Effects of disturbance and climate change on ecosystem performance in the Yukon River Basin boreal forest

Remote Sensing
By: , and 



A warming climate influences boreal forest productivity, dynamics, and disturbance regimes. We used ecosystem models and 250 m satellite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data averaged over the growing season (GSN) to model current, and estimate future, ecosystem performance. We modeled Expected Ecosystem Performance (EEP), or anticipated productivity, in undisturbed stands over the 2000–2008 period from a variety of abiotic data sources, using a rule-based piecewise regression tree. The EEP model was applied to a future climate ensemble A1B projection to quantify expected changes to mature boreal forest performance. Ecosystem Performance Anomalies (EPA), were identified as the residuals of the EEP and GSN relationship and represent performance departures from expected performance conditions. These performance data were used to monitor successional events following fire. Results suggested that maximum EPA occurs 30–40 years following fire, and deciduous stands generally have higher EPA than coniferous stands. Mean undisturbed EEP is projected to increase 5.6% by 2040 and 8.7% by 2070, suggesting an increased deciduous component in boreal forests. Our results contribute to the understanding of boreal forest successional dynamics and its response to climate change. This information enables informed decisions to prepare for, and adapt to, climate change in the Yukon River Basin forest.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Effects of disturbance and climate change on ecosystem performance in the Yukon River Basin boreal forest
Series title Remote Sensing
DOI 10.3390/rs6109145
Volume 6
Issue 10
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Multidisciplanary Digital Publishing Institute
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 25 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Remote Sensing
First page 9145
Last page 9169
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Yukon River Basin
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