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Landscape-scale analysis of aboveground tree carbon stocks affected by mountain pine beetles in IdahoAuthor(s): Benjamin Bright; J. A. Hicke; A. T. Hudak
Source: Environmental Research Letters. 7: 045702.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
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DescriptionBark beetle outbreaks kill billions of trees in western North America, and the resulting tree mortality can significantly impact local and regional carbon cycling. However, substantial variability in mortality occurs within outbreak areas. Our objective was to quantify landscape-scale effects of beetle infestations on aboveground carbon (AGC) stocks using field observations and remotely sensed data across a 5054 ha study area that had experienced a mountain pine beetle outbreak. Tree mortality was classified using multispectral imagery that separated green, red, and gray trees, and models relating field observations of AGC to LiDAR data were used to map AGC. We combined mortality and AGC maps to quantify AGC in beetle-killed trees. Thirty-nine per cent of the forested area was killed by beetles, with large spatial variability in mortality severity. For the entire study area, 40-50% of AGC was contained in beetle-killed trees. When considered on a per-hectare basis, 75-89% of the study area had >25% AGC in killed trees and 3-6% of the study area had >75% of the AGC in killed trees. Our results show that despite high variability in tree mortality within an outbreak area, bark beetle epidemics can have a large impact on AGC stocks at the landscape scale.
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CitationBright, B. C.; Hicke, J. A.; Hudak, A. T. 2012. Landscape-scale analysis of aboveground tree carbon stocks affected by mountain pine beetles in Idaho. Environmental Research Letters. 7: 045702.
Keywordsmountain pine beetle, tree mortality, carbon, LiDAR, aerial imagery
- Estimating aboveground carbon stocks of a forest affected by mountain pine beetle in Idaho using lidar and multispectral imagery
- Observations and modeling of aboveground tree carbon stocks and fluxes following a bark beetle outbreak in the western United States
- Simulating coupled carbon and nitrogen dynamics following bark beetle outbreaks in the western United States
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