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Open AccessDiscussion

Effects of Disturbance and Climate Change on Ecosystem Performance in the Yukon River Basin Boreal Forest

Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Sioux Falls, SD 57198, USA
ASRC Federal InuTeq, Sioux Falls, SD 57198, USA
Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation, Natural Resources Canada, 560 Rochester Street, Ottawa, ON, K1S 4M2, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2014, 6(10), 9145-9169;
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 19 September 2014 / Accepted: 19 September 2014 / Published: 26 September 2014
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: boreal; climate change; fire; succession; forest composition; future boreal; climate change; fire; succession; forest composition; future
MDPI and ACS Style

Wylie, B.; Rigge, M.; Brisco, B.; Murnaghan, K.; Rover, J.; Long, J. Effects of Disturbance and Climate Change on Ecosystem Performance in the Yukon River Basin Boreal Forest. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 9145-9169.

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