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Harvard Forest REU Symposium Abstract 2021

  • Title: The Effects of Tree Mortality on Carbon Flux Variability in Harvard Forest
  • Author: Tanai R Dawson (Western Michigan University)
  • Abstract:

    Tree mortality, while having a range of potential effects on the carbon flux measurement variations of an ecosystem, is not as often studied as other effects on carbon flux variations. In this regard, more work is needed and encouraged to understand more on how environmental fluxes are affected by tree mortality. Inside of Harvard Forest, I would like to work on a project that obtains a measure of responses to tree mortality events that can be obtained through flux measurements and available remote sensing data. With detecting a measurable response in the fluxes that pertain to tree mortality, do these responses affect carbon flux variations from year-to-year? Footprint models are used to analyze and gather implications on flux tower measurements to produce position and size of surface areas as accurately as possible. With extracted footprints models from tower flux measurements and aerial data from remote sensing. Over the course of this summer, I have worked adapting the flux tower measurements of both the NEON and Hemlock towers to the footprint analysis used for the EMS flux tower measurements. This served as a basis for gathering footprint analysis comparisons between the towers and gathering the necessary data to pair with remote sensing. Relevant images are then obtained, and we can see the amount greenness of observed tower areas in the forest and how they differ from year-to-year. A measurable amount of yearly loss of greenness in these images can be used to determine events of tree mortality. This project can show how significant tree mortality is when considering the large carbon flux variations.

  • Research Category: Ecological Informatics and Modelling; Forest-Atmosphere Exchange