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Keyword: forest disturbance

Complementing insect aerial surveys with satellite imagery

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 06, 2019
Forest insects kill large numbers of trees in the western United States each year. The US Forest Service monitors and quantifies tree mortality from insect outbreaks using annual aerial detection surveys. The Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) is demonstrating how satellite imagery can be used to produce annual maps of tree mortality, as the Forest Service anticipates relying more on satellite imagery, a cheaper alternative to aerial detection surveys, to monitor forest health in the future.

Using Forest Inventory & Analysis data for broad-scale assessments of vegetation effects on water resources

Projects Posted on: April 29, 2019
Forest canopies exert a physical influence on the partitioning of precipitation into runoff versus evapotranspiration through several hydrologic processes. This project seeks to illuminate the ways that forest dynamics and disturbance affect hydrologic processes and availability of water for ecosystems and for people.  

The legacy of a severe wildfire on stream nitrogen and carbon in headwater catchments

Publications Posted on: September 25, 2018
Large, high-severity wildfires alter the physical and biological conditions that determine how catchments retain and release nutrients and regulate streamwater quality. The short-term water quality impacts of severe wildfire are often dramatic, but the longer-term responses may better reflect terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem recovery.

Improved prediction of stream flow based on updating land cover maps with remotely sensed forest change detection

Publications Posted on: July 06, 2018
The water balance in a watershed can be disrupted by forest disturbances such as harvests and fires. Techniques to accurately and efficiently map forest cover changes due to disturbance are evolving quickly, and it is of interest to ask how useful maps of different types of disturbances over time can be in the prediction of water yield. We assessed the benefits of using land cover maps produced at annual vs.

A LandTrendr multispectral ensemble for forest disturbance detection

Publications Posted on: July 06, 2018
Monitoring and classifying forest disturbance using Landsat time series has improved greatly over the past decade, with many new algorithms taking advantage of the high-quality, cost free data in the archive.

How similar are forest disturbance maps derived from different Landsat time series algorithms?

Publications Posted on: September 27, 2017
Disturbance is a critical ecological process in forested systems, and disturbance maps are important for understanding forest dynamics. Landsat data are a key remote sensing dataset for monitoring forest disturbance and there recently has been major growth in the development of disturbance mapping algorithms.

Root disease can rival fire and harvest in reducing forest carbon storage

Publications Posted on: September 27, 2017
Root diseases are known to suppress forest regeneration and reduce growth rates, and they may become more common as susceptible tree species become maladapted in parts of their historic ranges due to climate change.

Selection and quality assessment of Landsat data for the North American forest dynamics forest history maps of the US

Publications Posted on: January 05, 2017
Using the NASA Earth Exchange platform, the North American Forest Dynamics (NAFD) project mapped forest history wall-to-wall, annually for the contiguous US (1986-2010) using the Vegetation Change Tracker algorithm. As with any effort to identify real changes in remotely sensed time-series, data gaps, shifts in seasonality, misregistration, inconsistent radiometry and cloud contamination can be sources of error.

Managing bark beetle impacts on ecosystems and society: priority questions to motivate future research

Publications Posted on: November 16, 2016
Recent bark beetle outbreaks in North America and Europe have impacted forested landscapes and the provisioning of critical ecosystem services. The scale and intensity of many recent outbreaks are widely believed to be unprecedented. The effects of bark beetle outbreaks on ecosystems are often measured in terms of area affected, host tree mortality rates, and alterations to forest structure and composition.

Shape selection in Landsat time series

Media Gallery Posted on: September 15, 2016
The tree canopy patterns in these time series Landsat map images, taken over a section of the central Rocky Mountains near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, provide information about canopy lost to disturbance events.