- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Frontiers in Forests and Global Change
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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null (Ed.)Carbon (C) cycling processes are particularly dynamic following disturbance, with initial responses often indicative of longer-term change. In northern Michigan, USA, we initiated the Forest Resilience Threshold Experiment (FoRTE) to identify the processes that sustain or lead to the decline of C cycling rates across multiple levels (0, 45, 65 and 85% targeted gross leaf area index loss) of disturbance severity and, in response, to separate disturbance types preferentially targeting large or small diameter trees. Simulating the effects of boring insects, we stem girdled > 3600 trees below diameter at breast height (DBH), immediately and permanently disrupting the phloem. Weekly DBH measurements of girdled and otherwise healthy trees (n > 700) revealed small but significant increases in daily aboveground wood net primary production (ANPPw) in the 65 and 85% disturbance severity treatments that emerged six weeks after girdling. However, we observed minimal change in end-of-season leaf area index and no significant differences in annual ANPPw among disturbance severities or between disturbance types, suggesting continued C fixation by girdled trees sustained stand-scale wood production in the first growing season after disturbance. We hypothesized higher disturbance severities would favor the growth of early successional species but observed no significant difference between early and middle to late successional species’ contributions to ANPPw across the disturbance severity gradient. We conclude that ANPPw stability immediately following phloem disruption is dependent on the continued, but inevitably temporary, growth of phloem-disrupted trees. Our findings provide insight into the tree-to-ecosystem mechanisms supporting stand-scale wood production stability in the first growing season following a phloem-disrupting disturbance.more » « less
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Picea abiesforest fragments distributed throughout five European landscapes spanning the Bohemian Forest and the Carpathian Mountains. The regional chronology includes 11,595 tree cores, with ring dates spanning the years 1750–2000, collected from 560 inventory plots in 37 stands distributed across a 1,000 km geographic gradient, amounting to the largest disturbance chronology yet constructed in Europe. Decadal disturbance rates varied significantly through time and declined after 1920, resulting in widespread increases in canopy tree age. Approximately 75% of current canopy area recruited prior to 1900. Long‐term disturbance patterns were compared to an historical drought reconstruction, and further linked to spatial variation in stand structure and contemporary disturbance patterns derived from LANDSAT imagery. Historically, decadal Palmer drought severity index minima corresponded to higher rates of canopy removal. The severity of contemporary disturbances increased with each stand's estimated time since last major disturbance, increased with mean diameter, and declined with increasing within‐stand structural variability. Reconstructed spatial patterns suggest that high small‐scale structural variability has historically acted to reduce large‐scale susceptibility and climate sensitivity of disturbance. Reduced disturbance rates since 1920, a potential legacy of high 19th century disturbance rates, have contributed to a recent region‐wide increase in disturbance susceptibility. Increasingly common high‐severity disturbances throughout primary Piceaforests of Central Europe should be reinterpreted in light of both legacy effects (resulting in increased susceptibility) and climate change (resulting in increased exposure to extreme events).
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