Funded Research Projects: FOREST ECOLOGY

Using multi-scale spatial data to improve predictions of immediate and delayed post-fire mortality

Research Sponsored By: Utah State University
Principal Investigator: Jerry Franklin
Project Description
A key effect of fires in forests is the killing of trees, especially the keystone dominant trees. In mixed severity fires, the mortality patterns appear to occur in patterns of fine scale patches (Kane et al. 2013,2014). However, the drivers and correlates of those fine scale mortality patterns are not well understood. We will map the spatial distribution of tree mortality in the 26 ha Yosemite Forest Dynamics (YFDP) that resulted from the 2013 Rim fire. We will then develop models that relate airborne lidar measurements of tree clumping and canopy profiles from airborne lidar data, Landsat-based estimates of burn severity, and patterns of fine scale topography. We will use the models to predict patterns of mortality in burned areas surrounding the plot.