Patches of live, dead, and dying trees resulting from bark beetle-caused mortality alter spatial and temporal variability in the canopy and surface fuel complex through changes in the foliar moisture content of attacked trees and through the redistribution of canopy fuels.
Monitoring vegetation phenology is important for managers at several scales. Across decades, changes in the timing, pattern, and duration of significant life cycle events for plant groups can foreshadow shifts in species assemblages that can affect ecosystem services.
Climate change is projected to impact ecosystem functioning, however its effect on the provision of ecosystem services is uncertain. This is particularly relevant on federal lands which harbor extensive tracts of natural vegetation.