The primary goal of this project is to develop improved understanding of ecosystem disturbances and their carbon consequences. Specifically, we will develop methods for reconstructing the history of ecosystem disturbances and for continuously monitoring on-going disturbances. We will also evaluate the severity, causes, and carbon consequences of disturbances. For the second objective we will focus on fire disturbances as mapped through the Monitoring Trends and Burn Severity (MTBS) project. The following are the specific goals of the proposed project:
1. Understand the underline causes of differences in fire regime, especially regarding the roles of land use and climate changes. This will be achieved through statistical analysis of MTBS fire severity data of the recent years (from 1985 to present) and LANDFIRE historical fire regime data at a regional basis.
2. Develop approaches for quantifying the C consequences of fire and other disturbances by developing and finalizing methods for estimating greenhouse gas emissions related to MTBS and LANDFIRE fire regimes.
3. Improve disturbance assessment by developing advanced disturbance detection methods that will allow estimation of forest age distributions between disturbance events.