Tree Mortality Data Collection Network
In response to the unprecedented drought (2012-2016) and tree mortality event across the Sierra Nevada the “Massive tree mortality in the Sierra Nevada: Consequences for forest health, carbon storage and wildfire hazard” project was launched by UC Berkeley researchers, Drs. Jodi Axelson and John Battles in 2017 to address the following questions:
- What is the future course of the bark beetle outbreak?
- What is the impact of tree mortality on forest carbon storage?
- What are the likely successional trajectories in impacted stands? Is forest regeneration occurring and what are the implications for future forest composition?
- How does the increase in standing, and eventual downed, dead trees affect the timing and magnitude of wildfire hazard?
Through funding from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, CalFire, Yosemite National Park and the U.S. Forest Service, UC Berkeley researchers collected data at eight Drought Mortality (DX) sites throughout the Sierra Nevada in 2017 to answer these questions. Collaborating organizations, including the Forest Service, Park Service, and USGS, also collected data in many locations.
Collaborators: CalFire, National Park Service, US Forest Service (Forest Health Protection, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Region 5), United States Geological Service, Universities of California (Berkeley, Davis, and Cooperative Extension),University of Washington.
Data sharing: Researchers convened collaborators and science users to a workshop on 2017 field season results held March 12th, 2018 at the US Forest Service Wildfire Training Center in McClellan, CA. The desired outcomes of the workshop was to:
- Share results of the field season on live and dead trees, bark beetle attacks, regeneration, and fuels
- Solicit input from partners and managers on useful data summary products
- Discuss on-going collaboration on field data collection, interpretation and use
Meeting materials from March 12th, 2018: Presentations and notes from the workshop are posted below.
- Tree mortality and bark beetles in the Sierra Nevada Elliot Kuskulis, University of California, Berkeley
- How forest treatments influence tree mortality and recovery in the Sierra Nevada Dr. Christina Restaino, University of California, Davis
- Tree Injections - Splat Verb Treatments - Western Pine Beetle biology Sheri Smith, US Forest Service, Region 5 Forest Health Protection
- Drought mortality - Implications for carbon and fuels Dr. John Battles and Lauren Cox, University of California, Berkeley
- Inventory-based mortality estimates for California forests 2001-2015 Dr. Stella Cousins, University of California, Berkeley
- Mapping dead tree biomass from the recent California mortality event Carmen Tubbesing, University of California, Berkeley
- Remote Sensing of Forest Health - Ecosystem Disturbance and Recovery Tracker (eDaRT) Michèle Slaton, US Forest Service, Region 5 Remote Sensing Lab