scale outputs for predicting biophysical parameters. Improved classification accuracies and biophysical estimates were obtained compared

  9. Ecosystem carbon fluxes and Amazonian forest metabolism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saleska, Scott; da Rocha, Humberto; Kruijt, Bart; Nobre, Antonio

    Long-term measurements of ecosystem-atmosphere exchanges of carbon, water, and energy, via eddy flux towers, give insight into three key questions about Amazonian forest function. First, what is the carbon balance of Amazon forests? Some towers give accurate site-specific carbon balances, as validated by independent methods, but decisive resolution of the large-scale question will also require integration of remote sensing techniques (to detect and encompass the distribution of naturally induced disturbance states across the landscape of old growth forests) with eddy flux process studies (to characterize the association between carbon balance and forest disturbance states). Second, what is the seasonality of ecosystem metabolism in Amazonian forests? Models have historically simulated dry season declines in photosynthetic metabolism, a consequence of modeled water limitation. Tower sites in equatorial Amazonian forests, however, show that photosynthetic metabolism increases during dry seasons ("green up"), perhaps because deep roots buffer trees from dry season water stress, while phenological rhythms trigger leaf flush, associated with increased solar irradiance. Third, how does ecosystem metabolism vary across biome types and land use patterns? As dry season length increases from equatorial forest, to drier southern forests, to savanna, fluxes show seasonal patterns consistent with increasing water stress, including a switch from dry season green up to "brown down." Land use change in forest ecosystems removes deep roots, artificially inducing the same trend toward brown down. In the final part, this review suggests that eddy tower network and satellite-based insights into seasonal responses provide a model for detecting responses to extreme interannual climate variations that can test whether forests are vulnerable to model-simulated Amazonian forest collapse under climate change.

  10. Forest restoration, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Globally, forests cover nearly one third of the land area and they contain over 80% of terrestrial biodiversity. Both the extent and quality of forest habitat continue to decrease and the associated loss of biodiversity jeopardizes forest ecosystem functioning and the ability of forests to provide ecosystem services. In the light of the increasing population pressure, it is of major importance not only to conserve, but also to restore forest ecosystems. Ecological restoration has recently started to adopt insights from the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) perspective. Central is the focus on restoring the relation between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Here we provide an overview of important considerations related to forest restoration that can be inferred from this BEF-perspective. Restoring multiple forest functions requires multiple species. It is highly unlikely that species-poor plantations, which may be optimal for above-ground biomass production, will outperform species diverse assemblages for a combination of functions, including overall carbon storage and control over water and nutrient flows. Restoring stable forest functions also requires multiple species. In particular in the light of global climatic change scenarios, which predict more frequent extreme disturbances and climatic events, it is important to incorporate insights from the relation between biodiversity and stability of ecosystem functioning into forest restoration projects. Rather than focussing on species per se, focussing on functional diversity of tree species assemblages seems appropriate when selecting tree species for restoration. Finally, also plant genetic diversity and above - below-ground linkages should be considered during the restoration process, as these likely have prominent but until now poorly understood effects at the level of the ecosystem. The BEF-approach provides a useful framework to evaluate forest restoration in an ecosystem functioning context, but

  11. Heterogeneity of hemiboreal forests related to ecosystems functioning.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasnov, Dmitrii; Noe, Steffen M.; Krasnova, Alisa; Niinemets, Ülo

    2014-05-01

    Heterogeneity is one of the key components of sustainable development of every living system. Boreal and hemiboreal terrestrial systems have less biodiversity compared to tropical (or more southern). Heterogeneity provides the source for restocking of ecosystem living components, irregular distribution of nutrients, places for living (medium for living). Main components of forest horizontal heterogeneity are related to: horizontal distribution of dominant species, soil properties, topography and as natural as human disturbances. Soil as a main source for nutrient supply plays important role in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. The understanding of principles (regularity) of spatial distribution of such soil properties as soil acidity, available for living organisms nutrients, soil moisture and temperature, soil density and the role of tree dominant and co-dominate species can give deeper knowledge about ecosystem functioning. The models based on this knowledge can be more precise and give possibilities to predict behavior of ecosystem in terms of global climate change. The aim of the project is to assess spatial distribution and changing of soil properties related to spatial distribution of vegetation, microtopography and landscape position. The project was done in the frame of SMEAR Estonia.

  12. Gas-phase alkyl amines in urban air; comparison with a boreal forest site and importance for local atmospheric chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hellén, H.; Kieloaho, A.-J.; Hakola, H.

    2014-09-01

    Low-molecular-weight aliphatic amines were measured in the ambient urban background air at the SMEAR III station (Station for Measuring Forest Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations III) in Helsinki, Finland, from May until late August 2011. The alkyl amines measured were dimethylamine (DMA), ethylamine (EA), trimethylamine (TMA), propylamine (PA), diethylamine (DEA), butylamine (BA) and triethylamine (TEA). Of these amines, DMA + EA and TMA + PA were the most abundant, with average concentrations of 24 and 8 ppt. The ranges of weekly mean concentrations of DMA + EA and TMA + PA were

    boreal forest site (SMEAR II), indicating the presence at the latter site of some additional sources. Amine lifetimes are short, varying from 2.3 h to 7.6 h against hydroxyl (OH) radicals. The amine concentrations were scaled against OH reactivity and compared with the OH reactivities of aromatic hydrocarbons and terpenes. The results showed that amines strongly influenced the total OH reactivity, especially at the boreal forest site in May, September and October, showing contributions almost as high as those of monoterpenes.

  13. Insect pest management in forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahlsten, Donald L.; Rowney, David L.

    1983-01-01

    Understanding the role of insects in forest ecosystems is vital to the development of environmentally and economically sound pest management strategies in forestry Most of the research on forest insects has been confined to phytophagous species associated with economically important tree species The roles of most other insects in forest environments have generally been ignored, including the natural enemies and associates of phytophagous species identified as being important In the past few years several investigations have begun to reevaluate the role of phytophagous species responsible for perturbation in forest ecosystems, and it appears that these species may be playing an important role in the primary productivity of those ecosystems Also, there is an increasing awareness that forest pest managers have been treating the symptoms and not the causes of the problems in the forest Many insect problems are associated with poor sites or sites where trees are growing poorly because of crowding As a result, there is considerable emphasis on the hazard rating of stands of trees for their susceptibility to various phytophagous insects The next step is to manipulate forest stands to make them less susceptible to forest pest complexes A thinning study in California is used as an example and shows that tree mortality in ponderosa pine ( Pinus ponderosa) attributable to the western pine beetle ( Dendroctonus brevicomis) can be reduced by commercial thinning to reduce stocking

  14. Improving the modeling of the seasonal carbon cycle of the boreal forest with chlorophyll fluorescence measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thum, Tea; Aalto, Tuula; Aurela, Mika; Laurila, Tuomas; Zaehle, Sönke

    2014-05-01

    The boreal ecosystems are characterized a very strong seasonal cycle and they are very sensitive to the climatic variables. The vegetation's deep wintertime dormancy requires a long recovery time during spring before the plants reach their full photosynthetic capacity. During this recovery time the plants are highly susceptible the night frosts. The transition period is different during spring and autumn for the evergreen plants. During spring there is plenty of light, but cold air temperatures inhibit the photosynthesis. The plants therefore experience to high stress levels, as they need to protect their photosynthetic apparatus from intense light. In autumn the air temperature and light level decrease more concurrently. To have a realistic presentation of the carbon cycle in boreal forests it is important to have these characteristics properly modeled, so that also the implications of changing seasonality under climate change can be more reliably predicted. In this study, we focus on the CO2 exchange of a Scots pine forest Sodankylä located in Finnish Lapland, 100 km north from the Arctic Circle. Micrometeorological flux measurements provide information about the exchanges of carbon, energy and water between atmosphere and vegetation. To complement these fluxes, we use dark-adapted chlorophyll fluorescence (CF) measurements, which is an optical measurement and tracks the development of the photosynthetic capacity. These two approaches combined together are very useful when we want to improve the modeling of the forest's CO2 exchange. We used two models that describe the photosynthesis with the biochemical model of Farquhar et al. The FMI-CANOPY is a canopy level model that is feasible to use in parameter estimation. We used the CF measurements of Fv/Fm, that is a measure of the maximum photosynthetic capacity, to include a seasonal development in the base rate of the maximum carboxylation rate (Vc(max)) in FMI-CANOPY. The simulation results matched the

  15. Chemical characteristics of Siberian boreal forest fire emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engling, G.; Popovicheva, O.; Fan, T. S.; Eleftheriadis, K.; Diapouli, E.; Kozlov, V.

    2014-12-01

    Smoke emissions from Siberian boreal forest fires exert critical impacts on the aerosol/climate system of subarctic regions and the Arctic. It is, therefore, crucial to assess the ability of such particles to absorb/scatter incoming solar radiation as well as act as cloud condensation nuclei, which is closely linked to the physical and chemical aerosol properties. However, observations of Siberian wildfire emissions are limited, and no systematic database of smoke particle properties is available for this region to date. As part of this study, ambient aerosol samples were collected during two smoke episodes in Tomsk, Siberia, in the summers of 2012 and 2013. In addition, the chemical composition and optical properties of smoke particles derived from the combustion of typical Siberian fuels, including pine wood and debris, were determined during chamber burn experiments in a large aerosol/combustion chamber under controlled combustion conditions representative of wildfires and prescribed burns. Detailed multi-component characterization of individual particles and bulk properties was accomplished with a suite of techniques, including various types of chromatography, microscopy, spectroscopy, and thermo-optical analysis. Individual particle analysis by SEM-EDX combined with cluster analysis revealed characteristic smoke structural components and major types of particles, which allowed to discriminate between flaming and smoldering regimes, reflected in specific morphological and chemical microstructure. The physicochemical properties representing the combustion phase (smoldering versus flaming) and the degree of processing (fresh versus aged) were assessed in the ambient aerosol based on the chamber burn results. For instance, some chemical transformation (aging of smoke particles) was noticed over a period of two days in the absence of sun light in the combustion chamber for certain chemical species, while the molecular tracer levoglucosan appeared to be rather

  16. Sources of long-lived atmospheric VOCs at the rural boreal forest site, SMEAR II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patokoski, J.; Ruuskanen, T. M.; Kajos, M. K.; Taipale, R.; Rantala, P.; Aalto, J.; Ryyppö, T.; Nieminen, T.; Hakola, H.; Rinne, J.

    2015-12-01

    In this study a long-term volatile organic compound (VOCs) concentration data set, measured at the SMEAR II (Station for Measuring Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations) boreal forest site in Hyytiälä, Finland during the years 2006-2011, was analyzed in order to identify source areas and profiles of the observed VOCs. VOC mixing ratios were measured using proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry. Four-day HYSPLIT 4 (Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) backward trajectories and the Unmix 6.0 receptor model were used for source area and source composition analysis. Two major forest fire events in Russia took place during the measurement period. The effect of these fires was clearly visible in the trajectory analysis, lending confidence to the method employed with this data set. Elevated volume mixing ratios (VMRs) of non-biogenic VOCs related to forest fires, e.g. acetonitrile and aromatic VOCs, were observed. Ten major source areas for long-lived VOCs (methanol, acetonitrile, acetaldehyde, acetone, benzene, and toluene) observed at the SMEAR II site were identified. The main source areas for all the targeted VOCs were western Russia, northern Poland, Kaliningrad, and the Baltic countries. Industrial areas in northern continental Europe were also found to be source areas for certain VOCs. Both trajectory and receptor analysis showed that air masses from northern Fennoscandia were less polluted with respect to both the VOCs studied and other trace gases (CO, SO2 and NOx), compared to areas of eastern and western continental Europe, western Russia, and southern Fennoscandia.

  17. Restoring the Nitrogen Cycle in the Boreal Forest - a Case Study from Northern Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masse, Jacynthe; Grayston, Sue; Prescott, Cindy; Quideau, Sylvie

    2014-05-01

    The Athabasca oil sands deposit, located in the boreal forests of Northern Alberta, is one of the largest single oil deposits in the world. This deposit rests underneath 40,200 square kilometres of land. To date, an area of about 715 square kilometres has been disturbed by oil sands mining activity (Government of Alberta, 2013). Following surface mining, companies have the legal obligation to restore soil-like profiles that can support the previous land capabilities (Powter et al., 2012). Because of its importance for site productivity, re-establishment of the nitrogen cycle between these reconstructed soils and plants is one of the most critical factors required to insure long term sustainability of reclaimed boreal landscape. High nitrogen deposition recorded in the oil sands area combined with the high level of nitrate found in reclaimed soils raised concerns about the possibility of these reclaimed soils being in early stages of N saturation (Laxton et al 2010; Hemsley, 2012), although little evidence of net nitrification in these reclaimed soils suggests the contrary (Laxton et al. 2012). To date, results on the behaviour of the nitrogen cycle in the reclaimed sites are contradictory. A systematic study of the nitrogen cycle, and especially rates of gross mineralization, nitrification and denitrification, is needed. Our research aimed at 1) measuring the gross rates of nitrogen transformations under different vegetation treatments in both reclaimed and naturally-disturbed (fire) sites and 2) characterizing the microbial communities participating in the nitrogen cycle within the same soils. A series of 20 soils, covering different vegetation treatments (plots planted with aspen (Populus tremuloides), spruce (Picea glauca) and grassland) were investigated. Gross nitrogen transformation rates were measured using 15N pool-dilution (Müller et al. 2007). Microbial communities participating in the N-cycle were characterized using qPCR and pyrosequencing. Differences

  18. Coupling of Water and Carbon Cycles in Boreal Ecosystems at Watershed and National Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, J. M.; Ju, W.; Govind, A.; Sonnentag, O.

    2009-05-01

    The boreal landscapes is relatively flat giving the impression of spatial homogeneity. However, glacial activities have left distinct fingerprints on the vegetation distribution on moderately rolling terrains over the boreal landscape. Upland or lowland forests types or wetlands having various degrees of hydrological connectivitiy to the surrounding terrain are typical of the boreal landscape. The nature of the terrain creates unique hydrological conditions affecting the local-scale ecophysiological and biogeochemical processes. As part of the Canadian Carbon Program, we investigated the importance of lateral water redistribution through surface and subsurface flows in the spatial distribution of the vertical fluxes of water and carbon. A spatially explicit hydroecological model (BEPS-TerrainLab) has been developed and tested in forested and wetland watersheds . Remotely sensed vegetation parameters along with other spatial datasets are used to run this model, and tower flux data are used for partial validation. It is demonstrated in both forest and wetland watersheds that ignoring the lateral water redistribution over the landscape, commonly done in 1-dimensional bucket models, can cause considerable biases in the vertical carbon and water flux estimation, in addition to the distortion of the spatial patterns of these fluxes. The biases in the carbon flux are considerably larger than those in the water flux. The significance of these findings in national carbon budget estimation is demonstrated by separate modeling of 2015 watersheds over the Canadian landmass.

  19. Methane production and consumption in grassland and boreal ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schimel, David S.; Burke, Ingrid C.; Johnston, Carol; Pastor, John

    1994-01-01

    The objectives of the this project were to develop a mechanistic understanding of methane production and oxidation suitable for incorporation into spatially explicit models for spatial extrapolation. Field studies were undertaken in Minnesota, Canada, and Colorado to explore the process controls over the two microbial mediated methane transformations in a range of environments. Field measurements were done in conjunction with ongoing studies in Canada (the Canadian Northern Wetlands Projects: NOWES) and in Colorado (The Shortgrass Steppe Long Term Ecological Research Project: LTER). One of the central hypotheses of the proposal was that methane production should be substrate limited, as well as being controlled by physical variables influencing microbial activity (temperature, oxidation status, and pH). Laboratory studies of peats from Canada and Minnesota (Northern and Southern Boreal) were conducted with amendments of a methanogenic substrate at multiple temperatures and at multiple pHs (the latter by titrating samples). The studies showed control by substrate, pH, and temperature in order in anaerobic samples. Field and laboratory manipulations of natural plant litter, rather than an acetogenic substrate, showed similarly large effects. The studies concluded that substrate is an important control over methanogenesis, that substrate availability in the field is closely coupled to the chemistry of the dominant vegetation influencing its decomposition rate, that most methane is produced from recent plant litter, and that landscape changes in pH are an important control, highly correlated with vegetation.

  20. Why should we consider alternative nitrogenases in boreal ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellenger, Jean-Philippe

    2014-05-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) is the main source of new nitrogen (N) for the biosphere, accounting for up to 97% of N input in unmanaged terrestrial ecosystems. This reaction is catalysed by the enzyme nitrogenase (Nase). In N2 fixers associated with higher plants, only the molybdenum (Mo) dependent nitrogenase (Mo-Nase) has been identified. However, in many other N2 fixers two additional isoenzymes have been reported; the vanadium (V) dependent (V-Nase) and iron-only dependent nitrogenase (Fe-Nase). The role of these alternative nitrogenases (V-Nase and Fe-Nase) in natural habitats has been mostly overlooked, because they are found in communities that were not considered major contributors to N inputs. In recent years, N2 fixation associated with mosses and lichens has captured the interest of the scientific community for its importance toward global N input in high latitude ecosystems. Within this context, it is imperative to reconsider the role of alternative nitrogenases in these biomes. Here, I will present an overview of various findings, provided by different research groups, in the last two decade, suggesting that alternative nitrogenases could play an important role on N2 fixation in terrestrial ecosystems, especially in high latitude ones. I will discuss how these findings challenge the traditional view of Mo hegemony on N input in natural habitats and how it affects our conceptual models relating N2 fixation and trace metal dynamics in the environment. I will conclude by presenting my views on the importance to improve our understanding of the role of alternative nitrogenase in high latitude ecosystems; not only will this affect our fundamental understanding of N2 fixation and N cycling, it will also impact our ability to predict the response of these ecosystems to global climate change.

  1. Estimation of carbon emissions from wildfires in Alaskan boreal forests using AVHRR data

    SciTech Connect

    Kasischke, E.S.; French, N.H.F.; Bourgeau-Chavez, L.L )

    1993-06-01

    The objectives of this research study were to evaluate the utility of using AVHRR data for locating and measuring the areal extent of wildfires in the boreal forests of Alaska and to estimate the amount of carbon being released during these fires. Techniques were developed to using the normalized difference vegetation signature derived from AVHRR data to detect and measure the area of fires in Alaska. A model was developed to estimate the amount of biomass/carbon being stored in Alaskan boreal forests, and the amount of carbon released during fires. The AVHRR analysis resulted in detection of > 83% of all forest fires greater than 2,000 ha in size in the years 1990 and 1991. The areal estimate derived from AVHRR data were 75% of the area mapped by the Alaska Fire Service for these years. Using fire areas and locations for 1954 through 1992, it was determined that on average, 13.0 gm-C-m-2 of boreal forest area is released during fires every year. This estimate is two to six times greater than previous reported estimates. Our conclusions are that the analysis of AVHRR data represents a viable means for detecting and mapping fires in boreal regions on a global basis.

  2. Temperature regimes and turbulent heat fluxes across a heterogeneous canopy in an Alaskan boreal forest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We evaluate local differences in thermal regimes and turbulent heat fluxes across the heterogeneous canopy of a black spruce boreal forest on discontinuous permafrost in interior Alaska. The data was taken during an intensive observing period in the summer of 2013 from two micrometeorological tower...

  3. CARBON MONOXIDE FLUXES OF DIFFERENT SOIL LAYERS IN UPLAND CANADIAN BOREAL FORESTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Dark or low-light carbon monoxide fluxes at upland Canadian boreal forest sites were measured on-site with static chambers and with a laboratory incubation technique using cores from different depths at the same sites. Three different upland black spruce sites, burned in 1987,199...

  4. Interactive effects of burn severity and canopy cover on ecophysiology of tree seedlings in boreal forests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wildfires are an important disturbance because they improve habitat conditions for establishing plants. Fires of differing severity can have dramatically different impacts on habitat, particularly when coupled with canopy-level disturbances. In a boreal forest, we outplanted seedlings of four specie...

  5. Mountain pine beetle host-range expansion threatens the boreal forest

    PubMed Central

    Cullingham, Catherine I; Cooke, Janice E K; Dang, Sophie; Davis, Corey S; Cooke, Barry J; Coltman, David W

    2011-01-01

    The current epidemic of the mountain pine beetle (MPB), an indigenous pest of western North American pine, has resulted in significant losses of lodgepole pine. The leading edge has reached Alberta where forest composition shifts from lodgepole to jack pine through a hybrid zone. The susceptibility of jack pine to MPB is a major concern, but there has been no evidence of host-range expansion, in part due to the difficulty in distinguishing the parentals and their hybrids. We tested the utility of a panel of microsatellite loci optimized for both species to classify lodgepole pine, jack pine and their hybrids using simulated data. We were able to accurately classify simulated individuals, and hence applied these markers to identify the ancestry of attacked trees. Here we show for the first time successful MPB attack in natural jack pine stands at the leading edge of the epidemic. This once unsuitable habitat is now a novel environment for MPB to exploit, a potential risk which could be exacerbated by further climate change. The consequences of host-range expansion for the vast boreal ecosystem could be significant. PMID:21457381

  6. Mountain pine beetle host-range expansion threatens the boreal forest.

    PubMed

    Cullingham, Catherine I; Cooke, Janice E K; Dang, Sophie; Davis, Corey S; Cooke, Barry J; Coltman, David W

    2011-05-01

    The current epidemic of the mountain pine beetle (MPB), an indigenous pest of western North American pine, has resulted in significant losses of lodgepole pine. The leading edge has reached Alberta where forest composition shifts from lodgepole to jack pine through a hybrid zone. The susceptibility of jack pine to MPB is a major concern, but there has been no evidence of host-range expansion, in part due to the difficulty in distinguishing the parentals and their hybrids. We tested the utility of a panel of microsatellite loci optimized for both species to classify lodgepole pine, jack pine and their hybrids using simulated data. We were able to accurately classify simulated individuals, and hence applied these markers to identify the ancestry of attacked trees. Here we show for the first time successful MPB attack in natural jack pine stands at the leading edge of the epidemic. This once unsuitable habitat is now a novel environment for MPB to exploit, a potential risk which could be exacerbated by further climate change. The consequences of host-range expansion for the vast boreal ecosystem could be significant. PMID:21457381

  7. Carbon-sequestration and ecosystem services in the boreal ecoregion of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, B.; Manies, K.; Labay, K.; Johnson, W. N.; Harden, J. W.

    2011-12-01

    Managing public lands for carbon (C) sequestration is increasingly discussed as a component of national carbon policies. However, management of public land to facilitate carbon sequestration must be considered in the context of other management mandates and the effects on other ecosystem services. Of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's (USFWS) National Wildlife Refuge lands in Alaska, about 35% are in the boreal ecoregion; primarily in the Intermountain and the Alaska Range Transition ecoregions. These refuges were established to conserve wildlife habitat, fulfill treaty obligations, provide for continued subsistence uses, and ensure necessary water quality and quantity. One of the major factors in determining ecosystem distribution in the boreal ecoregion is disturbance. Fire is the dominant disturbance for Alaska's boreal region. Most USFWS refuge lands are managed with "limited" suppression, where fires burn naturally and are monitored to assure the protection of human life, property, and site specific values (such as historical or religious). However, there is increasing interest in biomass harvest and combustion for local energy production. Harvest and fire can have differing effects on both the spatial and temporal aspects of carbon storage. The current biomass harvest for energy production proposals are considered to be C neutral because they focus on "hazardous" biomass which would burn naturally or in a prescribed burn. The goal of this effort is to explore the relation between C storage and other public land management priorities, as well as, to explore how disturbance type (fire and harvest) affect C storage and boreal ecosystem distribution in the context of wildlife habitat and subsistence use management priorities. We present a conceptual model that defines the linkages among these management priorities, a data gap analysis, and scenarios to be evaluated.

  8. Modeling physical and biogeochemical controls over carbon accumulation in a boreal forest soil

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carrasco, J.J.; Neff, J.C.; Harden, J.W.

    2006-01-01

    Boreal soils are important to the global C cycle owing to large C stocks, repeated disturbance from fire, and the potential for permafrost thaw to expose previously stable, buried C. To evaluate the primary mechanisms responsible for both short- and long-term C accumulation in boreal soils, we developed a multi-isotope (12,14C) Soil C model with dynamic soil layers that develop through time as soil organic matter burns and reaccumulates. We then evaluated the mechanisms that control organic matter turnover in boreal regions including carbon input rates, substrate recalcitrance, soil moisture and temperature, and the presence of historical permafrost to assess the importance of these factors in boreal C accumulation. Results indicate that total C accumulation is controlled by the rate of carbon input, decomposition rates, and the presence of historical permafrost. However, unlike more temperate ecosystems, one of the key mechanisms involved in C preservation in boreal soils examined here is the cooling of subsurface soil layers as soil depth increases rather than increasing recalcitrance in subsurface soils. The propagation of the 14C bomb spike into soils also illustrates the importance of historical permafrost and twentieth century warming in contemporary boreal soil respiration fluxes. Both 14C and total C simulation data also strongly suggest that boreal SOM need not be recalcitrant to accumulate; the strong role of soil temperature controls on boreal C accumulation at our modeling test site in Manitoba, Canada, indicates that carbon in the deep organic soil horizons is probably relatively labile and thus subject to perturbations that result from changing climatic conditions in the future. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

  9. Impact of forest harvesting on water quality and fluorescence characteristics of dissolved organic matter in Eastern Canadian Boreal Shield lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaz, P.; Gagné, J.-P.; Archambault, P.; Sirois, P.; Nozais, C.

    2015-06-01

    Forestry activities in the Canadian Boreal region have increased in the last decades, raising concerns about their potential impact on aquatic ecosystems. Water quality and fluorescence characteristics of dissolved organic matter (DOM) were measured over a three-year period in eight Eastern Boreal Shield lakes: four lakes were studied before, one and two years after forest harvesting (perturbed lakes) and compared with four undisturbed reference lakes (unperturbed lakes) sampled at the same time. ANOVAs showed a significant increase in total phosphorus (TP) in perturbed lakes when the three sampling dates were considered and in DOC concentrations when considering one year before and one year after the perturbation only. At one year post-clear cutting DOC concentrations were about 15 % greater in the perturbed lakes at ~15 mg C L-1 compared to 12.5 mg C L-1 in the unperturbed lakes. In contrast, absorbance and fluorescence measurements showed that all metrics remained within narrow ranges compared to the range observed in natural waters, indicating that forest harvesting did not affect the nature of DOM characterised with spectroscopic techniques. Multivariate statistical analysis showed lakes to be significantly different one year after the perturbation. These results confirm an impact of forestry activities one year after the perturbation. However, this effect seems to be mitigated two years after, indicating that the system shows high resilience and may be able to return to its original condition.

  10. Functional Diversity of Boreal Bog Plant Species Decreases Seasonal Variation of Ecosystem Carbon Sink Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korrensalo, A.

    2015-12-01

    Species diversity has been found to decrease the temporal variance of productivity of a plant community, and diversity in species responses to environmental factors seems to make a plant community more stable in changing conditions. Boreal bogs are nutrient poor peatland ecosystems where the number of plant species is low but the species differ greatly in their growth form. In here we aim to assess the role of the variation in photosynthesis between species for the temporal variation in ecosystem carbon sink function. To quantify the photosynthetic properties and their seasonal variation for different bog plant species we measured photosynthetic parameters and stress-inducing chlorophyll fluorescence of vascular plant and Sphagnum moss species in a boreal bog over a growing season. We estimated monthly gross photosynthesis (PG) of the whole study site based on species level light response curves and leaf area development. The estimated PG was further compared with a gross primary production (GPP) estimate measured by eddy covariance (EC) technique. The sum of upscaled PG estimates agreed well with the GPP estimate measured by the EC technique. The contributions of the species and species groups to the ecosystem level PG changed over the growing season. The sharp mid-summer peak in sedge PG was balanced by more stable PG of evergreen shrubs and Sphagna. Species abundance rather than differences in photosynthetic properties between species and growth forms determined the most productive plants on the ecosystem scale. Sphagna had lower photosynthesis and clorophyll fluorescence than vascular plants but were more productive on the ecosystem scale throughout the growing season due to their high areal coverage. These results show that the diversity of growth forms stabilizes the seasonal variation of the ecosystem level PG in an ombrotrophic bog ecosystem. This may increase the resilience of the ecosystem to changing environmental conditions.

  11. Correlations between the Heterogeneity of Permafrost Thaw Depth and Vegetation in Boreal Forests and Arctic Tundra in Alaska.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uy, K. L. Q.; Natali, S.; Kholodov, A. L.; Loranty, M. M.

    2015-12-01

    Global climate change induces rapid large scale changes in the far Northern regions of the globe, which include the thickening of the active layer of arctic and subarctic soils. Active layer depth, in turn, drives many changes to the hydrology and geochemistry of the soil, making an understanding of this layer essential to boreal forest and arctic tundra ecology. Because the structure of plant communities can affect the thermal attributes of the soil, they may drive variations in active layer depth. For instance, trees and tussocks create shade, which reduces temperatures, but also hold snow, which increases temperature through insulation; these aspects of vegetation can increase or decrease summer thaw. The goal of this project is to investigate correlations between the degree of heterogeneity of active layer depths, organic layer thickness, and aboveground vegetation to determine how these facets of Northern ecosystems interact at the ecosystem scale. Permafrost thaw and organic layer depths were measured along 20m transects in twenty-four boreal forest and tundra sites in Alaska. Aboveground vegetation along these transects was characterized by measuring tree diameter at breast height (DBH), tussock dimensions, and understory biomass. Using the coefficient of variation as a measure of heterogeneity, we found a positive correlation between thaw depth variability and tussock volume variability, but little correlation between the former and tree DBH variability. Soil organic layer depth variability was also positively correlated with thaw depth variability, but weakly correlated with tree and tussock heterogeneity. These data suggest that low vegetation and organic layer control the degree of variability in permafrost thaw at the ecosystem scale. Vegetation can thus affect the microtopography of permafrost and future changes in the plant community that affect vegetation heterogeneity will drive corresponding changes in the variability of the soil.

  12. Variation in Carbon Storage and Its Distribution by Stand Age and Forest Type in Boreal and Temperate Forests in Northeastern China

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Yawei; Li, Maihe; Chen, Hua; Lewis, Bernard J.; Yu, Dapao; Zhou, Li; Zhou, Wangming; Fang, Xiangmin; Zhao, Wei; Dai, Limin

    2013-01-01

    The northeastern forest region of China is an important component of total temperate and boreal forests in the northern hemisphere. But how carbon (C) pool size and distribution varies among tree, understory, forest floor and soil components, and across stand ages remains unclear. To address this knowledge gap, we selected three major temperate and two major boreal forest types in northeastern (NE) China. Within both forest zones, we focused on four stand age classes (young, mid-aged, mature and over-mature). Results showed that total C storage was greater in temperate than in boreal forests, and greater in older than in younger stands. Tree biomass C was the main C component, and its contribution to the total forest C storage increased with increasing stand age. It ranged from 27.7% in young to 62.8% in over-mature stands in boreal forests and from 26.5% in young to 72.8% in over-mature stands in temperate forests. Results from both forest zones thus confirm the large biomass C storage capacity of old-growth forests. Tree biomass C was influenced by forest zone, stand age, and forest type. Soil C contribution to total forest C storage ranged from 62.5% in young to 30.1% in over-mature stands in boreal and from 70.1% in young to 26.0% in over-mature in temperate forests. Thus soil C storage is a major C pool in forests of NE China. On the other hand, understory and forest floor C jointly contained less than 13% and <5%, in boreal and temperate forests respectively, and thus play a minor role in total forest C storage in NE China. PMID:23977252

  13. Effects of Repeated Fires in the Forest Ecosystems of the Zabaikalye Region, Southern Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kukavskaya, E.; Buryak, L. V.; Conard, S. G.; Petkov, A.; Barrett, K.; Kalenskaya, O. P.; Ivanova, G.

    2014-12-01

    Fire is the main ecological disturbance controlling forest development in the boreal forests of Siberia and contributing substantially to the global carbon cycle. The warmer and dryer climate observed recently in the boreal forests is considered to be responsible for extreme fire weather, resulting in higher fire frequency, larger areas burned, and an increase of fire severity. Because of the increase of fire activity, boreal forests in some regions may not be able to reach maturity before they re-burn, which means less carbon will be stored in the ecosystem and more will remain in the atmosphere. Moreover, if one fire occurs within a few years of another, some stands will not re-grow at all, and even more carbon will accumulate in the atmosphere. Zabaikalye region located in the south of Siberia is characterized by the highest fire activity in Russia. With a use of the satellite-based fire product we found that there are about 7.0 million hectares in the region burned repeatedly during the last decade. We have investigated a number of sites in-situ in light-coniferous (Scots pine and larch) forests and evaluated the impacts of repeated fires on fuel loads, carbon emissions, and tree regeneration. Substantial decrease of carbon stocks, change of the vegetation structure and composition, and soil erosion were observed in many areas disturbed by repeated fires. At drier sites located in the southern regions repeated fires prohibited successful regeneration and resulted in forest conversion to grassland. Detection and monitoring of changes in the areas of Siberia where repeated fires have caused a major shift in ecosystem structure and function is required for the development of sustainable forest management strategies to mitigate climate change. The research was supported by NASA LCLUC Program.

  14. Silvicultural management in maintaining biodiversity and resistance of forests in Europe-boreal zone: case Finland.

    PubMed

    Mielikäinen, Kari; Hynynen, Jari

    2003-01-01

    The majority of untouched natural boreal forests have been regenerated through large catastrophes, occurring by intervals between 50 and 100 years. Storm and fire will open the landscape, result in a huge amount of dead or dying trees and let the pioneer tree species germinate. These processes are the guideline for Finnish forest management today. The main focus by maintaining the biodiversity in Finnish boreal forest zone is directed to managed forests. Nature-orientated silviculture on stand level is practised. The site type classification, a reflection of the modern concept of biodiversity and developed by Cajander early in 1900s, on the basis of natural vegetation composition of the site, has the central role by choosing tree species, regeneration methods and thinning procedure, and reflects also on the site productivity. The small size of stands, the abundance of natural seedlings in planted stands and the popularity of mixed stands have a positive impact on biodiversity of forests. The protection of small-sized valuable habitats in commercially managed stands, the leaving of retention trees standing and lying in the forest in all phases of the rotation, are activities made for biodiversity. Many insects and fungi are adapted to catastrophes and so they can survive in single stems left on regeneration areas. Maintaining the biodiversity in multifunctional forests is also supported by the new forest legislation and by the criteria of Finnish Forest Certification System. PMID:12659803

  15. Warmer Boreal Forest Organic Soil Horizons are Associated with Larger Fluxes of Dissolved Organic Carbon than their Cooler Climate Counterparts.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowering, K.; Edwards, K. A.; Ziegler, S. E.

    2015-12-01

    Boreal forest soils are characterized by large stocks of carbon associated with relatively slow decomposition and deep organic horizons. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) loss from organic soil horizons occurs through hydrologically-mediated leaching processes, and contributes to downstream carbon both in deeper mineral soils and also in connected aquatic systems. However, the amount of DOC that leaves organic horizons and the environmental controls on this flux are poorly understood and are likely to be affected by climate changes. We sampled zero-tension lysimeters along 3 forested sites of a boreal climate transect to estimate DOC export from organic soil horizons of mesic boreal podzols (spodosols), and to investigate the climatic drivers of this flux. The sites are part of the Newfoundland and Labrador Boreal Ecosystems Latitudinal Transect (NL-BELT) and span approximately 5°C in mean annual temperature. Lysimeters were sampled over 4 years and DOC flux was calculated for each seasonal period (summer, fall, and winter) of each year. DOC flux was greatest in the warmest site (114 mg C day-1 m-2), with the two cooler sites having lower flux rates (40 and 36 mg C day-1 m-2 in the intermediate and coolest sites respectively). Seasonal variation was most pronounced in the warmest site where more DOC exited the organic soil horizons during fall than during summer or winter. DOC flux was correlated with the volume of soil solution collected in the lysimeters (R2 = .46), however the larger sample volumes collected in the warmest climate do not reflect greater overall precipitation. During the 4-year period of this study, similar amounts of precipitation were recorded in all regions, and the number of days with >10mm precipitation did not differ. The greater DOC flux in the warmer climate site may be due to higher rates of both litterfall and decomposition, contributing to increased labile DOC sources in the warmer climate. Analyses of the carbon quality of these samples

  16. Monitoring of the effects of fire in North American boreal forests using ERS SAR imagery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasischke, E. S.; French, N. H. F.; Bourgeau-Chavez, L. L.

    1997-01-01

    ERS synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery represents a tool for monitoring the effects of fires in boreal regions. Fire-scar signatures from ERS SAR collected over Canada and Alaska are presented. The temporal variability exhibited throughout the growing season is underlined. The investigation showed that these signatures have a seasonal trend related to the patterns of soil moisture originating from snow melts in the spring and precipitation during the growing season. These signatures appear in all the regions of the North American boreal forest and remain visible for up to 13 years after a fire.

  17. Neighbourhood-scale urban forest ecosystem classification.

    PubMed

    Steenberg, James W N; Millward, Andrew A; Duinker, Peter N; Nowak, David J; Robinson, Pamela J

    2015-11-01

    Urban forests are now recognized as essential components of sustainable cities, but there remains uncertainty concerning how to stratify and classify urban landscapes into units of ecological significance at spatial scales appropriate for management. Ecosystem classification is an approach that entails quantifying the social and ecological processes that shape ecosystem conditions into logical and relatively homogeneous management units, making the potential for ecosystem-based decision support available to urban planners. The purpose of this study is to develop and propose a framework for urban forest ecosystem classification (UFEC). The multifactor framework integrates 12 ecosystem components that characterize the biophysical landscape, built environment, and human population. This framework is then applied at the neighbourhood scale in Toronto, Canada, using hierarchical cluster analysis. The analysis used 27 spatially-explicit variables to quantify the ecosystem components in Toronto. Twelve ecosystem classes were identified in this UFEC application. Across the ecosystem classes, tree canopy cover was positively related to economic wealth, especially income. However, education levels and homeownership were occasionally inconsistent with the expected positive relationship with canopy cover. Open green space and stocking had variable relationships with economic wealth and were more closely related to population density, building intensity, and land use. The UFEC can provide ecosystem-based information for greening initiatives, tree planting, and the maintenance of the existing canopy. Moreover, its use has the potential to inform the prioritization of limited municipal resources according to ecological conditions and to concerns of social equity in the access to nature and distribution of ecosystem service supply. PMID:26311086

  18. NITROGEN SATURATION IN NORTHERN FOREST ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    In this article we provide a formal definition of nitrogen saturation and set forth a series of testable hypotheses regarding the states of forest ecosystem response to chronic nitrogen deposition. hese hypotheses are used to suggest early indicators of nitrogen saturation and to...

  19. Semi-continuous measurements of mono- and sesquiterpene concentrations in Boreal Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hellén, H.; Henriksson, M.; Kulmala, M.; Hakola, H.

    2012-04-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), especially isoprene and monoterpenes, but also some sesquiterpenes, are emitted from boreal forest. In the atmosphere they react rapidly with hydroxyl radical, nitrate radical and ozone thus participating in the complex atmospheric chemical processes forming ozone and new particles. In-situ gas chromatographic - mass spectrometric measurements of mono- and sesquiterpenes in ambient air were conducted at the SMEAR II station (Station For Measuring Forest Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations 61o51'N, 24o18'E, 181 a.s.l) in Hyytiälä, southern Finland. Between October 2010 and October 2011 at least one week was measured every month by taking 60 minute samples every other hour. During the winter months concentrations of monoterpenes (MTs) were low, very often below detection limits (< 1 ppt). In spite of faster sink reactions maximum concentrations (MT sum 520 ppt) were measured in summer due to larger emissions during a growing season. The main monoterpene in early winter was camphene followed by α-pinene, p-cymene and Δ3-carene, but during other months and already in February α-pinene had highest concentrations followed by Δ3-carene. Sesquiterpenes had a summer maximum (4 ppt), but small amounts of sesquiterpenes were also measured in winter. The main sesquiterpene measured was isolongifolene and the other sesquiterpenes occasionally detected were α-humulene, alloaromadrendrene and longicyclene. In summer there was also one unknown sesquiterpene having the highest concentrations. In winter monoterpene concentrations did not have any diurnal cycle, but after March maximum concentrations were measured during the night and minimum during the day. Emissions are known to be highest in the middle of day or afternoon, but increased mixing and faster photochemical reactions lower the concentrations in daytime. Also sesquiterpenes have clear diurnal variability with maximum at night in summer.

  20. Unusual forest growth decline in boreal North America covaries with the retreat of Arctic sea ice.

    PubMed

    Girardin, Martin P; Guo, Xiao Jing; De Jong, Rogier; Kinnard, Christophe; Bernier, Pierre; Raulier, Frédéric

    2014-03-01

    The 20th century was a pivotal period at high northern latitudes as it marked the onset of rapid climatic warming brought on by major anthropogenic changes in global atmospheric composition. In parallel, Arctic sea ice extent has been decreasing over the period of available satellite data records. Here, we document how these changes influenced vegetation productivity in adjacent eastern boreal North America. To do this, we used normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data, model simulations of net primary productivity (NPP) and tree-ring width measurements covering the last 300 years. Climatic and proxy-climatic data sets were used to explore the relationships between vegetation productivity and Arctic sea ice concentration and extent, and temperatures. Results indicate that an unusually large number of black spruce (Picea mariana) trees entered into a period of growth decline during the late-20th century (62% of sampled trees; n = 724 cross sections of age >70 years). This finding is coherent with evidence encoded in NDVI and simulated NPP data. Analyses of climatic and vegetation productivity relationships indicate that the influence of recent climatic changes in the studied forests has been via the enhanced moisture stress (i.e. greater water demands) and autotrophic respiration amplified by the declining sea ice concentration in Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait. The recent decline strongly contrasts with other growth reduction events that occurred during the 19th century, which were associated with cooling and high sea ice severity. The recent decline of vegetation productivity is the first one to occur under circumstances related to excess heat in a 300-year period, and further culminates with an intensifying wildfire regime in the region. Our results concur with observations from other forest ecosystems about intensifying temperature-driven drought stress and tree mortality with ongoing climatic changes. PMID:24115302

  1. Uncovering the Minor Contribution of Land-Cover Change in Upland Forests to the Net Carbon Footprint of a Boreal Hydroelectric Reservoir.

    PubMed

    Dessureault, Pierre-Luc; Boucher, Jean-François; Tremblay, Pascal; Bouchard, Sylvie; Villeneuve, Claude

    2015-07-01

    Hydropower in boreal conditions is generally considered the energy source emitting the least greenhouse gas per kilowatt-hour during its life cycle. The purpose of this study was to assess the relative contribution of the land-use change on the modification of the carbon sinks and sources following the flooding of upland forested territories to create the Eastmain-1 hydroelectric reservoir in Quebec's boreal forest using Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector. Results suggest a carbon sink loss after 100 yr of 300,000 ± 100,000 Mg CO equivalents (COe). A wildfire sensitivity analysis revealed that the ecosystem would have acted as a carbon sink as long as <75% of the territory had burned over the 100-yr-long period. Our long-term net carbon flux estimate resulted in emissions of 4 ± 2 g COe kWh as a contribution to the carbon footprint calculation, one-eighth what was obtained in a recent study that used less precise and less sensitive estimates. Consequently, this study significantly reduces the reported net carbon footprint of this reservoir and reveals how negligible the relative contribution of the land-use change in upland forests to the total net carbon footprint of a hydroelectric reservoir in the boreal zone can be. PMID:26437092

  2. Sensitivity of the boreal forest-mire ecotone CO2, CH4, and N2O global warming potential to rainy and dry weather

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ťupek, Boris; Minkkinen, Kari; Vesala, Timo; Nikinmaa, Eero

    2015-04-01

    In a mosaic of well drained forests and poorly drained mires of boreal landscape the weather events such as drought and rainy control greenhouse gas dynamics and ecosystem global warming potential (GWP). In forest-mire ecotone especially in ecosystems where CO2 sink is nearly balanced with CO2 source, it's fairly unknown whether the net warming effect of emissions of gases with strong radiative forcing (CH4 and N2O) could offset the net cooling effect of CO2 sequestration. We compared the net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) estimated from the carbon sequestrations of forest stands and forest floor CO2 fluxes against CH4 and N2O fluxes of nine forest/mire site types along the soil moisture gradient in Finland. The ground water of nine sites changed between 10 m in upland forests and 0.1 m in mires, and weather during three years ranged between exceptionally wet and dry for the local climate. The NEE of upland forests was typically a sink of CO2, regardless the weather. Though, xeric pine forest was estimated to be a source of CO2 during wet and intermediate year and became a weak sink only in dry year. The NEE of forest-mire transitions ranged between a sink in dry year, while increased stand carbon sequestration could offset the reduced forest floor CO2 emission, and a source in wet year. The NEE of two sparsely forested mires strongly differed. The lawn type mire was balanced around zero and the hummock type mire was relatively strong NEE sink, regardless the weather. Generally, nearly zero N2O emission could not offset the cooling effect of net CH4 sink and net CO2 sink of upland forest and forest-mire transitions. However in sparsely forested mires, with N2O emission also nearly zero, the CH4 emission during wet and intermediate year played important role in turning the net cooling effect of NEE into a net warming. When evaluating GWP of boreal landscapes, undisturbed forest-mire transitions should be regarded as net cooling ecosystems instead of hotspots of net

  3. Changes in fungal communities along a boreal forest soil fertility gradient.

    PubMed

    Sterkenburg, Erica; Bahr, Adam; Brandström Durling, Mikael; Clemmensen, Karina E; Lindahl, Björn D

    2015-09-01

    Boreal forests harbour diverse fungal communities with decisive roles in decomposition and plant nutrition. Although changes in boreal plant communities along gradients in soil acidity and nitrogen (N) availability are well described, less is known about how fungal taxonomic and functional groups respond to soil fertility factors. We analysed fungal communities in humus and litter from 25 Swedish old-growth forests, ranging from N-rich Picea abies stands to acidic and N-poor Pinus sylvestris stands. 454-pyrosequencing of ITS2 amplicons was used to analyse community composition, and biomass was estimated by ergosterol analysis. Fungal community composition was significantly related to soil fertility at the levels of species, genera/orders and functional groups. Ascomycetes dominated in less fertile forests, whereas basidiomycetes increased in abundance in more fertile forests, both in litter and humus. The relative abundance of mycorrhizal fungi in the humus layer remained high even in the most fertile soils. Tolerance to acidity and nitrogen deficiency seems to be of greater importance than plant carbon (C) allocation patterns in determining responses of fungal communities to soil fertility, in old-growth boreal forests. PMID:25952659

  4. Photosynthetic properties of boreal bog plant species and their contribution to ecosystem level carbon sink

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korrensalo, Aino; Hájek, Tomas; Alekseychik, Pavel; Rinne, Janne; Vesala, Timo; Mehtätalo, Lauri; Mammarella, Ivan; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina

    2016-04-01

    Boreal bogs have a low number of plant species, but a large diversity of growth forms. This heterogeneity might explain the seasonally less varying photosynthetic productivity of these ecosystems compared to peatlands with vegetation consisting of fewer growth forms. The differences in photosynthetic properties within bog species and phases of growing season has not been comprehensively studied. Also the role of different plant species for the ecosystem level carbon (C) sink function is insufficiently known. We quantified the seasonal variation of photosynthetic properties in bog plant species and assessed how this variation accounts for the temporal variation in the ecosystem C sink. Photosynthetic light response of 11 vascular plant and 8 Sphagnum moss species was measured monthly over the growing season of 2013. Based on the species' light response parameters, leaf area development and areal coverage, we estimated the ecosystem level gross photosynthesis rate (PG) over the growing season. The level of upscaled PG was verified by comparing it to the ecosystem gross primary production (GPP) estimate calculated based on eddy covariance (EC) measurements. Although photosynthetic parameters differed within plant species and months, these differences were of less importance than expected for the variation in ecosystem level C sink. The most productive plant species at the ecosystem scale were not those with the highest maximum potential photosynthesis per unit of leaf area (Pmax), but those having the largest areal coverage. Sphagnum mosses had 35% smaller Pmax than vascular plants, but had higher photosynthesis at the ecosystem scale throughout the growing season. The contribution of the bog plant species to the ecosystem level PG differed over the growing season. The seasonal variation in ecosystem C sink was mainly controlled by phenology. Sedge PG had a sharp mid-summer peak, but the PG of evergreen shrubs and Sphagna remained rather stable over the growing season

  5. Significant Increase in Ecosystem C Can Be Achieved with Sustainable Forest Management in Subtropical Plantation Forests

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Xiaohua; Blanco, Juan A.

    2014-01-01

    Subtropical planted forests are rapidly expanding. They are traditionally managed for intensive, short-term goals that often lead to long-term yield decline and reduced carbon sequestration capacity. Here we show how it is possible to increase and sustain carbon stored in subtropical forest plantations if management is switched towards more sustainable forestry. We first conducted a literature review to explore possible management factors that contribute to the potentials in ecosystem C in tropical and subtropical plantations. We found that broadleaves plantations have significantly higher ecosystem C than conifer plantations. In addition, ecosystem C increases with plantation age, and reaches a peak with intermediate stand densities of 1500–2500 trees ha−1. We then used the FORECAST model to simulate the regional implications of switching from traditional to sustainable management regimes, using Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) plantations in subtropical China as a study case. We randomly simulated 200 traditional short-rotation pure stands and 200 sustainably-managed mixed Chinese fir – Phoebe bournei plantations, for 120 years. Our results showed that mixed, sustainably-managed plantations have on average 67.5% more ecosystem C than traditional pure conifer plantations. If all pure plantations were gradually transformed into mixed plantations during the next 10 years, carbon stocks could rise in 2050 by 260.22 TgC in east-central China. Assuming similar differences for temperate and boreal plantations, if sustainable forestry practices were applied to all new forest plantation types in China, stored carbon could increase by 1,482.80 TgC in 2050. Such an increase would be equivalent to a yearly sequestration rate of 40.08 TgC yr−1, offsetting 1.9% of China’s annual emissions in 2010. More importantly, this C increase can be sustained in the long term through the maintenance of higher amounts of soil organic carbon and the production of timber

  6. The effect of climate anomalies and human ignition factor on wildfires in Russian boreal forests.

    PubMed

    Achard, Frédéric; Eva, Hugh D; Mollicone, Danilo; Beuchle, René

    2008-07-12

    Over the last few years anomalies in temperature and precipitation in northern Russia have been regarded as manifestations of climate change. During the same period exceptional forest fire seasons have been reported, prompting many authors to suggest that these in turn are due to climate change. In this paper, we examine the number and areal extent of forest fires across boreal Russia for the period 2002-2005 within two forest categories: 'intact forests' and 'non-intact forests'. Results show a far lower density of fire events in intact forests (5-14 times less) and that those events tend to be in the first 10 km buffer zone inside intact forest areas. Results also show that, during exceptional climatic years (2002 and 2003), fire event density is twice that found during normal years (2004 and 2005) and average areal extent of fire events (burned area) in intact forests is 2.5 times larger than normal. These results suggest that a majority of the fire events in boreal Russia are of human origin and a maximum of one-third of their impact (areal extension) can be attributed to climate anomalies alone, the rest being due to the combined effect of human disturbances and climate anomalies. PMID:18006413

  7. Forest and land inventory using ERTS imagery and aerial photography in the boreal forest region of Alberta, Canada

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirby, C. L.

    1974-01-01

    Satellite imagery and small-scale (1:120,000) infrared ektachrome aerial photography for the development of improved forest and land inventory techniques in the boreal forest region are presented to demonstrate spectral signatures and their application. The forest is predominately mixed, stands of white spruce and poplar, with some pure stands of black spruce, pine and large areas of poorly drained land with peat and sedge type muskegs. This work is part of coordinated program to evaluate ERTS imagery by the Canadian Forestry Service.

  8. Dissolved Organic Carbon in Boreal Black Spruce Forest: Sources, Chemistry, and Biodegradability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wickland, K. P.; Neff, J. C.; Aiken, G. R.

    2006-12-01

    Northern terrestrial ecosystems are commonly characterized by large stores of soil organic matter and are a major source of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to aquatic systems. Recent changes in climate may be impacting the fate of terrestrial DOC in these high latitude ecosystems. Terrestrially-derived DOC can be metabolized by microbes in soils, sorbed to mineral soils, or transported to ground or surface waters. To understand what determines the fate of terrestrial DOC in northern ecosystems, it is essential to quantify the chemical nature and potential biodegradability of this DOC, and to know how factors such as vegetation and hydrology influence these qualities. We examined the chemistry and potential biodegradability of DOC from black spruce forest, a dominant ecosystem type in the boreal regions of Alaska and Canada. Over the course of one year, soil pore waters were collected from three black spruce sites that spanned a range of hydrologic regimes and permafrost extents, designated as well drained (WD), moderately well drained (MD), and poorly drained (PD), and from thermokarst wetlands (TW) that had formed within the PD site due to permafrost melting. DOC chemistry was characterized using XAD resin fractionation, UV-Vis absorbance, and DOC fluorescence measurements. Potential biodegradability was assessed by incubating the samples for one month, and measuring CO2 production over time. We also measured chemistry and potential biodegradability of DOC leached from dominant vegetation species. Soil pore water DOC from all sites was dominated by hydrophobic acids and was highly aromatic, while the chemical composition of vegetation leachate DOC varied with species. There was no seasonal variability in soil pore water DOC chemistry or biodegradability; however DOC collected from PD was less biodegradable than DOC from the other sites (6% loss vs. 13-15% loss). The potential biodegradability of vegetation-derived DOC ranged from 10%-90% loss, and was strongly

  9. Variations in the fire regime in the North American boreal forest between 1990 and 2004 and their potential impacts on terrestrial carbon storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasischke, E. S.; Turetsky, M. R.; McGuire, A. D.; French, N. H.

    2004-12-01

    Fires in the North American boreal region play an important role in regulating the the levels of carbon stored in the terrestrial ecosystems of this region, both directly and indirectly. Biomass burning not only consumes carbon present in the aboveground vegetation and litter layers of boreal forests and peatlands (as is common during fires in temperate and tropical ecosystems), but also large amounts of carbon present in the organic layer that lies on top of mineral soil (consisting of moss, lichen, dead woody debris and organic soil). Understanding the factors controlling consumption of ground-layer organic matter during fires in boreal ecosystem is central to quantifying the terrestrial carbon budget in this region. The 1950-2004 period can be divided into 3 distinct epochs in terms of fire activity in the North American boreal region. The early epoch of 1950-1968 experienced the lowest fire activity, 1.2 million ha or Mha per yr, and increased to 2.1 Mha per yr during 1969-1986 epoch and 3.0 Mha per yr during 1987-2004 epoch. The end result of this steep rise in fire activity is an increase in the average amount of carbon released during fires. A key question that needs to be addressed is how much carbon has actually been released through the burning of ground-layer organic matter. The observed increases in average area burned are due to a combination of increases in the frequency of large fire years, as well as increases in average area burned during large fire years. Analyses of fire databases show that as the burned area increases during a given year, the percent of area burned in large fire events increases as well. The amount of fires occurring later in the growing season also increases. Recent and ongoing studies have integrated field observations with satellite observations on fire location and fire severity to provide more detailed assessments of how fires impact carbon budgets of boreal systems. These studies, along with theoretical models, indicate

  10. Carbon stock and carbon turnover in boreal and temperate forests - Integration of remote sensing data and global vegetation models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thurner, Martin; Beer, Christian; Carvalhais, Nuno; Forkel, Matthias; Tito Rademacher, Tim; Santoro, Maurizio; Tum, Markus; Schmullius, Christiane

    2016-04-01

    Long-term vegetation dynamics are one of the key uncertainties of the carbon cycle. There are large differences in simulated vegetation carbon stocks and fluxes including productivity, respiration and carbon turnover between global vegetation models. Especially the implementation of climate-related mortality processes, for instance drought, fire, frost or insect effects, is often lacking or insufficient in current models and their importance at global scale is highly uncertain. These shortcomings have been due to the lack of spatially extensive information on vegetation carbon stocks, which cannot be provided by inventory data alone. Instead, we recently have been able to estimate northern boreal and temperate forest carbon stocks based on radar remote sensing data. Our spatially explicit product (0.01° resolution) shows strong agreement to inventory-based estimates at a regional scale and allows for a spatial evaluation of carbon stocks and dynamics simulated by global vegetation models. By combining this state-of-the-art biomass product and NPP datasets originating from remote sensing, we are able to study the relation between carbon turnover rate and a set of climate indices in northern boreal and temperate forests along spatial gradients. We observe an increasing turnover rate with colder winter temperatures and longer winters in boreal forests, suggesting frost damage and the trade-off between frost adaptation and growth being important mortality processes in this ecosystem. In contrast, turnover rate increases with climatic conditions favouring drought and insect outbreaks in temperate forests. Investigated global vegetation models from the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP), including HYBRID4, JeDi, JULES, LPJml, ORCHIDEE, SDGVM, and VISIT, are able to reproduce observation-based spatial climate - turnover rate relationships only to a limited extent. While most of the models compare relatively well in terms of NPP, simulated

  11. Differences in satellite-derived NOx emission factors between Eurasian and North American boreal forest fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schreier, S. F.; Richter, A.; Schepaschenko, D.; Shvidenko, A.; Hilboll, A.; Burrows, J. P.

    2015-11-01

    Current fire emission inventories apply universal emission factors (EFs) for the calculation of NOx emissions over large biomes such as boreal forest. However, recent satellite-based studies over tropical and subtropical regions have indicated spatio-temporal variations in EFs within specific biomes. In this study, satellite measurements of tropospheric NO2 vertical columns (TVC NO2) from the GOME-2 instrument and fire radiative power (FRP) from MODIS are used for the estimation of fire emission rates (FERs) of NOx over Eurasian and North American boreal forests. The retrieval of TVC NO2 is based on a stratospheric correction using simulated stratospheric NO2 instead of applying the reference sector method, which was used in a previous study. The model approach is more suitable for boreal latitudes. TVC NO2 and FRP are spatially aggregated to a 1° × 1° horizontal resolution and temporally averaged to monthly values. The conversion of the satellite-derived tropospheric NO2 columns into production rates of NOx from fire (Pf) is based on the NO2/NOx ratio as obtained from the MACC reanalysis data set and an assumed lifetime of NOx. A global land cover map is used to define boreal forests across these two regions in order to evaluate the FERs of NOx for this biome. The FERs of NOx, which are derived from the gradients of the linear relationship between Pf and FRP, are more than 30% lower for North American than for Eurasian boreal forest fires. We speculate that these discrepancies are mainly related to the variable nitrogen content in plant tissues, which is higher in deciduous forests dominating large parts in Eurasia. In order to compare the obtained values with EFs found in the literature, the FERs are converted into EFs. The satellite-based EFs of NOx are estimated at 0.83 and 0.61 g kg-1 for Eurasian and North American boreal forests, respectively, which is in good agreement with the value found in a recent emission factor compilation. However, recent fire

  12. The Perfect Fire? Aging Stands in the Alaskan Boreal Forest Encounter Global Warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mann, D.; Rupp, S.; Duffy, P.

    2008-12-01

    The ecological responses of the boreal forest to climate change have global significance because of the large amount of carbon stored in its soils and biomass. Fire, mostly ignited by lightning, is the keystone disturbance agent in this forest. It triggers cycles of forest succession in its wake, and burning is the main avenue for carbon release back to the atmosphere. We studied the interactions between climate, fires, forest succession, and the age distributions of forest stands in a 60-million hectare region of Interior Alaska over the past 150 years. First we developed a statistical model relating climate to area burned over the period of record (1950-2005). Next we combined this model with climate reconstructions to extend the estimates of area burned back to A.D. 1860. We checked the resultant fire history against stand-age data from 5000 living trees sampled in the study region. Then we fed the history of area burned into a computer model that simulates forest succession on real landscapes. Results show striking changes in the means and variances of stand ages over the last 150 years in response to interactions between climate change and the successional dynamics of the boreal forest. Average stand age increased steadily between 1880 and 1940 and has fluctuated at high levels since then, indicating a historically unusual abundance of flammable stands. This accumulation of old stands has created the potential for unusually large fires. Some support for this conclusion comes from the unprecedented large sizes of the areas burned in 2004 and 2005. Further support comes when we add to the analysis the forecasts made by global climate models for Alaska over the next twenty years. Bracketing estimates for climate warming and precipitation change suggest that warmer, drier summers combined with aging forest stands will cause a series of unusually large fires, the like of which have not occurred in the region for >150 years. We infer that the enhanced burning of the

  13. OH reactivity measurements within a boreal forest: evidence for unknown reactive emissions.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Vinayak; Williams, J; Lelieveld, J; Ruuskanen, T M; Kajos, M K; Patokoski, J; Hellen, H; Hakola, H; Mogensen, D; Boy, M; Rinne, J; Kulmala, M

    2010-09-01

    Boreal forests emit large amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which react with the hydroxyl radical (OH) to influence regional ozone levels and form secondary organic aerosol. Using OH reactivity measurements within a boreal forest in Finland, we investigated the budget of reactive VOCs. OH reactivity was measured using the comparative reactivity method, whereas 30 individual VOCs were measured using proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry, thermal-desorption gas chromatography mass spectrometry, and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, in August 2008. The measured OH reactivity ranged from below detection limit (3.5 s(-1)), to approximately 60 s(-1) in a single pollution event. The average OH reactivity was approximately 9 s(-1) and no diel variation was observed in the profiles. The measured OH sinks (approximately 30 species) accounted for only 50% of the total measured OH reactivity, implying unknown reactive VOCs within the forest. The five highest measured OH sinks were: monoterpenes (1 s(-1)), CO (0.7 s(-1)), isoprene (0.5 s(-1)), propanal and acetone (0.3 s(-1)), and methane (0.3 s(-1)). We suggest that models be constrained by direct OH reactivity measurements to accurately assess the impact of boreal forest emissions on regional atmospheric chemistry and climate. PMID:20687598

  14. An Analysis of Drought Indicators for Detecting Dry Spells over Boreal Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Y.; Markkanen, T.; Aalto, T.

    2014-12-01

    Regional-scale impacts of drought on forest growth also take place in high-latitude boreal region, as in low- and middle-latitudes. A variety of drought indicators have been developed in the past, in order to quantify the duration and intensity of drought. The aims of this study are: 1) to investigate the relationships between various drought indicators and forest CO2 exchange in boreal area; 2) to evaluate the drought indicators based on modeled results from JSBACH land surface model through comparing to the observation based drought indicators, aiming to reliable future drought prediction. The standardized precipitation index (SPI) and the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) are calculated from both observational and modeled climate variables over 30 years (1981-2010). The soil moisture index (SMI) is also processed using available 5-layer soil moisture in JSBACH modeled results. Those indicators are developed for multiple time scales to capture the beginning and ending points when the forest in this boreal area responds to certain drought episodes. The different responses from coniferous, deciduous and mixed forest types to drought will also be studied.

  15. Water, Energy and Carbon Balance Research: Recovery Trajectories For Oil Sands Reclamation and Disturbed Watersheds in the Western Boreal Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrone, R. M.; Carey, S. K.

    2014-12-01

    The Oil Sand Region (OSR) of North-Central Alberta exists within the sub-humid Boreal Plains (BP) ecozone, with a slight long-term moisture deficit regime. Despite this deficit, the BP is comprised of productive wetland and mixed wood (aspen and conifer dominated) forests. Reclamation activities are now underway at a large number of surface mining operations in the OSR, where target ecosystems are identified, soil prescriptions placed and commercial forest species planted. Some watersheds have been created that now contain wetlands. However, recent work in the BP suggests that over time wetlands supply moisture for the productivity of upland forests. Thus, water use of reclaimed forests is going to be critical in determining the sustainability of these systems and adjacent wetlands, and whether in time, either will achieve some form of equivalent capability that will allow for certification by regulators. A critical component in the success of any reclamation is that sufficient water is available to support target ecosystems through the course of natural climate cycles in the region. Water Use Efficiency (WUE), which links photosynthesis (GEP) with water use (Evapotranspiration (ET)), provides a useful metric to compare ecosystems and evaluate their utilization of resources. In this study, 41 site years of total growing season water and carbon flux data over 8 sites (4 reclamation, 4 regeneration) were evaluated using eddy covariance micrometeorological towers. WUE shows clear discrimination among ecosystem types as aspen stands assimilate more carbon per unit weight of water than conifers. WUEs also change with time as ecosystems become more effective at transpiring water through plant pathways compared with bare-soil evaporation, which allows an assessment of ability to limit water loss without carbon uptake. In addition, clonal rooting systems allow aspen forests to recover quicker after disturbance than reclamation sites in terms of their WUE. For reclamation

  16. Changes in microbial decomposition across a fire chronosequence in Alaskan boreal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holden, S. R.; Treseder, K. K.

    2012-12-01

    Climate warming in boreal forests is likely to increase the frequency and severity of wildfires, with uncertain consequences for soil microbial communities and soil carbon dynamics. This uncertainty is germane because an estimated 90-290 Pg carbon resides in the soils of boreal forests, accounting for 12-42% of global soil organic carbon. Previous work suggests that fires stimulate microbial decomposition, in part due to post-fire increases in soil temperature. However, this hypothesis has rarely been directly tested in a field setting. The objectives of this study were (1) to quantify changes in microbial decomposition following boreal forest fires and (2) to elucidate the mechanisms controlling post-fire changes in microbial decomposition. To address objective 1, we measured the decomposition rate of aspen and black spruce litter across a fire chronosequence in boreal forests of interior Alaska. This fire chronosequence contains sites that burned in 2010, 2004, 1999, 1987, and two "control" sites that are ~100 years old. After one year of decomposition, aspen and black spruce litter decomposing at recently burned sites lost significantly less mass in comparison to mature stands. Decomposition rates increased with the time since fire (Aspen: r2 = 0.691, P < 0.001, Black spruce: r2 = 0.612, P < 0.001). Recently burned sites also had decreased soil microbial biomass (P = 0.005) and lower hydrolytic extracellular enzyme activity (P = 0.001) than mature stands. To address objective 2, we set up a reciprocal transplant to isolate the effects of the soil environment, organic matter origin, and microbial community origin on post-fire microbial decomposition. These main effects were crossed in a full factorial design with two levels of each factor (burned or unburned). We found that organic matter decomposing at a recently burned site lost significantly less mass than organic matter decomposing at an unburned site (P = 0.029), regardless of the organic matter origin or

  17. Who is the new sheriff in town regulating boreal forest growth?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park Williams, A.; Xu, Chonggang; McDowell, Nate G.

    2011-12-01

    Climate change appears to be altering boreal forests. One recently observed symptom of these changes has been an apparent weakening of the positive relationship between high-latitude boreal tree growth and temperature at some sites (D'Arrigo et al 2008). This phenomenon is referred to as the 'divergence problem' or 'divergence effect' and is thought to reflect a non-linear relationship between temperature and tree growth, where recent warming has allowed other factors besides growing-season temperature to emerge as dominant regulators of annual growth rates. Figure 1 demonstrates this divergence phenomenon with records of tree-ring widths collected from 59 populations of white spruce in Alaska 1. Key tendencies among these populations include: (1) growth is most sensitive to temperature during relatively cold growing seasons (figure 1(a)), (2) populations at colder sites are more sensitive to temperature than those at warmer sites are (figure 1(a)), and (3) growth at warmer sites may respond negatively to increased temperature beyond some optimal growing-season temperature (figure 1(b)). Since temperature is rising rapidly at high latitudes, one interpretation of figures 1(a) and (b) is that warming has promoted increased growth at colder sites, but caused growth to plateau or slow at warmer sites. Corroborating this interpretation, satellite imagery and tree-ring data indicate increasing vegetation productivity near the forest-tundra boundary but declining productivity in warmer regions within forest interiors (e.g., Bunn and Goetz 2006, Beck and Goetz 2011, Beck et al 2011, Berner et al 2011). Will continued warming cause a northward migration of boreal forests, with mortality in the warmer, southern locations and expansion into the colder tundra? This question is difficult to answer because many factors besides temperature influence boreal forest dynamics. Widespread productivity declines within interior boreal forests appear to be related to warming

  18. A simplified gross primary production and evapotranspiration model for boreal coniferous forests - is a generic calibration sufficient?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minunno, F.; Peltoniemi, M.; Launiainen, S.; Aurela, M.; Lindroth, A.; Lohila, A.; Mammarella, I.; Minkkinen, K.; Mäkelä, A.

    2015-07-01

    The problem of model complexity has been lively debated in environmental sciences as well as in the forest modelling community. Simple models are less input demanding and their calibration involves a lower number of parameters, but they might be suitable only at local scale. In this work we calibrated a simplified ecosystem process model (PRELES) to data from multiple sites and we tested if PRELES can be used at regional scale to estimate the carbon and water fluxes of Boreal conifer forests. We compared a multi-site (M-S) with site-specific (S-S) calibrations. Model calibrations and evaluations were carried out by the means of the Bayesian method; Bayesian calibration (BC) and Bayesian model comparison (BMC) were used to quantify the uncertainty in model parameters and model structure. To evaluate model performances BMC results were combined with more classical analysis of model-data mismatch (M-DM). Evapotranspiration (ET) and gross primary production (GPP) measurements collected in 10 sites of Finland and Sweden were used in the study. Calibration results showed that similar estimates were obtained for the parameters at which model outputs are most sensitive. No significant differences were encountered in the predictions of the multi-site and site-specific versions of PRELES with exception of a site with agricultural history (Alkkia). Although PRELES predicted GPP better than evapotranspiration, we concluded that the model can be reliably used at regional scale to simulate carbon and water fluxes of Boreal forests. Our analyses underlined also the importance of using long and carefully collected flux datasets in model calibration. In fact, even a single site can provide model calibrations that can be applied at a wider spatial scale, since it covers a wide range of variability in climatic conditions.

  19. Fire Characterization and Fire-Related Land Cover Classification Using Hyperion Data over Selected Alaskan Boreal Forest Fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waigl, C. F.; Prakash, A.; Stuefer, M.; Dennison, P. E.

    2014-12-01

    In this study, NIR and SWIR EO-1 Hyperion data acquired over two large Alaskan forest fires are used to detect active fires, map their immediate vicinity, and retrieve fire temperatures. The study sites are located in black spruce stands within the 2004 Boundary fire (215,000 ha total affected area) and the 2009 Wood River 1 fire (50,000 ha). Even though fires in the North American boreal forest ecosystem contribute greatly to global carbon cycling and large-scale air pollution, they have been less studied so far using satellite-borne imaging spectroscopy. We adapted the Hyperspectral Fire Detection Index (HFDI) so that it worked well for the high-latitude Hyperion data. This involved selecting suitable bands which best separated fire from non-fire pixels and averaging them to further improve the detection signal. Resulting fire detection maps compare favorably to uniform radiance thresholding of the Hyperion data and are consistent with fires detected on near-simultaneous Landsat 7 ETM+ data. Unsupervised classification of the vicinity of the active fire zones served to delineate 5 to 6 well separated classes: high- and low-intensity fire, various unburnt vegetation classes, recent fire scar, and a transitional zone ahead of the active fire front that shows evidence of fire impact but no emitted radiance component. Furthermore, MODTRAN5 was used for atmospheric correction to retrieve fire temperatures by modeling a mixture of emitted and reflected radiance signatures of the fire and background areas, respectively. As most of the carbon consumption and subsequent emissions in boreal forest fires stem from the combustion of dead plant material on the forest floor, estimates on fire intensities and high/low intensity burn areas provide valuable insight into the amount of carbon cycling in the system. Imaging spectroscopy can therefore contribute an important step forward in quantitative studies of boreal fires and their impacts. These techniques are set to advance

  20. Biotic stress accelerates formation of climate-relevant aerosols in boreal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joutsensaari, J.; Yli-Pirilä, P.; Korhonen, H.; Arola, A.; Blande, J. D.; Heijari, J.; Kivimäenpää, M.; Mikkonen, S.; Hao, L.; Miettinen, P.; Lyytikäinen-Saarenmaa, P.; Faiola, C. L.; Laaksonen, A.; Holopainen, J. K.

    2015-04-01

    Boreal forests are a major source of climate-relevant biogenic secondary organic aerosols (SOA) and will be greatly influenced by increasing temperature. Global warming is predicted to increase emissions of reactive biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC) from vegetation directly, but will also induce large-scale insect outbreaks, which significantly increase emissions of reactive BVOC. Thus, climate change factors could substantially accelerate the formation of biogenic SOA in the troposphere. In this study, we have combined results from field and laboratory experiments, satellite observations and global scale modelling in order to evaluate the effects of insect herbivory and large-scale outbreaks on SOA formation and the Earth's climate. Field measurements demonstrated 11-fold and 20-fold increases in monoterpene and sesquiterpene emissions, respectively, from damaged trees during a pine sawfly (Neodiprion sertifer) outbreak in eastern Finland. Laboratory chamber experiments showed that feeding by pine weevils (Hylobius abietis) increased VOC emissions from Scots pine and Norway spruce seedlings by 10-50 fold resulting in 200-1000 fold increases in SOA masses formed via ozonolysis. The influence of insect damage on aerosol concentrations in boreal forests was studied with a global chemical transport model GLOMAP and MODIS satellite observations. Global scale modelling was performed using a 10-fold increase in monoterpene emission rates and assuming 10% of the boreal forest area was experiencing outbreak. Results showed a clear increase in total particulate mass (local max. 480%) and cloud condensation nuclei concentrations (45%). Satellite observations indicated a two-fold increase in aerosol optical depth (AOD) over western Canada's pine forests in August during a bark beetle outbreak. These results suggest that more frequent insect outbreaks in a warming climate could result in substantial increase in biogenic SOA formation in the boreal zone and, thus

  1. Biotic stress accelerates formation of climate-relevant aerosols in boreal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joutsensaari, J.; Yli-Pirilä, P.; Korhonen, H.; Arola, A.; Blande, J. D.; Heijari, J.; Kivimäenpää, M.; Mikkonen, S.; Hao, L.; Miettinen, P.; Lyytikäinen-Saarenmaa, P.; Faiola, C. L.; Laaksonen, A.; Holopainen, J. K.

    2015-11-01

    Boreal forests are a major source of climate-relevant biogenic secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) and will be greatly influenced by increasing temperature. Global warming is predicted to not only increase emissions of reactive biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) from vegetation directly but also induce large-scale insect outbreaks, which significantly increase emissions of reactive BVOCs. Thus, climate change factors could substantially accelerate the formation of biogenic SOAs in the troposphere. In this study, we have combined results from field and laboratory experiments, satellite observations and global-scale modelling in order to evaluate the effects of insect herbivory and large-scale outbreaks on SOA formation and the Earth's climate. Field measurements demonstrated 11-fold and 20-fold increases in monoterpene and sesquiterpene emissions respectively from damaged trees during a pine sawfly (Neodiprion sertifer) outbreak in eastern Finland. Laboratory chamber experiments showed that feeding by pine weevils (Hylobius abietis) increased VOC emissions from Scots pine and Norway spruce seedlings by 10-50 fold, resulting in 200-1000-fold increases in SOA masses formed via ozonolysis. The influence of insect damage on aerosol concentrations in boreal forests was studied with a global chemical transport model GLOMAP and MODIS satellite observations. Global-scale modelling was performed using a 10-fold increase in monoterpene emission rates and assuming 10 % of the boreal forest area was experiencing outbreak. Results showed a clear increase in total particulate mass (local max. 480 %) and cloud condensation nuclei concentrations (45 %). Satellite observations indicated a 2-fold increase in aerosol optical depth over western Canada's pine forests in August during a bark beetle outbreak. These results suggest that more frequent insect outbreaks in a warming climate could result in substantial increase in biogenic SOA formation in the boreal zone and, thus

  2. Modeling biophysical exchanges and micro-meteorology in soil-vegetation-atmosphere continuums: Results from a two-story boreal aspen forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Lianhong

    In this study, a multilayer canopy process model for the exchanges of radiative energy, sensible heat, water vapor and CO2 between vegetation and the atmosphere is developed. The model is designed to be applied to both one-story and two-story canopies. It first predicts profiles of temperature, water vapor and CO2 partial pressures in plant canopies. Then from these predicted profiles, exchanges of sensible heat, water vapor and CO2 in each layer of the canopy are computed. Finally, canopy level fluxes are obtained by integrating these exchanges over the canopy. The model was tested comprehensively against measurements from a two-story boreal aspen forest in the southern study area of the boreal ecosystem-atmosphere study (BOREAS) project. Major findings obtained in this dissertation study can be summarized as follows: (1) The model can make accurate predictions for fluxes of radiative energy, sensible heat, water vapor and CO2 over this two-story forest, and profiles and diurnal patterns of air temperature, water vapor partial pressure and CO2 concentration within and just above the canopy. (2) Energy and mass exchanges in this boreal forest was largely controlled by the above story even through its LAI was smaller than that of the understory. However, to model energy and mass exchanges, it is not sufficient to consider leaves only, and contributions from other elements of the ecosystem can not be neglected in general. In particular, respiration of stems and soil is a significant part of the carbon budget for this forest and must be included in the study of ecosystem productivity. (3) Ecosystem elements can have significantly different roles in determining canopy sensible heat fluxes than in determining canopy evapotranspiration or CO2 assimilation. For example, the understory had a much bigger role in contributing to the fluxes of H2O and CO2 than in contributing to the sensible heat flux. In addition, their roles may change from nighttime to daytime. (4) The

  3. Moss and soil contributions to the annual net carbon flux of a maturing boreal forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harden, J.W.; O'Neill, K. P.; Trumbore, S.E.; Veldhuis, H.; Stocks, B.J.

    1997-01-01

    We used input and decomposition data from 14C studies of soils to determine rates of vertical accumulation of moss combined with carbon storage inventories on a sequence of burns to model how carbon accumulates in soils and moss after a stand-killing fire. We used soil drainage - moss associations and soil drainage maps of the old black spruce (OBS) site at the BOREAS northern study area (NSA) to areally weight the contributions of each moderately well drained, feathermoss areas; poorly drained sphagnum - feathermoss areas; and very poorly drained brown moss areas to the carbon storage and flux at the OBS NSA site. On this very old (117 years) complex of black spruce, sphagnum bog veneer, and fen systems we conclude that these systems are likely sequestering 0.01-0.03 kg C m-2 yr-' at OBS-NSA today. Soil drainage in boreal forests near Thompson, Manitoba, controls carbon storage and flux by controlling moss input and decomposition rates and by controlling through fire the amount and quality of carbon left after burning. On poorly drained soils rich in sphagnum moss, net accumulation and long-term storage of carbon is higher than on better drained soils colonized by feathermosses. The carbon flux of these contrasting ecosystems is best characterized by soil drainage class and stand age, where stands recently burned are net sources of CO2, and maturing stands become increasingly stronger sinks of atmospheric CO2. This approach to measuring carbon storage and flux presents a method of scaling to larger areas using soil drainage, moss cover, and stand age information.

  4. Autumn temperature and carbon balance of a boreal Scots pine forest in Southern Finland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vesala, T.; Launiainen, S.; Kolari, P.; Pumpanen, J.; Sevanto, S.; Hari, P.; Nikinmaa, E.; Kaski, P.; Mannila, H.; Ukkonen, E.; Piao, S. L.; Ciais, P.

    2010-01-01

    We analyzed the dynamics of carbon balance components: gross primary production (GPP) and total ecosystem respiration (TER), of a boreal Scots pine forest in Southern Finland. The main focus is on investigations of environmental drivers of GPP and TER and how they affect the inter-annual variation in the carbon balance in autumn (September-December). We used standard climate data and CO2 exchange measurements collected by the eddy covariance (EC) technique over 11 years. EC data revealed that increasing autumn temperature significantly enhances TER: the temperature sensitivity was 9.5 gC m-2 °C-1 for the period September-October (early autumn when high radiation levels still occur) and 3.8 gC m-2 °C-1 for November-December (late autumn with suppressed radiation level). The cumulative GPP was practically independent of the temperature in early autumn. In late autumn, air temperature could explain part of the variation in GPP but the temperature sensitivity was very weak, less than 1 gC m-2 °C-1. Two models, a stand photosynthesis model (COCA) and a global vegetation model (ORCHIDEE), were used for estimating stand GPP and its sensitivity to the temperature. The ORCHIDEE model was tested against the observations of GPP derived from EC data. The stand photosynthesis model COCA predicted that under a predescribed 3-6 °C temperature increase, the temperature sensitivity of 4-5 gC m-2 °C-1 in GPP may appear in early autumn. The analysis by the ORCHIDEE model revealed the model sensitivity to the temporal treatment of meteorological forcing. The model predictions were similar to observed ones when the site level 1/2-hourly time step was applied, but the results calculated by using daily meteorological forcing, interpolated to 1/2-hourly time step, were biased. This is due to the nonlinear relationship between the processes and the environmental factors.

  5. Dissolved organic carbon in Alaskan boreal forest: Sources, chemical characteristics, and biodegradability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wickland, K.P.; Neff, J.C.; Aiken, G.R.

    2007-01-01

    The fate of terrestrially-derived dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is important to carbon (C) cycling in both terrestrial and aquatic environments, and recent evidence suggests that climate warming is influencing DOC dynamics in northern ecosystems. To understand what determines the fate of terrestrial DOC, it is essential to quantify the chemical nature and potential biodegradability of this DOC. We examined DOC chemical characteristics and biodegradability collected from soil pore waters and dominant vegetation species in four boreal black spruce forest sites in Alaska spanning a range of hydrologic regimes and permafrost extents (Well Drained, Moderately Well Drained, Poorly Drained, and Thermokarst Wetlands). DOC chemistry was characterized using fractionation, UV-Vis absorbance, and fluorescence measurements. Potential biodegradability was assessed by incubating the samples and measuring CO2 production over 1 month. Soil pore water DOC from all sites was dominated by hydrophobic acids and was highly aromatic, whereas the chemical composition of vegetation leachate DOC varied significantly with species. There was no seasonal variability in soil pore water DOC chemical characteristics or biodegradability; however, DOC collected from the Poorly Drained site was significantly less biodegradable than DOC from the other three sites (6% loss vs. 13-15% loss). The biodegradability of vegetation-derived DOC ranged from 10 to 90% loss, and was strongly correlated with hydrophilic DOC content. Vegetation such as Sphagnum moss and feathermosses yielded DOC that was quickly metabolized and respired. In contrast, the DOC leached from vegetation such as black spruce was moderately recalcitrant. Changes in DOC chemical characteristics that occurred during microbial metabolism of DOC were quantified using fractionation and fluorescence. The chemical characteristics and biodegradability of DOC in soil pore waters were most similar to the moderately recalcitrant vegetation

  6. Increased forest ecosystem carbon and nitrogen storage from nitrogen rich bedrock.

    PubMed

    Morford, Scott L; Houlton, Benjamin Z; Dahlgren, Randy A

    2011-09-01

    Nitrogen (N) limits the productivity of many ecosystems worldwide, thereby restricting the ability of terrestrial ecosystems to offset the effects of rising atmospheric CO(2) emissions naturally. Understanding input pathways of bioavailable N is therefore paramount for predicting carbon (C) storage on land, particularly in temperate and boreal forests. Paradigms of nutrient cycling and limitation posit that new N enters terrestrial ecosystems solely from the atmosphere. Here we show that bedrock comprises a hitherto overlooked source of ecologically available N to forests. We report that the N content of soils and forest foliage on N-rich metasedimentary rocks (350-950 mg N kg(-1)) is elevated by more than 50% compared with similar temperate forest sites underlain by N-poor igneous parent material (30-70 mg N kg(-1)). Natural abundance N isotopes attribute this difference to rock-derived N: (15)N/(14)N values for rock, soils and plants are indistinguishable in sites underlain by N-rich lithology, in marked contrast to sites on N-poor substrates. Furthermore, forests associated with N-rich parent material contain on average 42% more carbon in above-ground tree biomass and 60% more carbon in the upper 30 cm of the soil than similar sites underlain by N-poor rocks. Our results raise the possibility that bedrock N input may represent an important and overlooked component of ecosystem N and C cycling elsewhere. PMID:21886160

  7. A molecular identification protocol for roots of boreal forest tree species1

    PubMed Central

    Randall, Morgan J.; Karst, Justine; Pec, Gregory J.; Davis, Corey S.; Hall, Jocelyn C.; Cahill, James F.

    2014-01-01

    • Premise of the study: Roots play a key role in many ecological processes, yet our ability to identify species from bulk root samples is limited. Molecular tools may be used to identify species from root samples, but they have not yet been developed for most systems. Here we present a PCR-based method previously used to identify roots of grassland species, modified for use in boreal forests. • Methods: We used repeatable interspecific size differences in fluorescent amplified fragment length polymorphisms of three noncoding chloroplast DNA regions to identify seven woody species common to boreal forests in Alberta, Canada. • Results: Abies balsamea, Alnus crispa, Betula papyrifera, Pinus contorta, and Populus tremuloides were identifiable to species, while Picea glauca and Picea mariana were identifiable to genus. In mixtures of known composition of foliar DNA, species were identified with 98% accuracy using one region. Mixed root samples of unknown composition were identified with 100% accuracy; four species were identified using one region, while three species were identified using two regions. • Discussion: This methodology is accurate, efficient, and inexpensive, and thus a valuable approach for ecological studies of roots. Furthermore, this method has now been validated for both grassland and boreal forest systems, and thus may also have applications in any plant community. PMID:25383267

  8. Measuring forest structure along productivity gradients in the Canadian boreal with small-footprint Lidar.

    PubMed

    Bolton, Douglas K; Coops, Nicholas C; Wulder, Michael A

    2013-08-01

    The structure and productivity of boreal forests are key components of the global carbon cycle and impact the resources and habitats available for species. With this research, we characterized the relationship between measurements of forest structure and satellite-derived estimates of gross primary production (GPP) over the Canadian boreal. We acquired stand level indicators of canopy cover, canopy height, and structural complexity from nearly 25,000 km of small-footprint discrete return Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) data and compared these attributes to GPP estimates derived from the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). While limited in our capacity to control for stand age, we removed recently disturbed and managed forests using information on fire history, roads, and anthropogenic change. We found that MODIS GPP was strongly linked to Lidar-derived canopy cover (r = 0.74, p < 0.01), however was only weakly related to Lidar-derived canopy height and structural complexity as these attributes are largely a function of stand age. A relationship was apparent between MODIS GPP and the maximum sampled heights derived from Lidar as growth rates and resource availability likely limit tree height in the prolonged absence of disturbance. The most structurally complex stands, as measured by the coefficient of variation of Lidar return heights, occurred where MODIS GPP was highest as productive boreal stands are expected to contain a wider range of tree heights and transition to uneven-aged structures faster than less productive stands. While MODIS GPP related near-linearly to Lidar-derived canopy cover, the weaker relationships to Lidar-derived canopy height and structural complexity highlight the importance of stand age in determining the structure of boreal forests. We conclude that an improved quantification of how both productivity and disturbance shape stand structure is needed to better understand the current state of boreal forests in

  9. Adapting fire management to future fire regimes: impacts on boreal forest composition and carbon balance in Canadian National Parks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Groot, W. J.; Flannigan, M. D.; Cantin, A.

    2009-04-01

    The effects of future fire regimes altered by climate change, and fire management in adaptation to climate change were studied in the boreal forest region of western Canada. Present (1975-90) and future (2080-2100) fire regimes were simulated for several National Parks using data from the Canadian (CGCM1) and Hadley (HadCM3) Global Climate Models (GCM) in separate simulation scenarios. The long-term effects of the different fire regimes on forests were simulated using a stand-level, boreal fire effects model (BORFIRE). Changes in forest composition and biomass storage due to future altered fire regimes were determined by comparing current and future simulation results. This was used to assess the ecological impact of altered fire regimes on boreal forests, and the future role of these forests as carbon sinks or sources. Additional future simulations were run using adapted fire management strategies, including increased fire suppression and the use of prescribed fire to meet fire cycle objectives. Future forest composition, carbon storage and emissions under current and adapted fire management strategies were also compared to determine the impact of various future fire management options. Both of the GCM's showed more severe burning conditions under future fire regimes. This includes fires with higher intensity, greater depth of burn, greater total fuel consumption and shorter fire cycles (or higher rates of annual area burned). The Canadian GCM indicated burning conditions more severe than the Hadley GCM. Shorter fire cycles of future fire regimes generally favoured aspen, birch, and jack pine because it provided more frequent regeneration opportunity for these pioneer species. Black spruce was only minimally influenced by future fire regimes, although white spruce declined sharply. Maintaining representation of pure and mixed white spruce ecosystems in natural areas will be a concern under future fire regimes. Active fire suppression is required in these areas. In

  10. Microbial community response to permafrost thaw after wildfire in an Alaskan upland boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tas, N.; Jorgenson, M. T.; Wang, S.; Berhe, A. A.; Wickland, K. P.; Waldrop, M. P.; Jansson, J. K.

    2012-12-01

    Fire is a major factor controlling the long-term dynamics of soil carbon in Alaskan boreal forests. Wildfire not only contributes to a significant global emission of greenhouse gasses but also can indirectly result in the deepening of the active layer and thawing of near-surface permafrost due to reductions in organic layer depth and increases in heat flux through soil. Although boreal ecosystems are fire-adapted, increased fire frequency and rising global temperatures may result in warmer soils and therefore increase the metabolic rates of decomposer microbes and result in accelerated permafrost decomposition and greenhouse gas fluxes. In addition to fire-mediated changes in soil and vegetation structure, changes in the soil microbial community structure are likely to have consequences for rates of soil carbon cycling. In this study we aimed to define the impact of fire on soil microbial communities in an upland black spruce forest and to assess microbial metabolic potential for soil respiration, methanogenesis, and nitrous oxide (N2O) flux. Soil samples from two fire impacted and three control (unburned) locations were collected near Nome Creek, AK, an upland moderately drained black spruce forest. This location was within the Boundary fire that burned between mid-June and the end of August 2004. Soil temperature measurements from before and after the fire showed that soils were warmer after the fire event and the permafrost thawed below 1m. At each sampling location, soil and permafrost samples were collected every 10 cm to a depth of 1 m. Besides biochemical characterization, CO2, CH4, N2O fluxes and potential activities of enzymes involved in extracellular decomposition of complex organic molecules (hemicellulose, chitin and lignin) were measured. The microbial community composition in the samples was determined by sequencing of 16S rRNA genes and microbial metabolic potential was assessed via sequencing of total genomic DNA (metagenomics) in selected active

  11. Spatial climate-dependent growth response of boreal mixedwood forest in western Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Xinyu; Huang, Jian-Guo; Stadt, Kenneth J.; Comeau, Philip G.; Chen, Han Y. H.

    2016-04-01

    The western Canadian mixedwood boreal forests were projected to be significantly affected by regional drought. However, drought degrees were spatially different across elevations, longitudes and latitudes, which might cause different tree growth responses to climate change in different sub-regions within western Canada. In this way, regional classification of western Canadian boreal forests and understanding spatial tree growth responses to climate might be necessary for future forest management and monitoring. In this paper, tree-ring chronologies of two dominant tree species, trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench.) Voss), were obtained from mixed forest stands distributed across western Canada to study spatial tree growth response to climate based on three regional classification schemes (a phytogeographic sub-region classification, a natural sub-region classification and non-classification). Phytogeographic sub-region classification was estimated based on tree ring samples we collected in this study, while natural sub-region classification was previously developed based on analysis of regional differences in vegetation, soil, site and climate conditions. Results showed that air temperature did not significantly increase, while drought stress became more severe between 1985 to 2010. Relationships between trembling aspen growth and temperature differed between north and south parts of the study area, resulting from spatial difference in water supply. Trembling aspen growth was influenced by temperature or moisture variables of the previous years. White spruce growth was influenced primarily by moisture variables (current or previous year), and response coefficients between white spruce and drought conditions (represented by drought code) were negative in all phytogeographic sub-regions, suggesting that white spruce was more sensitive to drought stress under climate change. As a late-successional dominant species

  12. Light-induced diurnal pattern of methane exchange in a boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sundqvist, Elin; Crill, Patrick; Mölder, Meelis; Vestin, Patrik; Lindroth, Anders

    2013-04-01

    Boreal forests represents one third of the Earth's forested land surface area and is a net sink of methane and an important component of the atmospheric methane budget. Methane is oxidized in well-aerated forest soils whereas ponds and bog soils are sources of methane. Besides the microbial processes in the soil also forest vegetation might contribute to methane exchange. Due to a recent finding of methane consumption by boreal plants that correlated with photosynthetic active radiation (PAR), we investigate the impact of PAR on soil methane exchange at vegetated plots on the forest floor. The study site, Norunda in central Sweden, is a 120 years old boreal forest stand, dominated by Scots pine and Norway spruce. We used continuous chamber measurements in combination with a high precision laser gas analyzer (Los Gatos Research), to measure the methane exchange at four different plots in July-November 2009, and April-June 2010. The ground vegetation consisted almost entirely of mosses and blueberry-shrubs. Two of the plots acted as stable sinks of methane whereas the other two plots shifted from sinks to sources during very wet periods. The preliminary results show a clear diurnal pattern of the methane exchange during the growing season, which cannot be explained by temperature. The highest consumption occurs at high PAR levels. The amplitude of the diurnal methane exchange during the growing season is in the order of 10 μmol m-2 h-1. This indicates that besides methane oxidation by methanotrophs in the soil there is an additional removal of methane at soil level by a process related to ground vegetation.

  13. Land cover mapping, fire regeneration, and scaling studies in the Canadian boreal forest with 1 km AVHRR and Landsat TM data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steyaert, L. T.; Hall, F. G.; Loveland, T. R.

    1997-12-01

    A multitemporal 1 km advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR) land cover analysis approach was used as the basis for regional land cover mapping, fire disturbance-regeneration, and multiresolution land cover scaling studies in the boreal forest ecosystem of central Canada. The land cover classification was developed by using regional field observations from ground and low-level aircraft transits to analyze spectral-temporal clusters that were derived from an unsupervised cluster analysis of monthly normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) image composites (April-September 1992). Quantitative areal proportions of the major boreal forest components were determined for a 821 km × 619 km region, ranging from the southern grasslands-boreal forest ecotone to the northern boreal transitional forest. The boreal wetlands (mostly lowland black spruce, tamarack, mosses, fens, and bogs) occupied approximately 33% of the region, while lakes accounted for another 13%. Upland mixed coniferous-deciduous forests represented 23% of the ecosystem. A SW-NE productivity gradient across the region is manifested by three levels of tree stand density for both the boreal wetland conifer and the mixed forest classes, which are generally aligned with isopleths of regional growing degree days. Approximately 30% of the region was directly affected by fire disturbance within the preceding 30-35 years, especially in the Canadian Shield Zone where large fire-regeneration patterns contribute to the heterogeneous boreal landscape. Intercomparisons with land cover classifications derived from 30-m Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data provided important insights into the relative accuracy of the 1 km AVHRR land cover classification. Primarily due to the multitemporal NDVI image compositing process, the 1 km AVHRR land cover classes have an effective spatial resolution in the 3-4 km range; therefore fens, bogs, small water bodies, and small patches of dry jack pine cannot be resolved within

  14. Land cover mapping, fire regeneration, and scaling studies in the Canadian boreal forest with 1 km AVHRR and Landsat TM data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steyaert, L.T.; Hall, F.G.; Loveland, T.R.

    1997-01-01

    A multitemporal 1 km advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR) land cover analysis approach was used as the basis for regional land cover mapping, fire disturbance-regeneration, and multiresolution land cover scaling studies in the boreal forest ecosystem of central Canada. The land cover classification was developed by using regional field observations from ground and low-level aircraft transits to analyze spectral-temporal clusters that were derived from an unsupervised cluster analysis of monthly normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) image composites (April-September 1992). Quantitative areal proportions of the major boreal forest components were determined for a 821 km ?? 619 km region, ranging from the southern grasslands-boreal forest ecotone to the northern boreal transitional forest. The boreal wetlands (mostly lowland black spruce, tamarack, mosses, fens, and bogs) occupied approximately 33% of the region, while lakes accounted for another 13%. Upland mixed coniferous-deciduous forests represented 23% of the ecosystem. A SW-NE productivity gradient across the region is manifested by three levels of tree stand density for both the boreal wetland conifer and the mixed forest classes, which are generally aligned with isopleths of regional growing degree days. Approximately 30% of the region was directly affected by fire disturbance within the preceding 30-35 years, especially in the Canadian Shield Zone where large fire-regeneration patterns contribute to the heterogeneous boreal landscape. Intercomparisons with land cover classifications derived from 30-m Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data provided important insights into the relative accuracy of the 1 km AVHRR land cover classification. Primarily due to the multitemporal NDVI image compositing process, the 1 km AVHRR land cover classes have an effective spatial resolution in the 3-4 km range; therefore fens, bogs, small water bodies, and small patches of dry jack pine cannot be resolved within

  15. A data-led comparison of simple canopy radiative transfer models for the boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, T.; Essery, R.; Rutter, N.; King, M.

    2012-12-01

    Given the computational complexity of numerical weather and climate models, it is worthwhile developing very simple parameterizations for processes such as the transmission of radiation through forest canopies. For this reason, the land surface schemes in global models, and most snow hydrological models, tend to use simple one-dimensional approaches based on Beer's Law or two-stream approximations. Such approaches assume a continuous canopy structure that may not be suitable for the varied, heterogeneous forest cover in boreal regions, especially in winter when snow in the canopy and on the ground may either block radiation or produce multiple reflections between the ground and the trees. There is great benefit in comparing models to real transmissivity values calculated from radiation measurements below and above Arctic canopies. In particular, there is a lack of data for leafless boreal deciduous forests, where canopy gaps are prevalent even at low solar elevation angles near the horizon. In this study, models are compared to radiation data collected in an area of boreal birch forest near Abisko, Sweden in March/April 2011 and mixed conifer forest at Sodankylä, Finland in March/April 2012. Arrays comprising ten shortwave pyranometers were deployed for periods of up to 50 days, under forest plots of varying canopy structures and densities. In addition, global and diffuse shortwave irradiances were recorded at nearby open sites representing the top-of-canopy conditions. A model is developed that explicitly accounts for both diffuse radiation and direct beam transmission on a 5-minute timestep, by using upward-looking hemispherical photographs taken from every pyranometer site. This model reproduces measured transmissivity, although with a slight underestimation, especially at low solar elevations - this could be attributed to multiple reflections that are not accounted for in the model. On the other hand, models based on Beer's Law tend to underestimate the canopy

  16. Isotopic composition of carbon dioxide from a boreal forest fire: Inferring carbon loss from measurements and modeling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schuur, E.A.G.; Trumbore, S.E.; Mack, M.C.; Harden, J.W.

    2003-01-01

    Fire is an important pathway for carbon (C) loss from boreal forest ecosystems and has a strong effect on ecosystem C balance. Fires can range widely in severity, defined as the amount of vegetation and forest floor consumed by fire, depending on local fuel and climatic conditions. Here we explore a novel method for estimating fire severity and loss of C from fire using the atmosphere to integrate ecosystem heterogeneity at the watershed scale. We measured the ??13C and ??14C isotopic values of CO2 emitted from an experimental forest fire at the Caribou-Poker Creek Research Watershed (CPCRW), near Fairbanks, Alaska. We used inverse modeling combined with dual isotope near measurements of C contained in aboveground black spruce biomass and soil organic horizons to estimate the amount of C released by this fire. The experimental burn was a medium to severe intensity fire that released, on average, about 2.5 kg Cm-2, more than half of the C contained in vegetation and soil organic horizon pools. For vegetation, the model predicted that approximately 70-75% of pools such as needles, fine branches, and bark were consumed by fire, whereas only 20-30% of pools such as coarse branches and cones were consumed. The fire was predicted to have almost completely consumed surface soil organic horizons and burned about half of the deepest humic horizon. The ability to estimate the amount of biomass combusted and C emission from fires at the watershed scale provides an extensive approach that can complement more limited intensive ground-based measurements.

  17. Optimal conservation resource allocation under variable economic and ecological time discounting rates in boreal forest.

    PubMed

    Mazziotta, Adriano; Pouzols, Federico Montesino; Mönkkönen, Mikko; Kotiaho, Janne S; Strandman, Harri; Moilanen, Atte

    2016-09-15

    Resource allocation to multiple alternative conservation actions is a complex task. A common trade-off occurs between protection of smaller, expensive, high-quality areas versus larger, cheaper, partially degraded areas. We investigate optimal allocation into three actions in boreal forest: current standard forest management rules, setting aside of mature stands, or setting aside of clear-cuts. We first estimated how habitat availability for focal indicator species and economic returns from timber harvesting develop through time as a function of forest type and action chosen. We then developed an optimal resource allocation by accounting for budget size and habitat availability of indicator species in different forest types. We also accounted for the perspective adopted towards sustainability, modeled via temporal preference and economic and ecological time discounting. Controversially, we found that in boreal forest set-aside followed by protection of clear-cuts can become a winning cost-effective strategy when accounting for habitat requirements of multiple species, long planning horizon, and limited budget. It is particularly effective when adopting a long-term sustainability perspective, and accounting for present revenues from timber harvesting. The present analysis assesses the cost-effective conditions to allocate resources into an inexpensive conservation strategy that nevertheless has potential to produce high ecological values in the future. PMID:27262031

  18. Deciduous trees are a large and overlooked sink for snowmelt water in the boreal forest

    PubMed Central

    Young-Robertson, Jessica M.; Bolton, W. Robert; Bhatt, Uma S.; Cristóbal, Jordi; Thoman, Richard

    2016-01-01

    The terrestrial water cycle contains large uncertainties that impact our understanding of water budgets and climate dynamics. Water storage is a key uncertainty in the boreal water budget, with tree water storage often ignored. The goal of this study is to quantify tree water content during the snowmelt and growing season periods for Alaskan and western Canadian boreal forests. Deciduous trees reached saturation between snowmelt and leaf-out, taking up 21–25% of the available snowmelt water, while coniferous trees removed <1%. We found that deciduous trees removed 17.8–20.9 billion m3 of snowmelt water, which is equivalent to 8.7–10.2% of the Yukon River’s annual discharge. Deciduous trees transpired 2–12% (0.4–2.2 billion m3) of the absorbed snowmelt water immediately after leaf-out, increasing favorable conditions for atmospheric convection, and an additional 10–30% (2.0–5.2 billion m3) between leaf-out and mid-summer. By 2100, boreal deciduous tree area is expected to increase by 1–15%, potentially resulting in an additional 0.3–3 billion m3 of snowmelt water removed from the soil per year. This study is the first to show that deciduous tree water uptake of snowmelt water represents a large but overlooked aspect of the water balance in boreal watersheds. PMID:27404274

  19. Deciduous trees are a large and overlooked sink for snowmelt water in the boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young-Robertson, Jessica M.; Bolton, W. Robert; Bhatt, Uma S.; Cristóbal, Jordi; Thoman, Richard

    2016-07-01

    The terrestrial water cycle contains large uncertainties that impact our understanding of water budgets and climate dynamics. Water storage is a key uncertainty in the boreal water budget, with tree water storage often ignored. The goal of this study is to quantify tree water content during the snowmelt and growing season periods for Alaskan and western Canadian boreal forests. Deciduous trees reached saturation between snowmelt and leaf-out, taking up 21–25% of the available snowmelt water, while coniferous trees removed <1%. We found that deciduous trees removed 17.8–20.9 billion m3 of snowmelt water, which is equivalent to 8.7–10.2% of the Yukon River’s annual discharge. Deciduous trees transpired 2–12% (0.4–2.2 billion m3) of the absorbed snowmelt water immediately after leaf-out, increasing favorable conditions for atmospheric convection, and an additional 10–30% (2.0–5.2 billion m3) between leaf-out and mid-summer. By 2100, boreal deciduous tree area is expected to increase by 1–15%, potentially resulting in an additional 0.3–3 billion m3 of snowmelt water removed from the soil per year. This study is the first to show that deciduous tree water uptake of snowmelt water represents a large but overlooked aspect of the water balance in boreal watersheds.

  20. Deciduous trees are a large and overlooked sink for snowmelt water in the boreal forest.

    PubMed

    Young-Robertson, Jessica M; Bolton, W Robert; Bhatt, Uma S; Cristóbal, Jordi; Thoman, Richard

    2016-01-01

    The terrestrial water cycle contains large uncertainties that impact our understanding of water budgets and climate dynamics. Water storage is a key uncertainty in the boreal water budget, with tree water storage often ignored. The goal of this study is to quantify tree water content during the snowmelt and growing season periods for Alaskan and western Canadian boreal forests. Deciduous trees reached saturation between snowmelt and leaf-out, taking up 21-25% of the available snowmelt water, while coniferous trees removed <1%. We found that deciduous trees removed 17.8-20.9 billion m(3) of snowmelt water, which is equivalent to 8.7-10.2% of the Yukon River's annual discharge. Deciduous trees transpired 2-12% (0.4-2.2 billion m(3)) of the absorbed snowmelt water immediately after leaf-out, increasing favorable conditions for atmospheric convection, and an additional 10-30% (2.0-5.2 billion m(3)) between leaf-out and mid-summer. By 2100, boreal deciduous tree area is expected to increase by 1-15%, potentially resulting in an additional 0.3-3 billion m(3) of snowmelt water removed from the soil per year. This study is the first to show that deciduous tree water uptake of snowmelt water represents a large but overlooked aspect of the water balance in boreal watersheds. PMID:27404274

  1. Maintaining animal assemblages through single-species management: the case of threatened caribou in boreal forest.

    PubMed

    Bichet, Orphé; Dupuch, Angélique; Hébert, Christian; Le Borgne, Hélène Le; Fortin, Daniel

    2016-03-01

    With the intensification of human activities, preserving animal populations is a contemporary challenge of critical importance. In this context, the umbrella species concept is appealing because preserving a single species should result in the protection of multiple co-occurring species. Practitioners, though, face the task of having to find suitable umbrellas to develop single-species management guidelines. In North America, boreal forests must be managed to facilitate the recovery of the threatened boreal caribou (Rangifer tarandus). Yet, the effect of caribou conservation on co-occurring animal species remains poorly documented. We tested if boreal caribou can constitute an effective umbrella for boreal fauna. Birds, small mammals, and insects were sampled along gradients of post-harvest and post-fire forest succession. Predictive models of occupancy were developed from the responses of 95 species to characteristics of forest stands and their surroundings. We then assessed the similarity of species occupancy expected between simulated harvested landscapes and a 90 000-km2 uncut landscape. Managed landscapes were simulated based on three levels of disturbance, two timber-harvest rotation cycles, and dispersed or aggregated cut-blocks. We found that management guidelines that were more likely to maintain caribou populations should also better preserve animal assemblages. Relative to fragmentation or harvest cycle, we detected a stronger effect of habitat loss on species assemblages. Disturbing 22%, 35%, and 45% of the landscape should result, respectively, in 80%, 60%, and 40% probability for caribou populations to be sustainable; in turn, this should result in regional species assemblages with Jaccard similarity indices of 0.86, 0.79, and 0.74, respectively, relative to the uncut landscape. Our study thus demonstrates the value of single-species management for animal conservation. Our quantitative approach allows for the evaluation of management guidelines prior

  2. Satellite microwave detection of boreal forest recovery from the extreme 2004 wildfires in Alaska and Canada.

    PubMed

    Jones, Matthew O; Kimball, John S; Jones, Lucas A

    2013-10-01

    The rate of vegetation recovery from boreal wildfire influences terrestrial carbon cycle processes and climate feedbacks by affecting the surface energy budget and land-atmosphere carbon exchange. Previous forest recovery assessments using satellite optical-infrared normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and tower CO(2) eddy covariance techniques indicate rapid vegetation recovery within 5-10 years, but these techniques are not directly sensitive to changes in vegetation biomass. Alternatively, the vegetation optical depth (VOD) parameter from satellite passive microwave remote sensing can detect changes in canopy biomass structure and may provide a useful metric of post-fire vegetation response to inform regional recovery assessments. We analyzed a multi-year (2003-2010) satellite VOD record from the NASA AMSR-E (Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS) sensor to estimate forest recovery trajectories for 14 large boreal fires from 2004 in Alaska and Canada. The VOD record indicated initial post-fire canopy biomass recovery within 3-7 years, lagging NDVI recovery by 1-5 years. The VOD lag was attributed to slower non-photosynthetic (woody) and photosynthetic (foliar) canopy biomass recovery, relative to the faster canopy greenness response indicated from the NDVI. The duration of VOD recovery to pre-burn conditions was also directly proportional (P < 0.01) to satellite (moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer) estimated tree cover loss used as a metric of fire severity. Our results indicate that vegetation biomass recovery from boreal fire disturbance is generally slower than reported from previous assessments based solely on satellite optical-infrared remote sensing, while the VOD parameter enables more comprehensive assessments of boreal forest recovery. PMID:23749682

  3. Cross-scale ensemble projections of dissolved organic carbon dynamics in boreal forest streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oni, Stephen K.; Futter, Martyn N.; Teutschbein, Claudia; Laudon, Hjalmar

    2014-05-01

    Climate is an important driver of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) dynamics in boreal catchments characterized by networks of streams within forest-wetland landscape mosaics. In this paper, we assess how climate change may affect stream DOC concentrations ([DOC]) and export from boreal forest streams with a multi-model ensemble approach. First, we apply an ensemble of regional climate models (RCMs) to project soil temperatures and stream-flows. These data are then used to drive two biogeochemical models of surface water DOC: (1) The Integrated Catchment model for Carbon (INCA-C), a detailed process-based model of DOC operating at the catchment scale, and (2) The Riparian Integration Model (RIM), a simple dynamic hillslope scale model of stream [DOC]. All RCMs project a consistent increase in temperature and precipitation as well as a shift in spring runoff peaks from May to April. However, they present a considerable range of possible future runoff conditions with an ensemble median increase of 31 % between current and future (2061-2090) conditions. Both biogeochemical models perform well in describing the dynamics of present-day stream [DOC] and fluxes, but disagree in their future projections. Here, we assess possible futures in three boreal catchments representative of forest, mire and mixed landscape elements. INCA-C projects a wider range of stream [DOC] due to its temperature sensitivity, whereas RIM gives consistently larger inter-annual variation and a wider range of exports due to its sensitivity to hydrological variations. The uncertainties associated with modeling complex processes that control future DOC dynamics in boreal and temperate catchments are still the main limitation to our understanding of DOC mechanisms under changing climate conditions. Novel, currently overlooked or unknown drivers may appear that will present new challenges to modelling DOC in the future.

  4. Boreal fire influence on Arctic tropospheric ozone, ecosystems and climate forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnold, S.; Monks, S. A.; Emmons, L. K.; Sitch, S.; Rap, A.; Law, K.; Tilmes, S.; Lamarque, J.

    2013-12-01

    Temperature observations show that the Arctic has warmed rapidly in the past few decades compared to the northern hemisphere as a whole. Model calculations suggest that changes in short-lived pollutants such as ozone and aerosol may have contributed significantly to this warming. Arctic tropospheric budgets of short-lived pollutants are impacted by both local anthropogenic emissions and by long-range transport of gases and aerosols from Europe, Asia and N. America, but also by local Boreal wildfires in summer. Our understanding of how fires impact Arctic budgets of climate-relevant atmospheric constituents is limited, and is reliant on sparse observations and models of tropospheric chemistry. A better understanding of Boreal fire influence on Arctic ozone is essential for improving the reliability of our projections of future Arctic and Northern Hemisphere climate change, especially in light of proposed climate-fire feedbacks which may enhance the intensity and extent of high latitude wildfire under a warming climate. Using the NCAR Community Earth System Model (CESM) and a scheme for tagging and tracking NOx emitted by high latitude wildfires and its resultant tropospheric ozone production, we investigate the impacts of fire-sourced ozone on summertime high latitude radiative forcing and on ecosystems. The large fraction of NOy present as PAN in the Arctic suggests there may be a strong sensitivity of NOy and ozone enhancement to the efficiency of vertical transport from source regions, which determines the stability of PAN as air is advected poleward. We use these simulations and aircraft observations to characterise the vertical distributions of sensitivities of Arctic NOy and ozone to remote anthropogenic and local widlfire sources, and use an offline radiative transfer model to quantify impacts on local ozone radiative forcing. We compare these vertical sensitivities with those of a primary-emitted CO-like source tracer, to investigate the role of PAN

  5. Archaeal communities in boreal forest tree rhizospheres respond to changing soil temperatures.

    PubMed

    Bomberg, Malin; Münster, Uwe; Pumpanen, Jukka; Ilvesniemi, Hannu; Heinonsalo, Jussi

    2011-07-01

    Temperature has generally great effects on both the activity and composition of microbial communities in different soils. We tested the impact of soil temperature and three different boreal forest tree species on the archaeal populations in the bulk soil, rhizosphere, and mycorrhizosphere. Scots pine, silver birch, and Norway spruce seedlings were grown in forest humus microcosms at three different temperatures, 7-11.5°C (night-day temperature), 12-16°C, and 16-22°C, of which 12-16°C represents the typical mid-summer soil temperature in Finnish forests. RNA and DNA were extracted from indigenous ectomycorrhiza, non-mycorrhizal long roots, and boreal forest humus and tested for the presence of archaea by nested PCR of the archaeal 16S rRNA gene followed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiling and sequencing. Methanogenic Euryarchaeota belonging to Methanolobus sp. and Methanosaeta sp. were detected on the roots and mycorrhiza. The most commonly detected archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences belonged to group I.1c Crenarchaeota, which are typically found in boreal and alpine forest soils. Interestingly, also one sequence belonging to group I.1b Crenarchaeota was detected from Scots pine mycorrhiza although sequences of this group are usually found in agricultural and forest soils in temperate areas. Tree- and temperature-related shifts in the archaeal population structure were observed. A clear decrease in crenarchaeotal DGGE band number was seen with increasing temperature, and correspondingly, the number of euryarchaeotal DGGE bands, mostly methanogens, increased. The greatest diversity of archaeal DGGE bands was detected in Scots pine roots and mycorrhizas. No archaea were detected from humus samples from microcosms without tree seedling, indicating that the archaea found in the mycorrhizosphere and root systems were dependent on the plant host. The detection of archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences from both RNA and DNA extractions show that the

  6. TCP Final Report: Measuring the Effects of Stand Age and Soil Drainage on Boreal Forest

    SciTech Connect

    Michael L. Goulden

    2007-05-02

    This was a 6-year research project in the Canadian boreal forest that focused on using field observations to understand how boreal forest carbon balance changes during recovery from catastrophic forest fire. The project began with two overarching goals: (1) to develop techniques that would all the year round operation of 7 eddy covariance sites in a harsh environment at a much lower cost than had previously been possible, and (2) to use these measurements to determine how carbon balance changes during secondary succession. The project ended in 2006, having accomplished its primary objectives. Key contributions to DOE during the study were: (1) Design, test, and demonstrate a lightweight, fully portable eddy flux system that exploits several economies of scale to allow AmeriFlux-quality measurements of CO{sub 2} exchange at many sites for a large reduction in cost (Goulden et al. 2006). (2) Added seven year-round sites to AmeriFlux, at a relatively low per site cost using the Eddy Covariance Mesonet approach (Goulden et al. 2006). These data are freely available on the AmeriFlux web site. (3) Tested and rejected the conventional wisdom that forests lose large amounts of carbon during the first decade after disturbance, then accumulate large amounts of carbon for {approx}several decades, and then return to steady state in old age. Rather, we found that boreal forests recovers quickly from fire and begins to accumulate carbon within {approx}5 years after disturbance. Additionally, we found no evidence that carbon accumulation declines in old stands (Goulden et al. 2006, Goulden et al. in prep). (4) Tested and rejected claims based on remote sensing observations (for example, Myneni et al 1996 using AVHRR) that regions of boreal forest have changed markedly in the last 20 years. Rather, we assembled a much richer data set than had been used in the past (eddy covariance observations, tree rings, biomass, NPP, AVHRR, and LandSat), which we used to establish that the

  7. The affection of boreal forest changes on imbalance of Nature (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tana, G.; Tateishi, R.

    2013-12-01

    Abstract: The balance of nature does not exist, and, perhaps, never has existed [1]. In other words, the Mother Nature is imbalanced at all. The Mother Nature is changing every moment and never returns to previous condition. Because of the imbalance of nature, global climate has been changing gradually. To reveal the imbalance of nature, there is a need to monitor the dynamic changes of the Earth surface. Forest cover and forest cover change have been grown in importance as basic variables for modelling of global biogeochemical cycles as well as climate [2]. The boreal area contains 1/3 of the earth's trees. These trees play a large part in limiting harmful greenhouse gases by aborbing much of the earth's carbon dioxide (CO2) [3]. The boreal area mainly consists of needleleaf evergreen forest and needleleaf deciduous forest. Both of the needleleaf evergreen forest and needleleaf deciduous forest play the important roles on the uptake of CO2. However, because of the dormant period of needleleaf evergreen forest are shorter than that of needleleaf deciduous forest, needleleaf evergreen forest makes a greater contribution to the absorbtion of CO2. Satellite sensor because of its ability to observe the Earth continuously, can provide the opportunity to monitor the dynamic changes of the Earth. In this study, we used the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data to monitor the dynamic change of boreal forest area which are mainly consist from needleleaf evergreen forest and needleleaf deciduous forest during 2003-2012. Three years MODIS data from the year 2003, 2008 and 2012 were used to detect the forest changed area. A hybrid change detection method which combines the threshold method and unsupervised classification method was used to detect the changes of forest area. In the first step, the difference of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) of the three years were calculated and were used to extract the changed areas by the

  8. Quantification of soil respiration in forest ecosystems across China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Xinzhang; Peng, Changhui; Zhao, Zhengyong; Zhang, Zhiting; Guo, Baohua; Wang, Weifeng; Jiang, Hong; Zhu, Qiuan

    2014-09-01

    We collected 139 estimates of the annual forest soil CO2 flux and 173 estimates of the Q10 value (the temperature sensitivity) assembled from 90 published studies across Chinese forest ecosystems. We analyzed the annual soil respiration (Rs) rates and the temperature sensitivities of seven forest ecosystems, including evergreen broadleaf forests (EBF), deciduous broadleaf forests (DBF), broadleaf and needleleaf mixed forests (BNMF), evergreen needleleaf forests (ENF), deciduous needleleaf forests (DNF), bamboo forests (BF) and shrubs (SF). The results showed that the mean annual Rs rate was 33.65 t CO2 ha-1 year-1 across Chinese forest ecosystems. Rs rates were significantly different (P < 0.001) among the seven forest types, and were significantly and positively influenced by mean annual temperature (MAT), mean annual precipitation (MAP), and actual evapotranspiration (AET); but negatively affected by latitude and elevation. The mean Q10 value of 1.28 was lower than the world average (1.4-2.0). The Q10 values derived from the soil temperature at a depth of 5 cm varied among forest ecosystems by an average of 2.46 and significantly decreased with the MAT but increased with elevation and latitude. Moreover, our results suggested that an artificial neural network (ANN) model can effectively predict Rs across Chinese forest ecosystems. This study contributes to better understanding of Rs across Chinese forest ecosystems and their possible responses to global warming.

  9. Impacts of Thermokarst Formation and Wildfire on Boreal Forest Carbon Cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, J. P.; Estop-Aragones, C.; Thierry, A.; Hartley, I. P.; Murton, J.; Charman, D.; Williams, M.; Phoenix, G. K.

    2014-12-01

    At the global scale permafrost temperatures are increasing, leading to a thickening of the active layer and an increase in the amount of previously immobilised C exposed to microbial decay and subsequent release to the atmosphere. Against the backdrop of this overall trend, perturbations to permafrost systems caused by wildfires or thermokarst driven wetland formation can cause dramatic shifts in the C exchange of these ecosystems as a result of the changes in plant communities and soil thermal regimes they cause. These dynamic components of permafrost landscapes are often neglected in coupled climate-C models. However, a clear understanding of the impact of these perturbations on C cycling is crucial if we are to accurately predict future permafrost feedbacks to climate change. This is particularly pertinent given that the frequency of both forest fires and thermokarst formation is likely to increase with future climate warming. In order to assess the impact of these perturbations on C cycling we established paired burned and unburned spruce forest and paired peat plateau and thaw feature field sites near Whitehorse, YT and Yellowknife, NT within the boreal region of Canada. At each site tree photosynthetic biomass was quantified using DBH based allometric scaling equations. A combination of percentage cover surveys, biomass harvests, and leaf area determination were used to calculate understory and wetland photosynthetic biomass. Measurements of spruce and understory photosynthesis and plant and soil respiration were made using specialised acrylic chambers and an IRGA. Combining these data has allowed us to determine the impact of thermokarst formation and wildfire on C exchange with the atmosphere. This has allowed us to assess whether the dramatic increase in plant productivity between peat plateau and wetland habitats has the potential to offset thermokarst associated C losses. We have also gained an understanding of whether increases in light availability for

  10. Greater carbon allocation to mycorrhizal fungi reduces tree nitrogen uptake in a boreal forest.

    PubMed

    Hasselquist, Niles J; Metcalfe, Daniel B; Inselsbacher, Erich; Stangl, Zsofia; Oren, Ram; Näsholm, Torgny; Högberg, Peter

    2016-04-01

    The central role that ectomycorrhizal (EM) symbioses play in the structure and function of boreal forests pivots around the common assumption that carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) are exchanged at rates favorable for plant growth. However, this may not always be the case. It has been hypothesized that the benefits mycorrhizal fungi convey to their host plants strongly depends upon the availability of C and N, both of which are rapidly changing as a result of intensified human land use and climate change. Using large-scale shading and N addition treatments, we assessed the independent and interactive effects of changes in C and N supply on the transfer of N in intact EM associations with -15 yr. old Scots pine trees. To assess the dynamics of N transfer in EM symbioses, we added trace amounts of highly enriched 5NO3(-) label to the EM-dominated mor-layer and followed the fate of the 15N label in tree foliage, fungal chitin on EM root tips, and EM sporocarps. Despite no change in leaf biomass, shading resulted in reduced tree C uptake, ca. 40% lower fungal biomass on EM root tips, and greater 15N label in tree foliage compared to unshaded control plots, where more 15N label was found in fungal biomass on EM colonized root tips. Short-term addition of N shifted the incorporation of 15N label from EM fungi to tree foliage, despite no significant changes in below-ground tree C allocation to EM fungi. Contrary to the common assumption that C and N are exchanged at rates favorable for plant growth, our results show for the first time that under N-limited conditions greater C allocation to EM fungi in the field results in reduced, not increased, N transfer to host trees. Moreover, given the ubiquitous nature of mycorrhizal symbioses, our results stress the need to incorporate mycorrhizal dynamics into process-based ecosystem models to better predict forest C and N cycles in light of global climate change. PMID:27220217

  11. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Turetsky, Merritt; Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin; Euskirchen, Eugenie S.; Talbot, Julie; Frolking, Steve; McGuire, A. David; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina

    2012-08-24

    Mosses in boreal and arctic ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, represent an important component of plant diversity, and strongly influence the cycling of water, nutrients, energy and carbon. Here we use a literature review and synthesis as well as model simulations to explore the role of moss in ecological stability and resilience. Our literature review of moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories in boreal and arctic regions. Our modeling simulations suggest that loss of moss within northern plant communities will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. While two models (HPM and STM-TEM) showed a significant effect of moss removal, results from the Biome-BGC and DVM-TEM models suggest that northern, moss-rich ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. We highlight a number of issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, phenotypical plasticity in traits, and whether the effects of moss on ecosystem processes scale with local abundance. We also suggest that as more models explore issues related to ecological resilience, issues related to both parameter and conceptual uncertainty should be addressed: are the models more limited by uncertainty in the parameterization of the processes included or by what is not represented in the model at all? It seems clear from our review that mosses need to be incorporated into models as one or more plant functional types, but more empirical work is needed to determine how to best aggregate species.

  12. Paying for Forest Ecosystem Services: Voluntary Versus Mandatory Payments.

    PubMed

    Roesch-McNally, Gabrielle E; Rabotyagov, Sergey S

    2016-03-01

    The emergence of new markets for forest ecosystem services can be a compelling opportunity for market diversification for private forest landowners, while increasing the provision of public goods from private lands. However, there is limited information available on the willingness-to-pay (WTP) for specific forest ecosystem services, particularly across different ecosystem market mechanisms. We utilize survey data from Oregon and Washington households to compare marginal WTP for forest ecosystem services and the total WTP for cost-effective bundles of forest ecosystem services obtained from a typical Pacific Northwest forest across two value elicitation formats representing two different ecosystem market mechanisms: an incentive-compatible choice experiment involving mandatory tax payments and a hypothetical private provision scenario modeled as eliciting contributions to the preferred forest management alternative via a provision point mechanism with a refund. A representative household's total WTP for the average forest management program was estimated at $217.59 per household/year under a mandatory tax mechanism and $160.44 per household/per year under a voluntary, crowdfunding-style, contribution mechanism; however, these estimates are not statistically different. Marginal WTP estimates were assessed for particular forest ecosystem service attributes including water quality, carbon storage, mature forest habitat, and public recreational access. This study finds that survey respondents place significant economic value on forest ecosystem services in both elicitation formats and that the distributions of the marginal WTP are not statistically significantly different. PMID:26661136

  13. Paying for Forest Ecosystem Services: Voluntary Versus Mandatory Payments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roesch-McNally, Gabrielle E.; Rabotyagov, Sergey S.

    2016-03-01

    The emergence of new markets for forest ecosystem services can be a compelling opportunity for market diversification for private forest landowners, while increasing the provision of public goods from private lands. However, there is limited information available on the willingness-to-pay (WTP) for specific forest ecosystem services, particularly across different ecosystem market mechanisms. We utilize survey data from Oregon and Washington households to compare marginal WTP for forest ecosystem services and the total WTP for cost-effective bundles of forest ecosystem services obtained from a typical Pacific Northwest forest across two value elicitation formats representing two different ecosystem market mechanisms: an incentive-compatible choice experiment involving mandatory tax payments and a hypothetical private provision scenario modeled as eliciting contributions to the preferred forest management alternative via a provision point mechanism with a refund. A representative household's total WTP for the average forest management program was estimated at 217.59 per household/year under a mandatory tax mechanism and 160.44 per household/per year under a voluntary, crowdfunding-style, contribution mechanism; however, these estimates are not statistically different. Marginal WTP estimates were assessed for particular forest ecosystem service attributes including water quality, carbon storage, mature forest habitat, and public recreational access. This study finds that survey respondents place significant economic value on forest ecosystem services in both elicitation formats and that the distributions of the marginal WTP are not statistically significantly different.

  14. Sensitivity of boreal forest regional water flux and net primary production simulations to sub-grid-scale land cover complexity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimball, J. S.; Running, S. W.; Saatchi, S. S.

    1999-11-01

    We use a general ecosystem process model (BIOME-BGC) coupled with remote sensing information to evaluate the sensitivity of boreal forest regional evapotranspiration (ET) and net primary production (NPP) to land cover spatial scale. Simulations were conducted over a 3 year period (1994-1996) at spatial scales ranging from 30 to 50 km within the BOREAS southern modeling subarea. Simulated fluxes were spatially complex, ranging from 0.1 to 3.9 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 and from 18 to 29 cm yr-1. Biomass and leaf area index heterogeneity predominantly controlled this complexity, while biophysical differences between deciduous and coniferous vegetation were of secondary importance. Spatial aggregation of land cover characteristics resulted in mean monthly NPP estimation bias from 25 to 48% (0.11-0.20 g C m-2 d-1) and annual estimation errors from 2 to 14% (0.04-0.31 Mg C ha-1 yr-1). Error was reduced at longer time intervals because coarse scale overestimation errors during spring were partially offset by underestimation of fine scale results during summer and winter. ET was relatively insensitive to land cover spatial scale with an average bias of less than 5% (0.04 kg m-2 d-1). Factors responsible for differences in scaling behavior between ET and NPP included compensating errors for ET calculations and boreal forest spatial and temporal NPP complexity. Careful consideration of landscape spatial and temporal heterogeneity is necessary to identify and mitigate potential error sources when using plot scale information to understand regional scale patterns. Remote sensing data integrated within an ecological process model framework provides an efficient mechanism to evaluate scaling behavior, interpret patterns in coarse resolution data, and identify appropriate scales of operation for various processes.

  15. Modelling Temporal Variability in the Carbon Balance of a Spruce/Moss Boreal Forest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frolking, S.; Goulden, M. L.; Wofsy, S. C.; Fan, S.-M.; Sutton, D. J.; Munger, J. W.; Bazzaz, A. M.; Daube, B. C.; Crill, P. M.; Aber, J. D.; Band, L. E.; Wang, X.; Savages, K.; Moore, T.; Harriss, R. C.

    1996-01-01

    A model of the daily carbon balance of a black spruce/feathermoss boreal forest ecosystem was developed and results compared to preliminary data from the 1994 BOREAS field campaign in northern Manitoba, Canada. The model, driven by daily weather conditions, simulated daily soil climate status (temperature and moisture profiles), spruce photosynthesis and respiration, moss photosynthesis and respiration, and litter decomposition. Model agreement with preliminary field data was good for net ecosystem exchange (NEE), capturing both the asymmetrical seasonality and short-term variability. During the growing season simulated daily NEE ranged from -4 g C m(exp -2) d(exp -1) (carbon uptake by ecosystem) to + 2 g C m(exp -2) d(exp -1) (carbon flux to atmosphere), with fluctuations from day to day. In the early winter simulated NEE values were + 0.5 g C m(exp -2) d(exp -1), dropping to + 0.2 g C m(exp -2) d(exp -1) in mid-winter. Simulated soil respiration during the growing season (+ 1 to + 5 g C m(exp -2) d(exp -1)) was dominated by metabolic respiration of the live moss, with litter decomposition usually contributing less than 30% and live spruce root respiration less than 10% of the total. Both spruce and moss net primary productivity (NPP) rates were higher in early summer than late summer. Simulated annual NEE for 1994 was -51 g C m(exp -2) y(exp -1), with 83% going into tree growth and 17% into the soil carbon accumulation. Moss NPP (58 g C m(exp -2) d(exp -1)) was considered to be litter (i.e. soil carbon input; no net increase in live moss biomass). Ecosystem respiration during the snow-covered season (84 g Cm(exp -2)) was 58% of the growing season net carbon uptake. A simulation of the same site for 1968-1989 showed about 10-20% year-to-year variability in heterotrophic respiration (mean of + 113 g C m-2 y@1). Moss NPP ranged from 19 to 114 g C m(exp -2) y(exp -1); spruce NPP from 81 to 150 g C nt-2 y,@l; spruce growth (NPP minus litterfall) from 34 to 103 g C m

  16. Assessment of the sensitivity of radar backscatter to seasonal snow and vegetation thaw dynamics in a boreal ecosystem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McDonald, K. C.; Qualls, B.; Hardy, J.

    2002-01-01

    We examine the sensitivity of ERS-1 C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) backscatter to springtime snow and vegetation thaw dynamics for boreal forest stands within the BOREAS Southern Study Area (SSA) in Canada during the 1994 winter-spring thaw transition.

  17. Trees actively and directly influence biogeochemical processes in boreal forested watersheds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Högberg, Peter

    2010-05-01

    Trees actively and directly influence biogeochemical processes in boreal forested watersheds Peter Högberg, Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management, SLU, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden It is increasingly realized that trees are directly influencing soil processes, and thereby significantly also biogeochemical processes at the scale of watersheds. For example, it is now well established that recent photosynthesis supports on average around 50% of the soil respiratory activity. It takes only a few days from tree canopy photosynthesis to the use of that C by plant roots and soil microbes. Importantly, not only does this represent a significant and rapid return flux of CO2 back to the atmosphere, but it also relates to a range of important biogeochemical processes. These occur not only in the soil, but also in streams and lakes, e.g., in nutrient-poor boreal forests areas labile C compounds produced by tree roots and their associated microorganisms constitute an important C source for lake biota. Furthermore, the tree belowground C allocation is under strong physiological control and responds to the supply of nutrients, especially to the supply of nitrogen. When this is low, as in most boreal forests, the belowground C allocation to roots and mycorrhizal fungi is large. This explains the very large N retention capacity of these forests. However, after large additions of N, this belowground C flux is reduced and consequently also the N retention capacity of mycorrhizal fungi. When this occurs, bacteria, organisms with a much lower C/N ratio, become dominant; but as these are C-limited, their capacity to sequester N is much lower than that of fungi. As a consequence, the N cycle opens up, and N is lost through leaching of nitrate and denitrification. However, if the N-load is removed, the trees start to allocate more C belowground to their mycorrhizal fungi again, and this important N-trap is restored. Thus, there are many examples of how trees actively and directly (with short

  18. Nitrogen Additions Increase the Diversity of Carbon Compounds Degraded by Fungi in Boreal Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gartner, T. B.; Turner, K. M.; Treseder, K. K.

    2004-12-01

    Boreal forest soils in North America harbor a large reservoir of organic C, and this region is increasingly exposed to long-range atmospheric N transport from Eurasia. By examining the responses of decomposers to N deposition in these forests, we hope to improve predictions of the fate of boreal carbon pools under global change. We tested the hypothesis that the functional diversity of decomposer fungi would increase under N fertilization in boreal forests where fungal growth was otherwise N-limited, owing to a reduction in competitive exclusion of fungal groups. We collected soil and leaf litter from three Alaskan sites that represent different successional stages at 5, 17, or 80 years following severe forest fire. Each site had been exposed for two years to nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization in a factorial design, with four plots per treatment. Nutrient limitation of fungal growth varied depending on successional stage. The standing hyphal length of decomposer fungi in soil (i.e. Ascomycota and Basidiomycota) responded to neither N nor P in the 5-year old site, increased under N fertilization in the 17-year old site, and increased where N and P was added simultaneously in the 80-year old site (site x N x P interaction: P = 0.001). We used BIOLOG microplates for filamentous fungi to obtain an index of the diversity of carbon use by decomposer fungi; each of 95 wells of these plates contains a different carbon-based compound, as well as a dye that changes color upon metabolism of the compound. Saline leaf litter extracts were mixed with fungal growth medium and then added to the microplates. The number of wells displaying metabolic activity was counted following incubation for five days. We found that N fertilization raised the average number of positive wells per plate from 14 to 27 (P = 0.012), with no significant differences in responses among sites. Phosphorus additions did not alter functional diversity of fungi in any site. Since increases in functional

  19. Snowpack concentrations and estimated fluxes of volatile organic compounds in a boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aaltonen, H.; Pumpanen, J.; Hakola, H.; Vesala, T.; Rasmus, S.; Bäck, J.

    2012-01-01

    Soil forms an important source for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), but in boreal forests these fluxes and their seasonal variations have not been characterized in detail, especially wintertime fluxes, which are almost completely unstudied. In this study, we measured the VOC concentrations inside a snowpack in a boreal Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forest in southern Finland, using adsorbent tubes and air samplers installed permanently in the snow profile. Based on the VOC concentrations at three heights inside the snowpack, we estimated the fluxes of these gases. We measured 20 VOCs from the snowpack, monoterpenes being the most abundant group with concentrations varying from 0.11 to 16 μg m-3. Sesquiterpenes and oxygen-containing monoterpenes were also detected. Inside the pristine snowpack, the concentrations of terpenoids decreased from the soil surface towards the snow surface, suggesting soil as being the source for terpenoids. Forest damages resulting from heavy snow loading during the measurement period increased the terpenoid concentrations dramatically, especially in the upper part of the snowpack. The results show that soil processes are also active and efficient VOC sources during winter and that natural or human disturbance can increase forest floor VOC concentrations substantially. Our results stress the importance of soil as a source of VOCs during the season when other biological sources, basically plants, have lower activity.

  20. Snowpack concentrations and estimated fluxes of volatile organic compounds in a boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aaltonen, H.; Pumpanen, J.; Hakola, H.; Vesala, T.; Rasmus, S.; Bäck, J.

    2012-06-01

    Soil provides an important source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to atmosphere, but in boreal forests these fluxes and their seasonal variations have not been characterized in detail. Especially wintertime fluxes are almost completely unstudied. In this study, we measured the VOC concentrations inside the snowpack in a boreal Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forest in southern Finland, using adsorbent tubes and air samplers installed permanently in the snow profile. Based on the VOC concentrations at three heights inside the snowpack, we estimated the fluxes of these gases. We measured 20 VOCs from the snowpack, monoterpenes being the most abundant group with concentrations varying from 0.11 to 16 μg m-3. Sesquiterpenes and oxygen-containing monoterpenes were also detected. Inside the pristine snowpack, the concentrations of terpenoids decreased from soil surface towards the surface of the snow, suggesting soil as the source for terpenoids. Forest damages (i.e. broken treetops and branches, fallen trees) resulting from heavy snow loading during the measurement period increased the terpenoid concentrations dramatically, especially in the upper part of the snowpack. The results show that soil processes are active and efficient VOC sources also during winter, and that natural or human disturbance can increase forest floor VOC concentrations substantially. Our results stress the importance of soil as a source of VOCs during the season when other biological sources, such as plants, have lower activity.

  1. Alaska’s changing fire regime - Implications for the vulnerability of its boreal forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kasischke, Eric S.; Verbyla, David L.; Rupp, T. Scott; McGuire, Anthony; Murphy, Karen A.; Jandt, R.; Barnes, Jennifer L.; Hoy, E.; Duffy, Paul A; Calef, Monika; Turetsky, Merritt R.

    2010-01-01

    A synthesis was carried out to examine Alaska’s boreal forest fire regime. During the 2000s, an average of 767 000 ha·year–1 burned, 50% higher than in any previous decade since the 1940s. Over the past 60 years, there was a decrease in the number of lightning-ignited fires, an increase in extreme lightning-ignited fire events, an increase in human-ignited fires, and a decrease in the number of extreme human-ignited fire events. The fraction of area burned from human-ignited fires fell from 26% for the 1950s and 1960s to 5% for the 1990s and 2000s, a result from the change in fire policy that gave the highest suppression priorities to fire events that occurred near human settlements. The amount of area burned during late-season fires increased over the past two decades. Deeper burning of surface organic layers in black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP) forests occurred during late-growing-season fires and on more well-drained sites. These trends all point to black spruce forests becoming increasingly vulnerable to the combined changes of key characteristics of Alaska’s fire regime, except on poorly drained sites, which are resistant to deep burning. The implications of these fire regime changes to the vulnerability and resilience of Alaska’s boreal forests and land and fire management are discussed.

  2. Alaska's Changing Fire Regime - Implications for the Vulnerability of Its Boreal Forests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasischke, E. S.; Hoy, E. E.; Verbyla, D. L.; Rupp, T. S.; Duffy, P. A.; McGuire, A. D.; Murphy, K. A.; Jandt, R.; Barnes, J. L.; Calef, M.; Turetsky, M. R.

    2010-01-01

    A synthesis was carried out to examine Alaska s boreal forest fire regime. During the 2000s, an average of 767 000 ha/year burned, 50% higher than in any previous decade since the 1940s. Over the past 60 years, there was a decrease in the number of lightning-ignited fires, an increase in extreme lightning-ignited fire events, an increase in human-ignited fires, and a decrease in the number of extreme human-ignited fire events. The fraction of area burned from humanignited fires fell from 26% for the 1950s and 1960s to 5% for the 1990s and 2000s, a result from the change in fire policy that gave the highest suppression priorities to fire events that occurred near human settlements. The amount of area burned during late-season fires increased over the past two decades. Deeper burning of surface organic layers in black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP) forests occurred during late-growing-season fires and on more well-drained sites. These trends all point to black spruce forests becoming increasingly vulnerable to the combined changes of key characteristics of Alaska s fire regime, except on poorly drained sites, which are resistant to deep burning. The implications of these fire regime changes to the vulnerability and resilience of Alaska s boreal forests and land and fire management are discussed.

  3. Adaptation to boreal forest wildfire in herbs: Responses to post-fire environmental cues in two Pulsatilla species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalamees, Rein; Püssa, Kersti; Tamm, Sirli; Zobel, Kristjan

    2012-01-01

    Although boreal forests are biomes which are characterized by periodical forest wildfires, very little is known about adaptations to fire in forest herbs. We investigated whether a putatively fire-dependent herbaceous species - Pulsatilla patens - demonstrated adaptive responses to environmental cues that reflect differences in pre-fire and post-fire environments (the presence of ericoid litter and charcoal, and light levels). For comparison, we included in the experiment a close congeneric species that is less bound to forest ecosystems ( Pulsatilla pratensis) and a morphologically similar mesic grassland species from the same family ( Ranunculus polyanthemos), as examples of species for which adaptations to fire should be of lower value, or of no value at all, respectively. The addition of ericoid litter to the soil generally enhanced plant growth, suggesting that its negative effect on plant germination and growth is not as widespread as previously thought. In both Pulsatilla species charcoal without forest litter retarded plant growth, but in combination with ericoid litter the negative effect disappeared or was even replaced by a slightly positive effect. Such an interactive effect was absent in the grassland species R. polyanthemos. The response of Pulsatilla species to different post-fire signals may be explained by adaptive down-regulation of growth after high-intensity fire - small plant size can be advantageous in sparse and well illuminated field-layer vegetation - and intense growth in the more competitive situation following weak fire. An additional experiment demonstrated that the effects of fire-related treatments were not mediated by differential AM infection.

  4. Patterns in potassium dynamics in forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Tripler, Christopher E; Kaushal, Sujay S; Likens, Gene E; Walter, M Todd

    2006-04-01

    significance warrant further study. We suggest that knowledge about the dynamics of this understudied element is imperative for our understanding patterns and processes in forest ecosystems. PMID:16623731

  5. Stable carbon isotope analysis reveals widespread drought stress in boreal black spruce forests.

    PubMed

    Walker, Xanthe J; Mack, Michelle C; Johnstone, Jill F

    2015-08-01

    Unprecedented rates of climate warming over the past century have resulted in increased forest stress and mortality worldwide. Decreased tree growth in association with increasing temperatures is generally accepted as a signal of temperature-induced drought stress. However, variations in tree growth alone do not reveal the physiological mechanisms behind recent changes in tree growth. Examining stable carbon isotope composition of tree rings in addition to tree growth can provide a secondary line of evidence for physiological drought stress. In this study, we examined patterns of black spruce growth and carbon isotopic composition in tree rings in response to climate warming and drying in the boreal forest of interior Alaska. We examined trees at three nested scales: landscape, toposequence, and a subsample of trees within the toposequence. At each scale, we studied the potential effects of differences in microclimate and moisture availability by sampling on northern and southern aspects. We found that black spruce radial growth responded negatively to monthly metrics of temperature at all examined scales, and we examined ∆(13)C responses on a subsample of trees as representative of the wider region. The negative ∆(13)C responses to temperature reveal that black spruce trees are experiencing moisture stress on both northern and southern aspects. Contrary to our expectations, ∆(13)C from trees on the northern aspect exhibited the strongest drought signal. Our results highlight the prominence of drought stress in the boreal forest of interior Alaska. We conclude that if temperatures continue to warm, we can expect drought-induced productivity declines across large regions of the boreal forest, even for trees located in cool and moist landscape positions. PMID:25683740

  6. Scaling Hydrologic Processes in Boreal Forest Stands: New Eco-hydrological Perspectives or Deja vu?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silins, U.; Lieffers, V. J.; Landhausser, S. M.; Mendoza, C. A.; Devito, K. J.; Petrone, R. M.; Gan, T. Y.

    2006-12-01

    The leaf area of forest canopies is both main attribute of stands controlling water balance through transpiration and interception, and "engine" driving stand growth, stand dynamics, and forest succession. While transpiration and interception dynamics are classic themes in forest hydrology, we present results from our eco-hydrological research on boreal trees to highlight how more recent eco-physiological insights into species specific controls over water use and leaf area such as hydraulic architecture, cavitation, sapwood-leaf area relationships, and root system controls over water uptake are providing new insights into integrated atmospheric-autecological controls over these hydrologic processes. These results are discussed in the context of newer eco-hydrological frameworks which may serve to aid in exploring how forest disturbance and subsequent trajectories of hydrologic recovery are likely to affect both forest growth dynamics and hydrology of forested landscapes in response to forest management, severe forest pest epidemics such as the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic in Western Canada, and climate change.

  7. Size-Based Hydroacoustic Measures of Within-Season Fish Abundance in a Boreal Freshwater Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Pollom, Riley A.; Rose, George A.

    2015-01-01

    Eleven sequential size-based hydroacoustic surveys conducted with a 200 kHz split-beam transducer during the summers of 2011 and 2012 were used to quantify seasonal declines in fish abundance in a boreal reservoir in Manitoba, Canada. Fish densities were sufficiently low to enable single target resolution and tracking. Target strengths converted to log2-based size-classes indicated that smaller fish were consistently more abundant than larger fish by a factor of approximately 3 for each halving of length. For all size classes, in both years, abundance (natural log) declined linearly over the summer at rates that varied from -0.067.day-1 for the smallest fish to -0.016.day-1 for the largest (R2 = 0.24–0.97). Inter-annual comparisons of size-based abundance suggested that for larger fish (>16 cm), mean winter decline rates were an order of magnitude lower (-0.001.day-1) and overall survival higher (71%) than in the main summer fishing season (mean loss rate -0.038.day-1; survival 33%). We conclude that size-based acoustic survey methods have the potential to assess within-season fish abundance dynamics, and may prove useful in long-term monitoring of productivity and hence management of boreal aquatic ecosystems. PMID:25875467

  8. Thresholds for boreal biome transitions.

    PubMed

    Scheffer, Marten; Hirota, Marina; Holmgren, Milena; Van Nes, Egbert H; Chapin, F Stuart

    2012-12-26

    Although the boreal region is warming twice as fast as the global average, the way in which the vast boreal forests and tundras may respond is poorly understood. Using satellite data, we reveal marked alternative modes in the frequency distributions of boreal tree cover. At the northern end and at the dry continental southern extremes, treeless tundra and steppe, respectively, are the only possible states. However, over a broad intermediate temperature range, these treeless states coexist with boreal forest (∼75% tree cover) and with two more open woodland states (∼20% and ∼45% tree cover). Intermediate tree covers (e.g., ∼10%, ∼30%, and ∼60% tree cover) between these distinct states are relatively rare, suggesting that they may represent unstable states where the system dwells only transiently. Mechanisms for such instabilities remain to be unraveled, but our results have important implications for the anticipated response of these ecosystems to climatic change. The data reveal that boreal forest shows no gradual decline in tree cover toward its limits. Instead, our analysis suggests that it becomes less resilient in the sense that it may more easily shift into a sparse woodland or treeless state. Similarly, the relative scarcity of the intermediate ∼10% tree cover suggests that tundra may shift relatively abruptly to a more abundant tree cover. If our inferences are correct, climate change may invoke massive nonlinear shifts in boreal biomes. PMID:23236159

  9. Thresholds for boreal biome transitions

    PubMed Central

    Scheffer, Marten; Hirota, Marina; Holmgren, Milena; Van Nes, Egbert H.; Chapin, F. Stuart

    2012-01-01

    Although the boreal region is warming twice as fast as the global average, the way in which the vast boreal forests and tundras may respond is poorly understood. Using satellite data, we reveal marked alternative modes in the frequency distributions of boreal tree cover. At the northern end and at the dry continental southern extremes, treeless tundra and steppe, respectively, are the only possible states. However, over a broad intermediate temperature range, these treeless states coexist with boreal forest (∼75% tree cover) and with two more open woodland states (∼20% and ∼45% tree cover). Intermediate tree covers (e.g., ∼10%, ∼30%, and ∼60% tree cover) between these distinct states are relatively rare, suggesting that they may represent unstable states where the system dwells only transiently. Mechanisms for such instabilities remain to be unraveled, but our results have important implications for the anticipated response of these ecosystems to climatic change. The data reveal that boreal forest shows no gradual decline in tree cover toward its limits. Instead, our analysis suggests that it becomes less resilient in the sense that it may more easily shift into a sparse woodland or treeless state. Similarly, the relative scarcity of the intermediate ∼10% tree cover suggests that tundra may shift relatively abruptly to a more abundant tree cover. If our inferences are correct, climate change may invoke massive nonlinear shifts in boreal biomes. PMID:23236159

  10. Quantifying the missing link between albedo and productivity of boreal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hovi, Aarne; Liang, Jingjing; Korhonen, Lauri; Kobayashi, Hideki; Rautiainen, Miina

    2016-04-01

    Albedo and fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR) determine the shortwave radiation balance and productivity of forests. Several studies have examined the relation between forest structure and albedo in the boreal zone. Studies regarding FAPAR are fewer and the relations between albedo and FAPAR are still poorly understood. To study these relations we simulated shortwave black sky albedo and canopy FAPAR, using the FRT forest reflectance model. We used two sets of field plots as input data. The plots were located in Alaska, USA (N = 584) and in Finland (N = 506) between Northern latitudes of 60° and 68° , and they represent naturally grown and more intensively managed (regularly thinned) forests, respectively. The simulations were carried out with sun zenith angles (SZA) typical to the biome, ranging from 40° to 80° . The simulated albedos in coniferous plots decreased with increasing tree height, whereas canopy FAPAR showed an opposite trend. The albedo of broadleaved plots was notably higher than that of coniferous plots. No species differences in canopy FAPAR were seen, except for pine forests in Finland that showed lowest FAPAR among species. Albedo and canopy FAPAR were negatively correlated (r ranged from -0.93 to -0.69) in coniferous plots. The correlations were notably weaker (r ranged from -0.64 to 0.05) if plots with broadleaved trees were included. To show the influence of forest management, we further examined the response of albedo and FAPAR to forest density (basal area) and fraction of broadleaved trees. Plots with low basal area showed high albedos but also low canopy FAPAR. When comparing the sparse plots to dense ones, the relative decrease in canopy FAPAR was larger than the relative increase in albedo. However, at large SZAs the basal area could be lowered to approx. 20 m2 ha‑1 before FAPAR was notably reduced. Increasing the proportion of broadleaved trees from 0% to 100% increased the albedos to approximately

  11. Estimation of Boreal Forest Biomass Using Spaceborne SAR Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saatchi, Sassan; Moghaddam, Mahta

    1995-01-01

    In this paper, we report on the use of a semiempirical algorithm derived from a two layer radar backscatter model for forest canopies. The model stratifies the forest canopy into crown and stem layers, separates the structural and biometric attributes of the canopy. The structural parameters are estimated by training the model with polarimetric SAR (synthetic aperture radar) data acquired over homogeneous stands with known above ground biomass. Given the structural parameters, the semi-empirical algorithm has four remaining parameters, crown biomass, stem biomass, surface soil moisture, and surface rms height that can be estimated by at least four independent SAR measurements. The algorithm has been used to generate biomass maps over the entire images acquired by JPL AIRSAR and SIR-C SAR systems. The semi-empirical algorithms are then modified to be used by single frequency radar systems such as ERS-1, JERS-1, and Radarsat. The accuracy. of biomass estimation from single channel radars is compared with the case when the channels are used together in synergism or in a polarimetric system.

  12. Landscape heterogeneity, soil climate, and carbon exchange in a boreal black spruce forest.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Allison L; Wofsy, Steven C; v H Bright, Alfram

    2009-03-01

    We measured soil climate and the turbulent fluxes of CO2, H2O, heat, and momentum on short towers (2 m) in a 160-yr-old boreal black spruce forest in Manitoba, Canada. Two distinct land cover types were studied: a Sphagnum-dominated wetland, and a feathermoss (Pleurozium and Hylocomium)-dominated upland, both lying within the footprint of a 30-m tower, which has measured whole-forest carbon exchange since 1994. Peak summertime uptake of CO2, was higher in the wetland than for the forest as a whole due to the influence of deciduous shrubs. Soil respiration rates in the wetland were approximately three times larger than in upland soils, and 30% greater than the mean of the whole forest, reflecting decomposition of soil organic matter. Soil respiration rates in the wetland were regulated by soil temperature, which was in turn influenced by water table depth through effects on soil heat capacity and conductivity. Warmer soil temperatures and deeper water tables favored increased heterotrophic respiration. Wetland drainage was limited by frost during the first half of the growing season, leading to high, perched water tables, cool soil temperatures, and much lower respiration rates than observed later in the growing season. Whole-forest evapotranspiration increased as water tables dropped, suggesting that photosynthesis in this forest was rarely subject to water stress. Our data indicate positive feedback between soil temperature, seasonal thawing, heterotrophic respiration, and evapotranspiration. As a result, climate warming could cause covariant changes in soil temperature and water table depths that may stimulate photosynthesis and strongly promote efflux of CO2 from peat soils in boreal wetlands. PMID:19323205

  13. Fungal community dynamics in relation to substrate quality of decaying Norway spruce ( Picea abies [L.] Karst.) logs in boreal forests.

    PubMed

    Rajala, Tiina; Peltoniemi, Mikko; Pennanen, Taina; Mäkipää, Raisa

    2012-08-01

    Decaying wood plays an important role in forest biodiversity, nutrient cycling and carbon balance. Community structure of wood-inhabiting fungi changes with mass loss of wood, but the relationship between substrate quality and decomposers is poorly understood. This limits the extent to which these ecosystem services can be effectively managed. We studied the fungal community and physico-chemical quality (stage of decay, dimensions, density, moisture, C : N ratio, lignin and water or ethanol extractives) of 543 Norway spruce logs in five unmanaged boreal forest sites of southern Finland. Fungi were identified using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and sequencing of DNA extracted directly from wood samples. Macroscopic fruiting bodies were also recorded. Results showed a fungal community succession with decreasing wood density and C : N ratio, and increasing moisture and lignin content. Fungal diversity peaked in the most decayed substrates. Ascomycetes typically colonized recently fallen wood. Brown-rot fungi preferred the intermediate decay stages. White-rot fungi represented approximately one-fifth of sequenced species in all decay phases excluding the final phase, where ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi became dominant. Lignin content of logs with white-rot fungi was low, and ECM fungi were associated with substrates containing abundant nitrogen. Macroscopic fruiting bodies were observed for only a small number of species detected with molecular techniques. PMID:22458543

  14. Scots pine chemotypic characterization in a boreal forest stand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bäck, J. K.; Aalto, J.; Henriksson, M.; Hakola, H.; Rinne, J.

    2009-12-01

    Branch scale VOC emissions and above-canopy VOC concentrations have been characterized in several long-term studies in a mature boreal Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand in southern Finland, SMEAR II measuring station. The above-canopy monoterpene concentrations in the site have been dominated by α-pinene, which on an average is three times more abundant than the second most common monoterpene, D3-carene. On the contrary, in the branch scale measurements D3-carene is 4-5 times more abundant than α-pinene. The emitted monoterpene mixture has significant implications on air chemistry at the boundary layer, and thus a more detailed understanding on how the emissions vary within the stand is needed. To clarify the variation in the monoterpene emission mixture within the SMEAR II Scots pine population, we collected branches from 40 trees with a systematic sampling scheme, and brought them into the laboratory where we measured their emission spectrum with a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS). Branches were collected from southward facing direction of the mid-canopy, and stored in cold before collecting the emissions from the topmost part of the branch into Tenax TA adsorbent. Large differences in emission spectrum were seen between the studied pine trees. α-pinene and D3-carene formed together 63-96% of the branch monoterpene emissions. Only in one tree β-pinene emissions overruled these two major components. A significant proportion (22.5%) of the pine population could be characterized as high carene emitters, i.e. their D3-carene emissions were more than 50% larger than their α-pinene emissions. In minimum the α-pinene emissions were only one tenth of the D3-carene emissions. Terpinolene emission was positively correlated with the high D3-carene emissions. Five trees (12.5%) emitted mostly α- and β-pinenes, and in these branches only remnants of D3-carene (less than 10% of total monoterpene emissions) were measured. Camphene, limonene and

  15. Effects of Tree Canopy Structure and Understory Vegetation on the Effectiveness of Open-Top-Chamber in Manipulating Boreal Forest Microclimate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teuber, L. M.; Nilsson, M. C.; Wardle, D.; Dorrepaal, E.

    2014-12-01

    Open-top chambers (OTCs) are widely used to passively increase soil and air temperature in various open habitats, such as alpine and arctic tundra, and temperate grasslands. Several studies report warming effects of 1-2 °C in arctic and alpine tundra, and up to 6 °C in temperate grasslands. The variation between studies can be mostly attributed to differences in the abiotic environment, such as snow cover and solar irradiance. Vegetation height and openness affects the amount of irradiance that reaches the ground and may therefore indirectly impact the effectiveness of OTCs. The use of OTCs in forested ecosystems might therefore be limited by reduced canopy openness, while their effect on changes in soil temperature and soil moisture content might additionally be affected by the understory vegetation type and cover. Nevertheless, OTC's are an immensely useful tool in climate-change studies, and could benefit research in forest ecosystems. In this study we therefore investigated whether OTCs can be used to manipulate microclimate in the northern boreal forest and how tree canopy cover and understory vegetation influence OTC effects on air and soil temperature and on soil moisture content.We compared OTC effects at ten sites that were situated along a fire chronosequence in the northern boreal forest in Sweden. Sites were dominated by Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies, and time since the last fire ranged from 47-367 years, resulting in varying degrees of tree canopy openness. We applied full factorial combinations of OTC warming and dwarf shrub removal and moss removal at each site. We measured canopy cover using hemispherical photography; air and soil temperature as well as soil moisture were measured hourly from June until September. Preliminary analyses indicate that OTCs increased monthly mean air temperatures by up to 0.9 °C across all treatments and forest stands. However, the degree of warming showed clear relations with the presence or absence of the

  16. Northern Forest Ecosystem Dynamics Using Coupled Models and Remote Sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ranson, K. J.; Sun, G.; Knox, R. G.; Levine, E. R.; Weishampel, J. F.; Fifer, S. T.

    1999-01-01

    Forest ecosystem dynamics modeling, remote sensing data analysis, and a geographical information system (GIS) were used together to determine the possible growth and development of a northern forest in Maine, USA. Field measurements and airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data were used to produce maps of forest cover type and above ground biomass. These forest attribute maps, along with a conventional soils map, were used to identify the initial conditions for forest ecosystem model simulations. Using this information along with ecosystem model results enabled the development of predictive maps of forest development. The results obtained were consistent with observed forest conditions and expected successional trajectories. The study demonstrated that ecosystem models might be used in a spatial context when parameterized and used with georeferenced data sets.

  17. New datasets for quantifying snow-vegetation-atmosphere interactions in boreal birch and conifer forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, T. D.; Essery, R.; Rutter, N.; Huntley, B.; Baxter, R.; Holden, R.; King, M.; Hancock, S.; Carle, J.

    2012-12-01

    Boreal forests exert a strong influence on weather and climate by modifying the surface energy and radiation balance. However, global climate and numerical weather prediction models use forest parameter values from simple look-up tables or maps that are derived from limited satellite data, on large grid scales. In reality, Arctic landscapes are inherently heterogeneous, with highly variable land cover types and structures on a variety of spatial scales. There is value in collecting detailed field data for different areas of vegetation cover, to assess the accuracy of large-scale assumptions. To address these issues, a consortium of researchers funded by the UK's Natural Environment Research Council have collected extensive data on radiation, meteorology, snow cover and canopy structure at two contrasting Arctic forest sites. The chosen study sites were an area of boreal birch forest near Abisko, Sweden in March/April 2011 and mixed conifer forest at Sodankylä, Finland in March/April 2012. At both sites, arrays comprising ten shortwave pyranometers and four longwave pyrgeometers were deployed for periods of up to 50 days, under forest plots of varying canopy structures and densities. In addition, downwelling longwave irradiance and global and diffuse shortwave irradiances were recorded at nearby open sites representing the top-of-canopy conditions. Meteorological data were recorded at all sub-canopy and open sites using automatic weather stations. Over the same periods, tree skin temperatures were measured on selected trees using contact thermocouples, infrared thermocouples and thermal imagery. Canopy structure was accurately quantified through manual surveys, extensive hemispherical photography and terrestrial laser scans of every study plot. Sub-canopy snow depth and snow water equivalent were measured on fine-scale grids at each study plot. Regular site maintenance ensured a high quality dataset covering the important Arctic spring period. The data have several

  18. Postfire Succession of Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Nesting in Dead Wood of Northern Boreal Forest.

    PubMed

    Boucher, Philippe; Hébert, Christian; Francoeur, André; Sirois, Luc

    2015-10-01

    Dead wood decomposition begins immediately after tree death and involves a large array of invertebrates. Ecological successions are still poorly known for saproxylic organisms, particularly in boreal forests. We investigated the use of dead wood as nesting sites for ants along a 60-yr postfire chronosequence in northeastern coniferous forests. We sampled a total of 1,625 pieces of dead wood, in which 263 ant nests were found. Overall, ant abundance increased during the first 30 yr after wildfire, and then declined. Leptothorax cf. canadensis Provancher, the most abundant species in our study, was absent during the first 2 yr postfire, but increased steadily until 30 yr after fire, whereas Myrmica alaskensis Wheeler, second in abundance, was found at all stages of succession in the chronosequence. Six other species were less frequently found, among which Camponotus herculeanus (Linné), Formica neorufibarbis Emery, and Formica aserva Forel were locally abundant, but more scarcely distributed. Dead wood lying on the ground and showing numerous woodborer holes had a higher probability of being colonized by ants. The C:N ratio was lower for dead wood colonized by ants than for noncolonized dead wood, showing that the continuous occupation of dead wood by ants influences the carbon and nitrogen dynamics of dead wood after wildfire in northern boreal forests. PMID:26314011

  19. Regional assessment of boreal forest productivity using an ecological process model and remote sensing parameter maps.

    PubMed

    Kimball, J. S.; Keyser, A. R.; Running, S. W.; Saatchi, S. S.

    2000-06-01

    An ecological process model (BIOME-BGC) was used to assess boreal forest regional net primary production (NPP) and response to short-term, year-to-year weather fluctuations based on spatially explicit, land cover and biomass maps derived by radar remote sensing, as well as soil, terrain and daily weather information. Simulations were conducted at a 30-m spatial resolution, over a 1205 km(2) portion of the BOREAS Southern Study Area of central Saskatchewan, Canada, over a 3-year period (1994-1996). Simulations of NPP for the study region were spatially and temporally complex, averaging 2.2 (+/- 0.6), 1.8 (+/- 0.5) and 1.7 (+/- 0.5) Mg C ha(-1) year(-1) for 1994, 1995 and 1996, respectively. Spatial variability of NPP was strongly controlled by the amount of aboveground biomass, particularly photosynthetic leaf area, whereas biophysical differences between broadleaf deciduous and evergreen coniferous vegetation were of secondary importance. Simulations of NPP were strongly sensitive to year-to-year variations in seasonal weather patterns, which influenced the timing of spring thaw and deciduous bud-burst. Reductions in annual NPP of approximately 17 and 22% for 1995 and 1996, respectively, were attributed to 3- and 5-week delays in spring thaw relative to 1994. Boreal forest stands with greater proportions of deciduous vegetation were more sensitive to the timing of spring thaw than evergreen coniferous stands. Similar relationships were found by comparing simulated snow depth records with 10-year records of aboveground NPP measurements obtained from biomass harvest plots within the BOREAS region. These results highlight the importance of sub-grid scale land cover complexity in controlling boreal forest regional productivity, the dynamic response of the biome to short-term interannual climate variations, and the potential implications of climate change and other large-scale disturbances. PMID:12651512

  20. Fate of organic contaminants in a boreal forest catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergknut, Magnus; Meijer, Sandra; Halsall, Crispin; Ågren, Anneli; Laudon, Hjalmar; Köhler, Stephan; Jones, Kevin; Tysklind, Mats; Wiberg, Karin

    2010-05-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate and predict the impact of hydrological and atmospheric processes on the mobilisation of contaminants in a remote catchment where the major input is related to diffuse pollution. The project included priory substances according to the European water framework directive (WFD), such as the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) HCB, PCBs and dioxins. The study was conducted at a well-characterised catchment system in northern Sweden dominated by two landscape types: forest and mire. Chemical analyses of POPs in forest soil and mire peat at various depths were performed. Evaluation of POP composition by principal component analysis (PCA) showed distinct differences between surface and deeper samples. This was attributed to vertical transport, degradation and/or shifting sources over time. The calculated net vertical transport differed between surface (0.3% of the pollutant reservoir) and deeper soils (8.0 %), suggesting that vertical transport conditions and processes differ in the deeper layers compared to the surface layers.The fate of POPs in soils and waters was explored through the development of a chemical fate model. The northerly location of the studied catchment enabled a study on the impact of spring snow melt and associated hydrological processes on contaminant mobilization. Input was based on bulk atmospheric deposition and was dominated by accumulation in the winter snowpack. The model considered air-soil exchange and accumulation in forest and mire soil as well as export of dissolved and particle-bound POPs from soil to catchment surface water. The predicted export of POPs to catchment surface waters was up to 40 times higher the during snow melt period (three week during April/May) compared to the snow covered period (approximately 4 months), highlighting the importance of the seasonal snow pack as a source of these chemicals. Release from soils was governed by the POP concentration in soil, the fraction of soil

  1. [Evaluation of economic forest ecosystem services in China].

    PubMed

    Wang, Bing; Lu, Shao-Wei

    2009-02-01

    This paper quantitatively evaluated the economic forest ecosystem services in the provinces of China in 2003, based on the long-term and continuous observations of economic forest ecosystems in this country, the sixth China national forest resources inventory data, and the price parameter data from the authorities in the world, and by applying the law of market value, the method of substitution of the expenses, and the law of the shadow project. The results showed that in 2003, the total value of economic forest ecosystem services in China was 11763.39 x 10(8) yuan, and the total value of the products from economic forests occupied 19.3% of the total ecosystem services value, which indicated that the economic forests not only provided society direct products, but also exhibited enormous eco-economic value. The service value of the functions of economic forests was in the order of water storage > C fixation and O2 release > biodiversity conservation > erosion control > air quality purification > nutrient cycle. The spatial pattern of economic forest ecosystem services in the provinces of China had the same trend with the spatial distribution of water and heat resources and biodiversity. To understand the differences of economic forest ecosystem services in the provinces of China was of significance in alternating the irrational arrangement of our present forestry production, diminishing the abuses of forest management, and establishing high grade, high efficient, and modernized economic forests. PMID:19459385

  2. Stomata-controlled nighttime COS fluxes in a boreal forest: implications for the use of COS as a GPP tracer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kooijmans, Linda M. J.; Maseyk, Kadmiel; Seibt, Ulli; Vesala, Timo; Mammarella, Ivan; Baker, Ian T.; Franchin, Alessandro; Kolari, Pasi; Sun, Wu; Keskinen, Helmi; Levula, Janne; Chen, Huilin

    2016-04-01

    Carbonyl Sulfide (COS) is a promising new tracer that can be used to partition the Net Ecosystem Exchange into gross primary production (GPP) and respiration. COS and CO2 vegetation fluxes are closely related as these gases share the same diffusion pathway into stomata. This close coupling is the fundamental principle for the use of COS as tracer for GPP. Nonetheless, in contrast to CO2 , the uptake of COS by vegetation is not light-dependent, and therefore the vegetative uptake of COS can continue during the night as long as stomata are open. Nighttime stomatal conductance is observed in a variety of studies, and also nighttime depletion of COS concentrations is reported several times but it is not confirmed with field measurements that the depletion of COS in the night is indeed driven by stomatal opening. In the summer of 2015 a campaign took place at the SMEAR II site in Hyytiälä, Finland to provide better constrained COS flux data for boreal forests using a combination of COS measurements, i.e. atmospheric profile concentrations up to 125 m, eddy-covariance fluxes and soil chamber fluxes, and collocated measurements of stomatal conductance and 222Radon. A high correlation between concentrations of 222Radon and COS implies that the radon-tracer method is a valuable tool to derive nighttime ecosystem COS fluxes. We find that soils contribute to 17% of the total ecosystem COS flux during nighttime in the peak growing season. Nighttime ecosystem COS fluxes show a correlation with stomatal conductance (R2 = 0.3), indicating that nighttime COS fluxes are primarily driven by vegetation. The COS vegetation fluxes will be compared with calculated fluxes from the Simple Biosphere model. Furthermore, the nighttime vegetative COS uptake covers a substantial fraction (25%) of the daily maximum COS uptake by vegetation. Accurate quantification of nighttime COS uptake is required to be able to use COS as a useful tracer for GPP.