Seasonal soil carbon, nitrogen and greenhouse gas emissions during post beetle forest successional recovery

Schmidt, Susan Irene
Bark beetle infestation has occurred in many forested areas all across North America. Delayed effects of the infestation on the forest ecosystem and on factors related to climate change can continue to occur years after infestation. This research was conducted June 2015 to November 2015 at a site in the Snowy Range Mountains in southern Wyoming. As an observational project of the post-infestation effects on a slope in a mountainous forest, this research is specifically looking at the change of the forest floor's gas emissions, inorganic Nitrogen and Carbon, microbial nitrogen uptake, and soil water content. Steepness of slope, dead versus live tree clusters, and time elapse are compared for these variables. Specifically, whether or not the status of trees in a cluster, along with the natural hydrology of a slope, will affect the amount on soil greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes, labile C, N and mineral N concentrations released and taken up by varying components of the forest floor. Methods included weekly soil and litter sample collection and gas extraction over 30 significant plots on the slope. This data will show the relationship between N and C emission or absorption in dead clusters versus live clusters along the slope. This presentation will show the results of intensive forest slope monitoring for a better understanding of the impacts of beetle kill on GHG emissions and in forest ecosystems.
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