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Filters: Contacts: John B. Bradford (X)

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Though biological soil crusts (biocrusts) form abundant covers in arid and semiarid regions, their competing effects on soil hydrologic conditions are rarely accounted for in models. This study presents the modification of a soil water balance model to account for the presence of biocrusts at different levels of development (LOD) and their impact on one-dimensional hydrologic processes during warm and cold seasons. The model is developed, tested, and applied to study the hydrologic controls of biocrusts in context of a long-term manipulative experiment equipped with meteorological and soil moisture measurements in a Colorado Plateau ecosystem near Moab, Utah. The climate manipulation treatments resulted in distinct...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecohydrology
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Climate change predictions include warming and drying trends, which are expected to be particularly pronounced in the southwestern United States. In this region, grassland dynamics are tightly linked to available moisture, yet it has proven difficult to resolve what aspects of climate drive vegetation change. In part, this is because it is unclear how heterogeneity in soils affects plant responses to climate. Here, we combine climate and soil properties with a mechanistic soil water model to explain temporal fluctuations in perennial grass cover, quantify where and the degree to which incorporating soil water dynamics enhances our ability to understand temporal patterns, and explore the potential consequences of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Global Change Biology
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Ecohydrological responses to climate change will exhibit spatial variability and understanding the spatial pattern of ecological impacts is critical from a land management perspective. To quantify climate change impacts on spatial patterns of ecohydrology across shrub steppe ecosystems in North America, we asked the following question: How will climate change impacts on ecohydrology differ in magnitude and variability across climatic gradients, among three big sagebrush ecosystems (SB-Shrubland, SB-Steppe, SB-Montane), and among Sage-grouse Management Zones? We explored these potential changes for mid-century for RCP8.5 using a process-based water balance model (SOILWAT) for 898 big sagebrush sites using site- and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosphere
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The sensitivity of plant production to precipitation underlies the functioning of ecosystems. Studies that relate long-term mean annual precipitation and production across multiple sites(spatial relationship) or examine interannual linkages within a site (temporal relationship) can reveal biophysical controls over ecosystem function but have limited ability to infer responses to extreme changes in precipitation that may become more common under climate change. To overcome limitations of using a single approach, we integrated satellite- and ground-based estimates of production with a standardized, multi-site precipitation manipulation experiment across a grassland elevation gradient in the southwestern USA. The responsiveness...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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Forested ecosystems contain the majority of the world’s terrestrial carbon, and forest management has implications for regional and global carbon cycling. Carbon stored in forests changes with stand age and is affected by natural disturbance and timber harvesting. We examined how harvesting and disturbance interact to influence forest carbon stocks over the Superior National Forest, in northern Minnesota. Forest inventory data from the USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis program were used to characterize current forest age structure and quantify the relationship between age and carbon stocks for eight forest types. Using these findings, we simulated the impact of alternative management scenarios and...
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Ecosystems dominated by big sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata Nuttall (Asteraceae), which are the most widespread ecosystems in semiarid western North America, have been affected by land use practices and invasive species. Loss of big sagebrush and the decline of associated species, such as greater sage-grouse, are a concern to land managers and conservationists. However, big sagebrush regeneration remains difficult to achieve by restoration and reclamation efforts and there is no regeneration simulation model available. We present here the first process-based, daily time-step, simulation model to predict yearly big sagebrush regeneration including relevant germination and seedling responses to abiotic factors. We...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Modelling
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Many studies and production inventory systems have shown the utility of coupling covariates derived from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data with forest variables measured on georeferenced inventory plots through regression models. The objective of this study was to propose and assess the use of a Bayesian hierarchical modeling framework that accommodates both residual spatial dependence and non-stationarity of model covariates through the introduction of spatial random effects. We explored this objective using four forest inventory datasets that are part of the North American Carbon Program, each comprising point-referenced measures of above-ground forest biomass and discrete LiDAR. For each dataset, we considered...
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Contemporary forest management practices are increasingly designed to optimize novel objectives, such as maximizing biomass feedstocks and/or maintaining ecological legacies, but many uncertainties exist regarding how these practices influence forest carbon (C) cycling. We examined the responses of soil respiration (Rs) to biomass harvesting and green-tree retention in an effort to empirically assess their impacts on C cycling. We measured Rs and soil microclimatic variables over four growing seasons following implementation of these management practices using a fully replicated, operational-scale experiment in aspen-dominated forests in northern Minnesota. Treatments included three levels of biomass removal within...
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The diverse forest types of the southwestern US are inseparable from fire. Across climate zones in California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico, fire suppression has left many forest types out of sync with their historic fire regimes. As a result, high fuel loads place them at risk of severe fire, particularly as fire activity increases due to climate change. A legacy of fire exclusion coupled with a warming climate has led to increasingly large and severe wildfires in many southwest forest types. Climate change projections include an extended fire season length due to earlier snowmelt and a general drying trend due to rising temperatures. This suggests the future will be warmer and drier regardless of changes in...
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The persistence of ponderosa pine and lodgepole pine forests in the 21st century depends to a large extent on how seedling emergence and establishment are influenced by driving climate and environmental variables, which largely govern forest regeneration. We surveyed the literature, and identified 96 publications that reported data on dependent variables of seedling emergence and/or establishment and one or more independent variables of air temperature, soil temperature, precipitation and moisture availability. Our review suggests that seedling emergence and establishment for both species is highest at intermediate temperatures (20 to 25 °C), and higher precipitation and higher moisture availability support a higher...
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In this paper we detail a multivariate spatial regression model that couples LiDAR, hyperspectral and forest inventory data to predict forest outcome variables at a high spatial resolution. The proposed model is used to analyze forest inventory data collected on the US Forest Service Penobscot Experimental Forest (PEF), ME, USA. In addition to helping meet the regression model's assumptions, results from the PEF analysis suggest that the addition of multivariate spatial random effects improves model fit and predictive ability, compared with two commonly applied modeling approaches. This improvement results from explicitly modeling the covariation among forest outcome variables and spatial dependence among observations...
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Globally, there is widespread interest in using forest-derived biomass as a source of bioenergy. While conventional timber harvesting generally removes only merchantable tree boles, harvesting biomass feedstock can remove all forms of woody biomass (i.e., live and dead standing woody vegetation, downed woody debris, and stumps) resulting in a greater loss of biomass and nutrients as well as more severe habitat alteration. To investigate the potential impacts of this practice, this study examined the initial impacts (pre- and post-harvest) of various levels of slash and live-tree retention on biomass and nutrient stocks, including carbon (C), nitrogen (N), calcium (Ca), potassium (K), and phosphorus (P), in Populus...
Abstract (from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00442-014-2881-2): Forest biomass growth is almost universally assumed to peak early in stand development, near canopy closure, after which it will plateau or decline. The chronosequence and plot remeasurement approaches used to establish the decline pattern suffer from limitations and coarse temporal detail. We combined annual tree ring measurements and mortality models to address two questions: first, how do assumptions about tree growth and mortality influence reconstructions of biomass growth? Second, under what circumstances does biomass production follow the model that peaks early, then declines? We integrated three stochastic mortality models with...
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Climate and land-use interactions are likely to affect future environmental and socioeconomic conditions in drylands, which tend to be limited by water resources and prone to land degradation. We characterized the potential for interactions between land-use types and land-use and climate change in a model dryland system, the Colorado Plateau, a region with a history of climatic variability and land-use change. We analyzed the spatial and temporal trends in aridification, land-use, and recreation at the county and 10 km2 grid scales. Our results show that oil and gas development and recreation may interact due to increasing trends and overlapping areas of high intensity. Projections suggest that aridification will...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosphere
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Increasing aridity as a result of climate change is expected to exacerbate tree mortality. Reducing forest basal area – the cross-sectional area of tree stems within a given ground area – can decrease tree competition, which may reduce drought-induced tree mortality. However, neither the magnitude of expected mortality increases, nor the potential effectiveness of basal area reduction, has been quantified in dryland forests such as those of the drought-prone Southwest US. We used thousands of repeatedly measured forest plots to show that unusually warm and dry conditions are related to high tree mortality rates and that mortality is positively related to basal area. Those relationships suggest that while increasing...
Abstract (from http://www.srmjournals.org/doi/abs/10.2111/REM-D-13-00079.1): Big sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata Nuttall (Asteraceae), is the dominant plant species of large portions of semiarid western North America. However, much of historical big sagebrush vegetation has been removed or modified. Thus, regeneration is recognized as an important component for land management. Limited knowledge about key regeneration processes, however, represents an obstacle to identifying successful management practices and to gaining greater insight into the consequences of increasing disturbance frequency and global change. Therefore, our objective is to synthesize knowledge about natural big sagebrush regeneration. We identified...
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Forest biomass growth is almost universally assumed to peak early in stand development, near canopy closure, after which it will plateau or decline. The chronosequence and plot remeasurement approaches used to establish the decline pattern suffer from limitations and coarse temporal detail. We combined annual tree ring measurements and mortality models to address two questions: first, how do assumptions about tree growth and mortality influence reconstructions of biomass growth? Second, under what circumstances does biomass production follow the model that peaks early, then declines? We integrated three stochastic mortality models with a census tree-ring data set from eight temperate forest types to reconstruct...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Oecologia
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Eddy covariance nighttime fluxes are uncertain due to potential measurement biases. Many studies report eddy covariance nighttime flux lower than flux from extrapolated chamber measurements, despite corrections for low turbulence. We compared eddy covariance and chamber estimates of ecosystem respiration at the GLEES Ameriflux site over seven growing seasons under high turbulence (summer night mean friction velocity (u*) = 0.7 m s−1), during which bark beetles killed or infested 85% of the aboveground respiring biomass. Chamber-based estimates of ecosystem respiration during the growth season, developed from foliage, wood and soil CO2 efflux measurements, declined 35% after 85% of the forest basal area had been...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Global Change Biology
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Restoration treatments, such as revegetation with seeding or invasive species removal, have been applied on U.S. public lands for decades. Temporal trends in these management actions have not been extensively summarized previously, particularly in the southwestern United States where invasive plant species, drought, and fire have altered dryland ecosystems. We assessed long-term (1940–2010) trends in restoration using approximately 4,000 vegetation treatments conducted on Bureau of Land Management lands across the southwestern United States. We found that since 1940, the proportions of seeding and vegetation/soil manipulation (e.g. vegetation removal or plowing) treatments have declined, while the proportions of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Restoration Ecology
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Many semi-arid plant communities in western North America are dominated by big sagebrush. These ecosystems are being reduced in extent and quality due to economic development, invasive species, and climate change. These pervasive modifications have generated concern about the long-term viability of sagebrush habitat and sagebrush-obligate wildlife species (notably greater sage-grouse), highlighting the need for better understanding of the future big sagebrush distribution, particularly at the species' range margins. These leading and trailing edges of potential climate-driven sagebrush distribution shifts are likely to be areas most sensitive to climate change. We used a process-based regeneration model for big...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosphere


map background search result map search result map Hierarchical Bayesian spatial models for predicting multiple forest variables using waveform LiDAR, hyperspectral imagery, and large inventory datasets Impacts of post-harvest slash and live-tree retention on biomass and nutrient stocks in <i>Populus tremuloides</i> Michx.-dominated forests, northern Minnesota, USA Potential increases in natural disturbance rates could offset forest management impacts on ecosystem carbon stocks Looking for age-related growth decline in natural forests: unexpected biomass patterns from tree rings and simulated mortality Modeling regeneration responses of big sagebrush (<i>Artemisia tridentata</i>) to abiotic conditions Climate change, fire management, and ecological services in the southwestern US Initial soil respiration response to biomass harvesting and green-tree retention in aspen-dominated forests of the Great Lakes region Forest Ecosystem respiration estimated from eddy covariance and chamber measurements under high turbulence and substantial tree mortality from bark beetles Forest Ecosystem respiration estimated from eddy covariance and chamber measurements under high turbulence and substantial tree mortality from bark beetles Impacts of post-harvest slash and live-tree retention on biomass and nutrient stocks in <i>Populus tremuloides</i> Michx.-dominated forests, northern Minnesota, USA Potential increases in natural disturbance rates could offset forest management impacts on ecosystem carbon stocks Hierarchical Bayesian spatial models for predicting multiple forest variables using waveform LiDAR, hyperspectral imagery, and large inventory datasets Looking for age-related growth decline in natural forests: unexpected biomass patterns from tree rings and simulated mortality Initial soil respiration response to biomass harvesting and green-tree retention in aspen-dominated forests of the Great Lakes region Climate change, fire management, and ecological services in the southwestern US Modeling regeneration responses of big sagebrush (<i>Artemisia tridentata</i>) to abiotic conditions