Coupled Hydrologic and Biogeochemical Response to Insect-Induced Forest Disturbance

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/311213
Title:
Coupled Hydrologic and Biogeochemical Response to Insect-Induced Forest Disturbance
Author:
Biederman, Joel Aaron
Issue Date:
2013
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Embargo:
Release 05-Dec-2014
Abstract:
Forest disturbance is expanding in rate and extent and is affecting many montane catchments critical to water resources. Western North America is experiencing an epidemic of mountain pine beetle (MPB) that has affected 20 million hectares of forest in Canada and the United states. This epidemic may have long-lasting consequences for coupled cycles of water, energy, and biogeochemicals. While impacts of forest disturbance by fire and harvest have been studied for more than a half-century, insect-driven mortality differs from these events in the timing and accompanying biophysical impacts. In this work, we quantified catchment hydrologic and hydrochemical response to severe MPB infestation in a lodgepole pine ecosystem. Observations were organized laterally in a nested fashion from soil observations to nested headwater catchments. Vertical observations encompassed what is often termed the critical zone, from atmospheric interactions at the top of the forest through the ground surface and the rooting zone to the interface with groundwater. We quantified responses manifest in snowpack, the primary hydrologic input to this montane ecosystem, in water partitioning between vapor flux and streamflow, and in biogeochemical patterns across the landscape. Key findings of this study include 1) Loss of shelter from the atmosphere caused compensatory sublimation of snowpack to offset decreased interception losses after MPB-driven canopy loss; 2) Vaporization at multiple scales increased over time and in comparison to control forest, reducing water available for streamflow; 3) Nitrogen (N) concentrations were elevated in hillslope groundwater, but attenuation in the riparian zone protected streams from major N influx; and 4) headwater streams rapidly attenuated dissolved carbon (C) and N inputs. Collectively these results demonstrate compensatory negative feedbacks which help explain the lack of strong response to streamflow and stream chemistry observed in the recent MPB epidemic.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
catchment; disturbance; forest; streamflow; Hydrology; biogeochemistry
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Hydrology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Brooks, Paul D.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleCoupled Hydrologic and Biogeochemical Response to Insect-Induced Forest Disturbanceen_US
dc.creatorBiederman, Joel Aaronen_US
dc.contributor.authorBiederman, Joel Aaronen_US
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.releaseRelease 05-Dec-2014en_US
dc.description.abstractForest disturbance is expanding in rate and extent and is affecting many montane catchments critical to water resources. Western North America is experiencing an epidemic of mountain pine beetle (MPB) that has affected 20 million hectares of forest in Canada and the United states. This epidemic may have long-lasting consequences for coupled cycles of water, energy, and biogeochemicals. While impacts of forest disturbance by fire and harvest have been studied for more than a half-century, insect-driven mortality differs from these events in the timing and accompanying biophysical impacts. In this work, we quantified catchment hydrologic and hydrochemical response to severe MPB infestation in a lodgepole pine ecosystem. Observations were organized laterally in a nested fashion from soil observations to nested headwater catchments. Vertical observations encompassed what is often termed the critical zone, from atmospheric interactions at the top of the forest through the ground surface and the rooting zone to the interface with groundwater. We quantified responses manifest in snowpack, the primary hydrologic input to this montane ecosystem, in water partitioning between vapor flux and streamflow, and in biogeochemical patterns across the landscape. Key findings of this study include 1) Loss of shelter from the atmosphere caused compensatory sublimation of snowpack to offset decreased interception losses after MPB-driven canopy loss; 2) Vaporization at multiple scales increased over time and in comparison to control forest, reducing water available for streamflow; 3) Nitrogen (N) concentrations were elevated in hillslope groundwater, but attenuation in the riparian zone protected streams from major N influx; and 4) headwater streams rapidly attenuated dissolved carbon (C) and N inputs. Collectively these results demonstrate compensatory negative feedbacks which help explain the lack of strong response to streamflow and stream chemistry observed in the recent MPB epidemic.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectcatchmenten_US
dc.subjectdisturbanceen_US
dc.subjectforesten_US
dc.subjectstreamflowen_US
dc.subjectHydrologyen_US
dc.subjectbiogeochemistryen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHydrologyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorBrooks, Paul D.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBrooks, Paul D.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMeixner, Thomasen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPapuga, Shirleyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGochis, David J.en_US
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