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Information on future land-use and land-cover (LULC) change is needed to analyze the impact of LULC change on ecological processes. The U.S. Geological Survey has produced spatially explicit, thematically detailed LULC projections for the conterminous United States. Four qualitative and quantitative scenarios of LULC change were developed, with characteristics consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES). The four quantified scenarios (A1B, A2, B1, and B2) served as input to the forecasting scenarios of land-use change (FORE-SCE) model. Four spatially explicit data sets consistent with scenario storylines were produced for the conterminous United...
Riverine exports of organic and inorganic carbon (OC, IC) to oceans are intricately linked to processes occurring on land. Across high latitudes, thawing permafrost, alteration of hydrologic flow paths, and changes in vegetation may all affect this flux, with subsequent implications for regional and global carbon (C) budgets. Using a unique, multi-decadal dataset of continuous discharge coupled with water chemistry measurements for the Mackenzie River, we show major increases in dissolved OC (DOC) and IC (as alkalinity) fluxes since the early 1970s, for a watershed that covers 1.8 M km2 of northwestern Canada, and provides substantial inputs of freshwater and biogeochemical constituents to the Arctic Ocean. Over...
Soil organic carbon (SOC) storage plays a major role in the global carbon cycle and is affected by many factors including land use/management changes (e.g., biofuel production-oriented changes). However, the contributions of various factors to SOC changes are not well understood and quantified. This study was designed to investigate the impacts of changing farming practices, initial SOC levels, and biological enhancement of grain production on SOC dynamics and to attribute the relative contributions of major driving forces (CO2 enrichment and farming practices) using a fractional factorial modeling design. The case study at a crop site in Iowa in the United States demonstrated that the traditional corn-soybean (CS)...
Spatially-explicit state-and-transition simulation models of land use and land cover (LULC) increase our ability to assess regional landscape characteristics and associated carbon dynamics across multiple scenarios. By characterizing appropriate spatial attributes such as forest age and land-use distribution, a state-and-transition model can more effectively simulate the pattern and spread of LULC changes. This manuscript describes the methods and input parameters of the Land Use and Carbon Scenario Simulator (LUCAS), a customized state-and-transition simulation model utilized to assess the relative impacts of LULC on carbon stocks for the conterminous U.S. The methods and input parameters are spatially explicit...
Terrestrial carbon sequestration potential is widely considered as a realistic option for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. However, this potential may be threatened by global changes including climate, land use, and management changes such as increased corn stover harvesting for rising production of cellulosic biofuel. Therefore, it is critical to investigate the dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC) at regional or global scale. This study simulated the corn production and spatiotemporal changes of SOC in the U.S. Temperate Prairies, which covers over one-third of the U.S. corn acreage, using a biogeochemical model with multiple climate and land-use change projections. The corn production (either grain yield...
Cultivated lands in the U.S. Midwest have been affected by soil erosion, causing soil organic carbon (SOC) redistribution in the landscape and other environmental and agricultural problems. The importance of SOC redistribution on soil productivity and crop yield, however, is still uncertain. In this study, we used a model framework, which includes the Unit Stream Power-based Erosion Deposition (USPED) and the Tillage Erosion Prediction (TEP) models, to understand the soil and SOC redistribution caused by water and tillage erosion in two agricultural fields in the U.S. Midwest. This model framework was evaluated for different digital elevation model (DEM) spatial resolutions (10-m, 24-m, 30-m, and 56-m) and topographic...
In forests, total belowground carbon (C) flux (TBCF) is a large component of the C budget and represents a critical pathway for delivery of plant C to soil. Reducing uncertainty around regional estimates of forest C cycling may be aided by incorporating knowledge of controls over soil respiration and TBCF. Photosynthesis, and presumably TBCF, declines with advancing tree size and age, and photosynthesis increases yet C partitioning to TBCF decreases in response to high soil fertility. We hypothesized that these causal relationships would result in predictable patterns of TBCF, and partitioning of C to TBCF, with natural variability in leaf area index (LAI), soil nitrogen (N), and tree height in subalpine forests...
Quantitative assessment of forest burn severity and determination of its spatial variation are important for post-fire forest restoration and forest fire management. In this paper, we assessed forest burn severity using pre- and post-fire Landsat TM/ETM+ data and field-surveyed data and explored the spatial variation in burn severity and its influencing factors. Our results showed a relatively strong linear relationship between normalized burn ratio (NBR) and composite burn index (CBI) (R2 = 0.63), suggesting that NBR was the best spectral index and could be used to assess forest burn severity in Heilongjiang Province. The forest burn severity showed obvious spatial variation. The majority of heavily burned areas...
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...
Quantification of aboveground biomass (AGB) in Alaska’s boreal forest is essential to the accurate evaluation of terrestrial carbon stocks and dynamics in northern high-latitude ecosystems. Our goal was to map AGB at 30 m resolution for the boreal forest in the Yukon River Basin of Alaska using Landsat data and ground measurements. We acquired Landsat images to generate a 3-year (2008–2010) composite of top-of-atmosphere reflectance for six bands as well as the brightness temperature (BT). We constructed a multiple regression model using field-observed AGB and Landsat-derived reflectance, BT, and vegetation indices. A basin-wide boreal forest AGB map at 30 m resolution was generated by applying the regression model...
Dynamic tidal export of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) to the coastal ocean from highly productive intertidal marshes and its effects on seawater carbonate chemistry are thoroughly evaluated. The study uses a comprehensive approach by combining tidal water sampling of CO2parameters across seasons, continuous in situ measurements of biogeochemically-relevant parameters and water fluxes, with high-resolution modeling in an intertidal salt marsh of the U.S. northeast region. Salt marshes can acidify and alkalize tidal water by injecting CO2 (DIC) and total alkalinity (TA). DIC and TA generation may also be decoupled due to differential effects of marsh aerobic and anaerobic respiration on DIC and TA. As marsh DIC...
We develop a new framework, based on Landsat time series data and forest inventories, to estimate the carbon in roundwood harvested from forest management activities, which will enter the HWP pool and remain stored in end uses and landfills. The approach keeps the distinction between the carbon from different types of roundwood sources, which allows for better integration with the regional HWP carbon lifetime information. We show that existing methods that are based on large scale regional/national values and linear interpolation of data gaps, can provide only very approximate carbon estimates. The model was applied to a US state using county level data, but can also suit different areas as long as sufficient harvest...
Global land-use/land-cover (LULC) change projections and historical datasets are typically available at coarse grid resolutions and are often incompatible with modeling applications at local to regional scales. The difficulty of downscaling and reapportioning global gridded LULC change projections to regional boundaries is a barrier to the use of these datasets in a state-and-transition simulation model (STSM) framework. Here we compare three downscaling techniques to transform gridded LULC transitions into spatial scales and thematic LULC classes appropriate for use in a regional STSM. For each downscaling approach, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) LULC...
Water shortages in California are a growing concern amidst ongoing drought, earlier spring snowmelt, projected future climate warming, and currently mandated water use restrictions. Increases in population and land use in coming decades will place additional pressure on already limited available water supplies. We used a state-and-transition simulation model to project future changes in developed (municipal and industrial) and agricultural land use to estimate associated water use demand from 2012 to 2062. Under current efficiency rates, total water use was projected to increase 1.8 billion cubic meters (+4.1%) driven primarily by urbanization and shifts to more water intensive crops. Only if currently mandated...
Climate change coupled with an intensifying wildfire regime is becoming an important driver of permafrost loss and ecosystem change in the northern boreal forest. There is a growing need to understand the effects of fire on the spatial distribution of permafrost and its associated ecological consequences. We focus on the effects of fire a decade after disturbance in a rocky upland landscape in the interior Alaskan boreal forest. Our main objectives were to (1) map near-surface permafrost distribution and drainage classes and (2) analyze the controls over landscape-scale patterns of post-fire permafrost degradation. Relationships among remote sensing variables and field-based data on soil properties (temperature,...
Abstract: Time series Landsat data have been used to track ecosystem disturbances using an algorithm such as the vegetation change tracker. However, efficiently identifying and separating types of disturbances (e.g., wildfires and harvests) still remain a technical challenge. In this letter, we tested the support vector machine algorithm in separating forest disturbance types, including wildfires, harvests, and other disturbance types (a generalized disturbance class, including insect disease outbreak, tornado, snow damage, and drought-induced mortality) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) using annual Landsat images from 1984 to 2010. The algorithm has been proven to be highly reliable, with overall accuracy...
Inland water ecosystems dynamically process, transport, and sequester carbon. However, the transport of carbon through aquatic environments has not been quantitatively integrated in the context of terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we present the first integrated assessment, to our knowledge, of freshwater carbon fluxes for the conterminous United States, where 106 (range: 71–149) teragrams of carbon per year (TgC⋅y−1) is exported downstream or emitted to the atmosphere and sedimentation stores 21 (range: 9–65) TgC⋅y−1 in lakes and reservoirs. We show that there is significant regional variation in aquatic carbon flux, but verify that emission across stream and river surfaces represents the dominant flux at 69 (range:...
Reducing uncertainty in data inputs at relevant spatial scales can improve tidal marsh forecasting models, and their usefulness in coastal climate change adaptation decisions. The Marsh Equilibrium Model (MEM), a one-dimensional mechanistic elevation model, incorporates feedbacks of organic and inorganic inputs to project elevations under sea-level rise scenarios. We tested the feasibility of deriving two key MEM inputs—average annual suspended sediment concentration (SSC) and aboveground peak biomass—from remote sensing data in order to apply MEM across a broader geographic region. We analyzed the precision and representativeness (spatial distribution) of these remote sensing inputs to improve understanding of...
The Upper Mississippi River, engineered for river navigation in the 1930s, includes a series of low-head dams and navigation pools receiving elevated sediment and nutrient loads from the mostly agricultural basin. Using high-resolution, spatially resolved water quality sensor measurements along 1385 river kilometers, we show that primary productivity and organic matter accumulation affect river carbon dioxide and methane emissions to the atmosphere. Phytoplankton drive CO2to near or below atmospheric equilibrium during the growing season, while anaerobic carbon oxidation supports a large proportion of the CO2 and CH4 production. Reductions of suspended sediment load, absent of dramatic reductions in nutrients, will...
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This assessment was conducted to fulfill the requirements of section 712 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and to contribute to knowledge of the storage, fluxes, and balance of carbon and methane gas in ecosystems of Alaska. The carbon and methane variables were examined for major terrestrial ecosystems (uplands and wetlands) and inland aquatic ecosystems in Alaska in two time periods: baseline (from 1950 through 2009) and future (projections from 2010 through 2099). The assessment used measured and observed data and remote sensing, statistical methods, and simulation models. The national assessment, conducted using the methodology described in SIR 2010-5233, has been completed for the conterminous...


map background search result map search result map Baseline and projected future carbon storage and greenhouse-gas fluxes in ecosystems of Alaska Baseline and projected future carbon storage and greenhouse-gas fluxes in ecosystems of Alaska