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1.
New Phytol ; 214(3): 973-988, 2017 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27349599

RESUMO

Average responses of forest foliar traits to elevation are well understood, but far less is known about trait distributional responses to elevation at multiple ecological scales. This limits our understanding of the ecological scales at which trait variation occurs in response to environmental drivers and change. We analyzed and compared multiple canopy foliar trait distributions using field sampling and airborne imaging spectroscopy along an Andes-to-Amazon elevation gradient. Field-estimated traits were generated from three community-weighting methods, and remotely sensed estimates of traits were made at three scales defined by sampling grain size and ecological extent. Field and remote sensing approaches revealed increases in average leaf mass per unit area (LMA), water, nonstructural carbohydrates (NSCs) and polyphenols with increasing elevation. Foliar nutrients and photosynthetic pigments displayed little to no elevation trend. Sample weighting approaches had little impact on field-estimated trait responses to elevation. Plot representativeness of trait distributions at landscape scales decreased with increasing elevation. Remote sensing indicated elevation-dependent increases in trait variance and distributional skew. Multiscale invariance of LMA, leaf water and NSC mark these traits as candidates for tracking forest responses to changing climate. Trait-based ecological studies can be greatly enhanced with multiscale studies made possible by imaging spectroscopy.


Assuntos
Altitude , Florestas , Folhas de Planta/fisiologia , Clima Tropical , Geografia , Modelos Lineares , Característica Quantitativa Herdável , Análise Espectral
2.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 113(28): E4043-51, 2016 07 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27354534

RESUMO

Leaf economics spectrum (LES) theory suggests a universal trade-off between resource acquisition and storage strategies in plants, expressed in relationships between foliar nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), leaf mass per area (LMA), and photosynthesis. However, how environmental conditions mediate LES trait interrelationships, particularly at large biospheric scales, remains unknown because of a lack of spatially explicit data, which ultimately limits our understanding of ecosystem processes, such as primary productivity and biogeochemical cycles. We used airborne imaging spectroscopy and geospatial modeling to generate, to our knowledge, the first biospheric maps of LES traits, here centered on 76 million ha of Andean and Amazonian forest, to assess climatic and geophysical determinants of LES traits and their interrelationships. Elevation and substrate were codominant drivers of leaf trait distributions. Multiple additional climatic and geophysical factors were secondary determinants of plant traits. Anticorrelations between N and LMA followed general LES theory, but topo-edaphic conditions strongly mediated and, at times, eliminated this classic relationship. We found no evidence for simple P-LMA or N-P trade-offs in forest canopies; rather, we mapped a continuum of N-P-LMA interactions that are sensitive to elevation and temperature. Our results reveal nested climatic and geophysical filtering of LES traits and their interrelationships, with important implications for predictions of forest productivity and acclimation to rapid climate change.


Assuntos
Clima , Florestas , Folhas de Planta/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Tecnologia de Sensoriamento Remoto , Altitude , Geografia , Peru , Folhas de Planta/metabolismo
3.
Ecol Appl ; 26(1): 55-66, 2016 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27039509

RESUMO

Species interactions are susceptible to anthropogenic changes in ecosystems, but this has been poorly investigated in a spatially explicit manner in the case of plant parasitism, such as the omnipresent hemiparasitic mistletoe-host plant interactions. Analyzing such interactions at a large spatial scale may advance our understanding of parasitism patterns over complex landscapes. Combining high-resolution airborne imaging spectroscopy and LiDAR, we studied hemiparasite incidence within and among tree host stands to examine the prevalence and spatial distribution of hemiparasite load in ecosystems. Specifically, we aimed to assess: (1) detection accuracy of mistletoes on their oak hosts; (2) hemiparasitism prevalence within host tree canopies depending on tree height, and (3) spatial variation in hemiparasitism across fragmented woodlands, in a low-diversity mediterranean oak woodland in California, USA. We identified mistletoe infestations with 55-96% accuracy, and detected significant differences in remote-sensed spectra between oak trees with and without mistletoe infestation. We also found that host canopy height had little influence on infestation degree, whereas landscape-level variation showed consistent; non-random patterns: isolated host trees had twice the infestation load than did trees located at the core of forest fragments. Overall, we found that canopy exposure (i.e., lower canopy density or proximity to forest edge) is more important than canopy height for mistletoe infestation, and that by changing landscape structure, parasitic prevalence increased with woodland fragmentation. We conclude that reducing fragmentation in oak woodlands will minimize anthropogenic impact on mistletoe infestation at the landscape level. We argue that advanced remote sensing technology can provide baselines to quantitatively analyze and monitor parasite-host trajectories in light of global environmental change, and that this is a promising approach to be further tested in other temperate and tropical forests.


Assuntos
Florestas , Erva-de-Passarinho/fisiologia , Quercus/parasitologia , Análise Espectral/métodos , California , Demografia
4.
Carbon Balance Manag ; 11(1): 1, 2016 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26793270

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Spatially explicit forest carbon (C) monitoring aids conservation and climate change mitigation efforts, yet few approaches have been developed specifically for the highly heterogeneous landscapes of oceanic island chains that continue to undergo rapid and extensive forest C change. We developed an approach for rapid mapping of aboveground C density (ACD; units = Mg or metric tons C ha-1) on islands at a spatial resolution of 30 m (0.09 ha) using a combination of cost-effective airborne LiDAR data and full-coverage satellite data. We used the approach to map forest ACD across the main Hawaiian Islands, comparing C stocks within and among islands, in protected and unprotected areas, and among forests dominated by native and invasive species. RESULTS: Total forest aboveground C stock of the Hawaiian Islands was 36 Tg, and ACD distributions were extremely heterogeneous both within and across islands. Remotely sensed ACD was validated against U.S. Forest Service FIA plot inventory data (R2 = 0.67; RMSE = 30.4 Mg C ha-1). Geospatial analyses indicated the critical importance of forest type and canopy cover as predictors of mapped ACD patterns. Protection status was a strong determinant of forest C stock and density, but we found complex environmentally mediated responses of forest ACD to alien plant invasion. CONCLUSIONS: A combination of one-time airborne LiDAR data acquisition and satellite monitoring provides effective forest C mapping in the highly heterogeneous landscapes of the Hawaiian Islands. Our statistical approach yielded key insights into the drivers of ACD variation, and also makes possible future assessments of C storage change, derived on a repeat basis from free satellite data, without the need for additional LiDAR data. Changes in C stocks and densities of oceanic islands can thus be continually assessed in the face of rapid environmental changes such as biological invasions, drought, fire and land use. Such forest monitoring information can be used to promote sustainable forest use and conservation on islands in the future.

5.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 113(2): E249-55, 2016 Jan 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26712020

RESUMO

The 2012-2015 drought has left California with severely reduced snowpack, soil moisture, ground water, and reservoir stocks, but the impact of this estimated millennial-scale event on forest health is unknown. We used airborne laser-guided spectroscopy and satellite-based models to assess losses in canopy water content of California's forests between 2011 and 2015. Approximately 10.6 million ha of forest containing up to 888 million large trees experienced measurable loss in canopy water content during this drought period. Severe canopy water losses of greater than 30% occurred over 1 million ha, affecting up to 58 million large trees. Our measurements exclude forests affected by fire between 2011 and 2015. If drought conditions continue or reoccur, even with temporary reprieves such as El Niño, we predict substantial future forest change.


Assuntos
Dessecação , Secas , Florestas , Folhas de Planta/fisiologia , California , Mudança Climática , Geografia , Imageamento Tridimensional , Água
6.
PLoS One ; 10(7): e0118403, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26153693

RESUMO

Remote identification and mapping of canopy tree species can contribute valuable information towards our understanding of ecosystem biodiversity and function over large spatial scales. However, the extreme challenges posed by highly diverse, closed-canopy tropical forests have prevented automated remote species mapping of non-flowering tree crowns in these ecosystems. We set out to identify individuals of three focal canopy tree species amongst a diverse background of tree and liana species on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, using airborne imaging spectroscopy data. First, we compared two leading single-class classification methods--binary support vector machine (SVM) and biased SVM--for their performance in identifying pixels of a single focal species. From this comparison we determined that biased SVM was more precise and created a multi-species classification model by combining the three biased SVM models. This model was applied to the imagery to identify pixels belonging to the three focal species and the prediction results were then processed to create a map of focal species crown objects. Crown-level cross-validation of the training data indicated that the multi-species classification model had pixel-level producer's accuracies of 94-97% for the three focal species, and field validation of the predicted crown objects indicated that these had user's accuracies of 94-100%. Our results demonstrate the ability of high spatial and spectral resolution remote sensing to accurately detect non-flowering crowns of focal species within a diverse tropical forest. We attribute the success of our model to recent classification and mapping techniques adapted to species detection in diverse closed-canopy forests, which can pave the way for remote species mapping in a wider variety of ecosystems.


Assuntos
Florestas , Imageamento Tridimensional/métodos , Análise Espectral/métodos , Árvores/fisiologia , Clima Tropical , Intervalos de Confiança , Geografia , Ilhas , Panamá , Especificidade da Espécie , Máquina de Vetores de Suporte
7.
PLoS One ; 10(6): e0123995, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26066334

RESUMO

We used measurements from airborne imaging spectroscopy and LiDAR to quantify the biophysical structure and composition of vegetation on a dryland substrate age gradient in Hawaii. Both vertical stature and species composition changed during primary succession, and reveal a progressive increase in vertical stature on younger substrates followed by a collapse on Pleistocene-aged flows. Tall-stature Metrosideros polymorpha woodlands dominated on the youngest substrates (hundreds of years), and were replaced by the tall-stature endemic tree species Myoporum sandwicense and Sophora chrysophylla on intermediate-aged flows (thousands of years). The oldest substrates (tens of thousands of years) were dominated by the short-stature native shrub Dodonaea viscosa and endemic grass Eragrostis atropioides. We excavated 18 macroscopic charcoal fragments from Pleistocene-aged substrates. Mean radiocarbon age was 2,002 years and ranged from < 200 to 7,730. Genus identities from four fragments indicate that Osteomeles spp. or M. polymorpha once occupied the Pleistocene-aged substrates, but neither of these species is found there today. These findings indicate the existence of fires before humans are known to have occupied the Hawaiian archipelago, and demonstrate that a collapse in vertical stature is prevalent on the oldest substrates. This work contributes to our understanding of prehistoric fires in shaping the trajectory of primary succession in Hawaiian drylands.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Hawaii
8.
PLoS One ; 10(5): e0127093, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25969985

RESUMO

Woody biomass dynamics are an expression of ecosystem function, yet biomass estimates do not provide information on the spatial distribution of woody vegetation within the vertical vegetation subcanopy. We demonstrate the ability of airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) to measure aboveground biomass and subcanopy structure, as an explanatory tool to unravel vegetation dynamics in structurally heterogeneous landscapes. We sampled three communal rangelands in Bushbuckridge, South Africa, utilised by rural communities for fuelwood harvesting. Woody biomass estimates ranged between 9 Mg ha(-1) on gabbro geology sites to 27 Mg ha(-1) on granitic geology sites. Despite predictions of woodland depletion due to unsustainable fuelwood extraction in previous studies, biomass in all the communal rangelands increased between 2008 and 2012. Annual biomass productivity estimates (10-14% p.a.) were higher than previous estimates of 4% and likely a significant contributor to the previous underestimations of modelled biomass supply. We show that biomass increases are attributable to growth of vegetation <5 m in height, and that, in the high wood extraction rangeland, 79% of the changes in the vertical vegetation subcanopy are gains in the 1-3 m height class. The higher the wood extraction pressure on the rangelands, the greater the biomass increases in the low height classes within the subcanopy, likely a strong resprouting response to intensive harvesting. Yet, fuelwood shortages are still occurring, as evidenced by the losses in the tall tree height class in the high extraction rangeland. Loss of large trees and gain in subcanopy shrubs could result in a structurally simple landscape with reduced functional capacity. This research demonstrates that intensive harvesting can, paradoxically, increase biomass and this has implications for the sustainability of ecosystem service provision. The structural implications of biomass increases in communal rangelands could be misinterpreted as woodland recovery in the absence of three-dimensional, subcanopy information.


Assuntos
Árvores/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Biomassa , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Agricultura Florestal , Florestas , Humanos , África do Sul , Madeira
9.
PLoS One ; 10(3): e0119887, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25793602

RESUMO

Field studies in Amazonia have found a relationship at continental scales between soil fertility and broad trends in forest structure and function. Little is known at regional scales, however, about how discrete patterns in forest structure or functional attributes map onto underlying edaphic or geological patterns. We collected airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data and VSWIR (Visible to Shortwave Infrared) imaging spectroscopy measurements over 600 km2 of northwestern Amazonian lowland forests. We also established 83 inventories of plant species composition and soil properties, distributed between two widespread geological formations. Using these data, we mapped forest structure and canopy reflectance, and compared them to patterns in plant species composition, soils, and underlying geology. We found that variations in soils and species composition explained up to 70% of variation in canopy height, and corresponded to profound changes in forest vertical profiles. We further found that soils and plant species composition explained more than 90% of the variation in canopy reflectance as measured by imaging spectroscopy, indicating edaphic and compositional control of canopy chemical properties. We last found that soils explained between 30% and 70% of the variation in gap frequency in these forests, depending on the height threshold used to define gaps. Our findings indicate that a relatively small number of edaphic and compositional variables, corresponding to underlying geology, may be responsible for variations in canopy structure and chemistry over large expanses of Amazonian forest.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Florestas , Clima Tropical , Biodiversidade , Peru , Solo/química
10.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 111(47): E5016-22, 2014 Nov 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25385593

RESUMO

Terrestrial carbon conservation can provide critical environmental, social, and climate benefits. Yet, the geographically complex mosaic of threats to, and opportunities for, conserving carbon in landscapes remain largely unresolved at national scales. Using a new high-resolution carbon mapping approach applied to Perú, a megadiverse country undergoing rapid land use change, we found that at least 0.8 Pg of aboveground carbon stocks are at imminent risk of emission from land use activities. Map-based information on the natural controls over carbon density, as well as current ecosystem threats and protections, revealed three biogeographically explicit strategies that fully offset forthcoming land-use emissions. High-resolution carbon mapping affords targeted interventions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in rapidly developing tropical nations.

11.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 111(48): E5224-32, 2014 Dec 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25422434

RESUMO

Tropical forests convert more atmospheric carbon into biomass each year than any terrestrial ecosystem on Earth, underscoring the importance of accurate tropical forest structure and biomass maps for the understanding and management of the global carbon cycle. Ecologists have long used field inventory plots as the main tool for understanding forest structure and biomass at landscape-to-regional scales, under the implicit assumption that these plots accurately represent their surrounding landscape. However, no study has used continuous, high-spatial-resolution data to test whether field plots meet this assumption in tropical forests. Using airborne LiDAR (light detection and ranging) acquired over three regions in Peru, we assessed how representative a typical set of field plots are relative to their surrounding host landscapes. We uncovered substantial mean biases (9-98%) in forest canopy structure (height, gaps, and layers) and aboveground biomass in both lowland Amazonian and montane Andean landscapes. Moreover, simulations reveal that an impractical number of 1-ha field plots (from 10 to more than 100 per landscape) are needed to develop accurate estimates of aboveground biomass at landscape scales. These biases should temper the use of plots for extrapolations of forest dynamics to larger scales, and they demonstrate the need for a fundamental shift to high-resolution active remote sensing techniques as a primary sampling tool in tropical forest biomass studies. The potential decrease in the bias and uncertainty of remotely sensed estimates of forest structure and biomass is a vital step toward successful tropical forest conservation and climate-change mitigation policy.


Assuntos
Biomassa , Ecossistema , Florestas , Árvores/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Algoritmos , Ciclo do Carbono , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Geografia , Modelos Teóricos , Peru , Densidade Demográfica , Dinâmica Populacional , Tecnologia de Sensoriamento Remoto/métodos , Reprodutibilidade dos Testes , Clima Tropical
12.
PLoS One ; 9(1): e85993, 2014.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24489686

RESUMO

Accurate and spatially-explicit maps of tropical forest carbon stocks are needed to implement carbon offset mechanisms such as REDD+ (Reduced Deforestation and Degradation Plus). The Random Forest machine learning algorithm may aid carbon mapping applications using remotely-sensed data. However, Random Forest has never been compared to traditional and potentially more reliable techniques such as regionally stratified sampling and upscaling, and it has rarely been employed with spatial data. Here, we evaluated the performance of Random Forest in upscaling airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)-based carbon estimates compared to the stratification approach over a 16-million hectare focal area of the Western Amazon. We considered two runs of Random Forest, both with and without spatial contextual modeling by including--in the latter case--x, and y position directly in the model. In each case, we set aside 8 million hectares (i.e., half of the focal area) for validation; this rigorous test of Random Forest went above and beyond the internal validation normally compiled by the algorithm (i.e., called "out-of-bag"), which proved insufficient for this spatial application. In this heterogeneous region of Northern Peru, the model with spatial context was the best preforming run of Random Forest, and explained 59% of LiDAR-based carbon estimates within the validation area, compared to 37% for stratification or 43% by Random Forest without spatial context. With the 60% improvement in explained variation, RMSE against validation LiDAR samples improved from 33 to 26 Mg C ha(-1) when using Random Forest with spatial context. Our results suggest that spatial context should be considered when using Random Forest, and that doing so may result in substantially improved carbon stock modeling for purposes of climate change mitigation.


Assuntos
Carbono/análise , Mudança Climática , Modelos Teóricos , Árvores , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Monitoramento Ambiental
13.
Carbon Balance Manag ; 8(1): 7, 2013 Jul 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23866822

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: High fidelity carbon mapping has the potential to greatly advance national resource management and to encourage international action toward climate change mitigation. However, carbon inventories based on field plots alone cannot capture the heterogeneity of carbon stocks, and thus remote sensing-assisted approaches are critically important to carbon mapping at regional to global scales. We advanced a high-resolution, national-scale carbon mapping approach applied to the Republic of Panama - one of the first UN REDD + partner countries. RESULTS: Integrating measurements of vegetation structure collected by airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) with field inventory plots, we report LiDAR-estimated aboveground carbon stock errors of ~10% on any 1-ha land parcel across a wide range of ecological conditions. Critically, this shows that LiDAR provides a highly reliable replacement for inventory plots in areas lacking field data, both in humid tropical forests and among drier tropical vegetation types. We then scale up a systematically aligned LiDAR sampling of Panama using satellite data on topography, rainfall, and vegetation cover to model carbon stocks at 1-ha resolution with estimated average pixel-level uncertainty of 20.5 Mg C ha-1 nationwide. CONCLUSIONS: The national carbon map revealed strong abiotic and human controls over Panamanian carbon stocks, and the new level of detail with estimated uncertainties for every individual hectare in the country sets Panama at the forefront in high-resolution ecosystem management. With this repeatable approach, carbon resource decision-making can be made on a geospatially explicit basis, enhancing human welfare and environmental protection.

14.
PLoS One ; 8(7): e69679, 2013.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23874983

RESUMO

The Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak are global hotspots of forest loss and degradation due to timber and oil palm industries; however, the rates and patterns of change have remained poorly measured by conventional field or satellite approaches. Using 30 m resolution optical imagery acquired since 1990, forest cover and logging roads were mapped throughout Malaysian Borneo and Brunei using the Carnegie Landsat Analysis System. We uncovered ∼364,000 km of roads constructed through the forests of this region. We estimated that in 2009 there were at most 45,400 km(2) of intact forest ecosystems in Malaysian Borneo and Brunei. Critically, we found that nearly 80% of the land surface of Sabah and Sarawak was impacted by previously undocumented, high-impact logging or clearing operations from 1990 to 2009. This contrasted strongly with neighbouring Brunei, where 54% of the land area remained covered by unlogged forest. Overall, only 8% and 3% of land area in Sabah and Sarawak, respectively, was covered by intact forests under designated protected areas. Our assessment shows that very few forest ecosystems remain intact in Sabah or Sarawak, but that Brunei, by largely excluding industrial logging from its borders, has been comparatively successful in protecting its forests.


Assuntos
Árvores , Bornéu
15.
PLoS One ; 8(4): e60875, 2013.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23613748

RESUMO

Canopy gaps express the time-integrated effects of tree failure and mortality as well as regrowth and succession in tropical forests. Quantifying the size and spatial distribution of canopy gaps is requisite to modeling forest functional processes ranging from carbon fluxes to species interactions and biological diversity. Using high-resolution airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), we mapped and analyzed 5,877,937 static canopy gaps throughout 125,581 ha of lowland Amazonian forest in Peru. Our LiDAR sampling covered a wide range of forest physiognomies across contrasting geologic and topographic conditions, and on depositional floodplain and erosional terra firme substrates. We used the scaling exponent of the Zeta distribution (λ) as a metric to quantify and compare the negative relationship between canopy gap frequency and size across sites. Despite variable canopy height and forest type, values of λ were highly conservative (λ mean  = 1.83, s  = 0.09), and little variation was observed regionally among geologic substrates and forest types, or at the landscape level comparing depositional-floodplain and erosional terra firme landscapes. λ-values less than 2.0 indicate that these forests are subjected to large gaps that reset carbon stocks when they occur. Consistency of λ-values strongly suggests similarity in the mechanisms of canopy failure across a diverse array of lowland forests in southwestern Amazonia.


Assuntos
Fenômenos Ecológicos e Ambientais , Árvores/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Peru
16.
Carbon Balance Manag ; 7: 2, 2012 Jan 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22289685

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Accurate, high-resolution mapping of aboveground carbon density (ACD, Mg C ha-1) could provide insight into human and environmental controls over ecosystem state and functioning, and could support conservation and climate policy development. However, mapping ACD has proven challenging, particularly in spatially complex regions harboring a mosaic of land use activities, or in remote montane areas that are difficult to access and poorly understood ecologically. Using a combination of field measurements, airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and satellite data, we present the first large-scale, high-resolution estimates of aboveground carbon stocks in Madagascar. RESULTS: We found that elevation and the fraction of photosynthetic vegetation (PV) cover, analyzed throughout forests of widely varying structure and condition, account for 27-67% of the spatial variation in ACD. This finding facilitated spatial extrapolation of LiDAR-based carbon estimates to a total of 2,372,680 ha using satellite data. Remote, humid sub-montane forests harbored the highest carbon densities, while ACD was suppressed in dry spiny forests and in montane humid ecosystems, as well as in most lowland areas with heightened human activity. Independent of human activity, aboveground carbon stocks were subject to strong physiographic controls expressed through variation in tropical forest canopy structure measured using airborne LiDAR. CONCLUSIONS: High-resolution mapping of carbon stocks is possible in remote regions, with or without human activity, and thus carbon monitoring can be brought to highly endangered Malagasy forests as a climate-change mitigation and biological conservation strategy.

17.
Ecol Appl ; 21(6): 2094-104, 2011 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21939046

RESUMO

Escape from natural enemies is a widely held generalization for the success of exotic plants. We conducted a large-scale experiment in Hawaii (USA) to quantify impacts of ungulate removal on plant growth and performance, and to test whether elimination of an exotic generalist herbivore facilitated exotic success. Assessment of impacted and control sites before and after ungulate exclusion using airborne imaging spectroscopy and LiDAR, time series satellite observations, and ground-based field studies over nine years indicated that removal of generalist herbivores facilitated exotic success, but the abundance of native species was unchanged. Vegetation cover <1 m in height increased in ungulate-free areas from 48.7% +/- 1.5% to 74.3% +/- 1.8% over 8.4 years, corresponding to an annualized growth rate of lambda = 1.05 +/- 0.01 yr(-1) (median +/- SD). Most of the change was attributable to exotic plant species, which increased from 24.4% +/- 1.4% to 49.1% +/- 2.0%, (lambda = 1.08 +/- 0.01 yr(-1)). Native plants experienced no significant change in cover (23.0% +/- 1.3% to 24.2% +/- 1.8%, lambda = 1.01 +/- 0.01 yr(-1)). Time series of satellite phenology were indistinguishable between the treatment and a 3.0-km2 control site for four years prior to ungulate removal, but they diverged immediately following exclusion of ungulates. Comparison of monthly EVI means before and after ungulate exclusion and between the managed and control areas indicates that EVI strongly increased in the managed area after ungulate exclusion. Field studies and airborne analyses show that the dominant invader was Senecio madagascariensis, an invasive annual forb that increased from < 0.01% to 14.7% fractional cover in ungulate-free areas (lambda = 1.89 +/- 0.34 yr(-1)), but which was nearly absent from the control site. A combination of canopy LAI, water, and fractional cover were expressed in satellite EVI time series and indicate that the invaded region maintained greenness during drought conditions. These findings demonstrate that enemy release from generalist herbivores can facilitate exotic success and suggest a plausible mechanism by which invasion occurred. They also show how novel remote-sensing technology can be integrated with conservation and management to help address exotic plant invasions.


Assuntos
Cabras/fisiologia , Espécies Introduzidas , Tecnologia de Sensoriamento Remoto/métodos , Animais , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Comportamento Alimentar , Fogo , Agricultura Florestal/métodos , Hawaii , Poaceae , Densidade Demográfica , Estações do Ano , Astronave , Árvores
18.
Ecol Appl ; 20(7): 1865-75, 2010 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21049875

RESUMO

Despite the importance of fire in shaping savannas, it remains poorly understood how the frequency, seasonality, and intensity of fire interact to influence woody vegetation structure, which is a key determinant of savanna biodiversity. We provide a comprehensive analysis of vertical and horizontal woody vegetation structure across one of the oldest savanna fire experiments, using new airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. We developed and compared high-resolution woody vegetation height surfaces for a series of large experimental burn plots in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. These 7-ha plots (total area approximately 1500 ha) have been subjected to fire in different seasons and at different frequencies, as well as no-burn areas, for 54 years. Long-term exposure to fire caused a reduction in woody vegetation up to the 5.0-7.5 m height class, although most reduction was observed up to 4 m. Average fire intensity was positively correlated with changes in woody vegetation structure. More frequent fires reduced woody vegetation cover more than less frequent fires, and dry-season fires reduced woody vegetation more than wet-season fires. Spring fires from the late dry season reduced woody vegetation cover the most, and summer fires from the wet season reduced it the least. Fire had a large effect on structure in the densely wooded granitic landscapes as compared to the more open basaltic landscapes, although proportionally, the woody vegetation was more reduced in the drier than in the wetter landscapes. We show that fire frequency and fire season influence patterns of vegetation three-dimensional structure, which may have cascading consequences for biodiversity. Managers of savannas can therefore use fire frequency and season in concert to achieve specific vegetation structural objectives.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Fogo , Árvores/fisiologia , Modelos Biológicos , Modelos Estatísticos , Dinâmica Populacional , Estações do Ano , África do Sul , Fatores de Tempo
19.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 107(38): 16738-42, 2010 Sep 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20823233

RESUMO

Efforts to mitigate climate change through the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) depend on mapping and monitoring of tropical forest carbon stocks and emissions over large geographic areas. With a new integrated use of satellite imaging, airborne light detection and ranging, and field plots, we mapped aboveground carbon stocks and emissions at 0.1-ha resolution over 4.3 million ha of the Peruvian Amazon, an area twice that of all forests in Costa Rica, to reveal the determinants of forest carbon density and to demonstrate the feasibility of mapping carbon emissions for REDD. We discovered previously unknown variation in carbon storage at multiple scales based on geologic substrate and forest type. From 1999 to 2009, emissions from land use totaled 1.1% of the standing carbon throughout the region. Forest degradation, such as from selective logging, increased regional carbon emissions by 47% over deforestation alone, and secondary regrowth provided an 18% offset against total gross emissions. Very high-resolution monitoring reduces uncertainty in carbon emissions for REDD programs while uncovering fundamental environmental controls on forest carbon storage and their interactions with land-use change.


Assuntos
Carbono/metabolismo , Mudança Climática , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Árvores/metabolismo , Biomassa , Ecossistema , Fenômenos Geológicos , Peru , Rios , Árvores/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Nações Unidas
20.
Nat Commun ; 1: 65, 2010 Sep 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20842197

RESUMO

Global vegetation models predict the spread of woody vegetation in African savannas and grasslands under future climate scenarios, but they operate too broadly to consider hillslope-scale variations in tree-grass distribution. Topographically linked hydrology-soil-vegetation sequences, or catenas, underpin a variety of ecological processes in savannas, including responses to climate change. In this study, we explore the three-dimensional structure of hillslopes and vegetation, using high-resolution airborne LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging), to understand the long-term effects of mean annual precipitation (MAP) on catena pattern. Our results reveal that the presence and position of hillslope hydrological boundaries, or seeplines, vary as a function of MAP through its long-term influence on clay redistribution. We suggest that changes in climate will differentially alter the structure of savannas through hydrological changes to the seasonally saturated grasslands downslope of seeplines. The mechanisms underlying future woody encroachment are not simply physiological responses to elevated temperatures and CO(2) levels but also involve hydrogeomorphological processes at the hillslope scale.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Isópteros , Animais , Clima , Solo
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