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Project Extension! Bark Beetles & Drought Stress in the LTB

posted May 31, 2012, 2:48 PM by   [ updated May 31, 2012, 9:45 PM ]
We are pleased to announce that our current SNPLMA project will be extended to include effects from bark beetles and drought mortality.

"Drought stress and bark beetle outbreaks in the future forest: Extending an existing model to inform climate change adaptation"

PI: Robert M. Scheller (PSU)
Co-PIs: Louise Loudermilk (PSU), Matthew Hurteau (Penn State Univ.), Peter Weisberg (UNR)
Agency Collaborator: Carl Skinner (USDA - FS - PSW)

Proposal Abstract: Managing forested landscapes in the context of a changing climate presents new and multifaceted challenges. Maintaining ecological integrity while future disturbance regimes are altered will require an integrated assessment of critically relevant processes. These include forest nutrient cycling, succession, multiple disturbances, and management regime. Successful forest management will require information about the projected impacts of climate on forest communities, disturbance feedbacks, as well as the effectiveness of mitigation strategies for reducing these effects. We propose to evaluate how climate change and associated drought induced stress will affect forest productivity and mortality as well as alter susceptibility to bark beetle outbreaks across the forested landscape of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Furthermore, we will evaluate the effectiveness of forest treatment options for mitigating mortality from drought stress and bark beetles. This research will be an extension of our current SNPLMA funded project (P049) which is assessing the impacts of climate change and forest treatment options on wildfire and above and belowground forest carbon dynamics. The proposed research will leverage the spatial data, model parameterization, and analysis conducted to date for P049, while incorporating drought-impact growth estimates from site-level data collected from another SNPLMA funded project (P029). Our project will demonstrate how climate impacts multiple natural disturbances that regulate long-term forest productivity, resilience, and overall forest health. Results will enable managers to assess various forest mitigation strategies for adapting to a changing climate.

Funding agency: SNPLMA - Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act (Round 12)

- Louise Loudermilk