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Abstract Detail


Hanson, Chelsea [1], Maricle, Brian [2].

Influences of drought and disturbance regimes on subalpine forest in the Rocky Mountain National Park: Comparisons between 2001 and 2017-2018.

Subalpine forests are impacted by three major disturbance regimes: fire, beetles, and blow down. Understanding the relative importance of disturbance and climate change on subalpine forest succession is important for conservation and to help develop management techniques in the future. The objective of this study is to analyze changes in subalpine forests during disturbances in Rocky Mountain National Park following years of prolonged drought and increasing temperatures. I compared subalpine forest composition in 2001 to current composition in Rocky Mountain National Park and used TERRA satellite data to compare forest health (in monitoring beetle damage) from 2014 to current data. I measured stand age, stand structure, and stand composition, as well as monitored each plot for visible beetle damage. Past data will be collected from the National Park Service Vegetation Inventory Database, USGS, and NASA.
For this objective, I measured aspects of stand age and disturbances in Rocky Mountain National Park during the summer of 2017 and am continuing my research into 2018. I plan to gather stand age through correlations of stem circumference with known age measures, verified with cores in the present study. I will also use the cores to determine the disturbances that may have affected the stand being studied. I also plan to use National Park Service Vegetation Inventory Database to determine placement of some of the stands I will study, and then compare the stand’s composition and structure between past and present. I will monitor each plot for beetle damage to correlate with satellite defoliation research. These data will help determine the reaction to disturbances and compare that reaction between historically studied plots through past research and new plots that I sample. Preliminary findings using satellite imagery suggest that forest health has declined in some areas and improved in others. The areas that have declined are correlated with beetle damage. Five plots have shown improvement, one plot is full of saplings, and the other four plots are in areas that have no obvious beetle damage.

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1 - Fort Hays State University, Department of Biological Sciences, 600 Park St., Hays, Kansas, 67601, United States
2 - Fort Hays State University, Department Of Biological Sciences, 600 Park St., Hays, KS, 67601, United States

Bark Beetles
P. contorta
TERRA Satellite .

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Ecology
Location: Grand Ballroom - Exhibit Hall/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEC019
Abstract ID:737
Candidate for Awards:None

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