Impacts of Land-Use/Land-Cover and Climate Changes on the Gross and Net Primary Productivity in the Southeastern USA., PI: Conghe Song (UNC Chapel Hill); Co-I Taehe Hwang (Indiana Univ.) and Kim Novick (Indiana Univ); Collaborators: James Vose (US Forest Service) and John Coulson (US Forest Service). NASA Carbon Cycle Science, 01/25/2017-01/24/2020 $909,212.

In this study  we will use the rich remote sensing data available for this region, that include historical air photos, long time series of Landsat imagery, recently collected LiDAR, MODIS as well as Sentinel-2 from ESA to synergistically to reconstruct the LULC change through time, including changes in LULC categories as well as species composition as a result of forest succession. The LULC history reconstructed from remote sensing will be used as input to an ecosystem productivity model to disaggregate the impacts of climate and LULC changes on primary productivity, respectively. We will use US Forest Service’s Forest Inventory Analysis, AmeriFlux data as well as the high quality stream flow data from USGS for model calibration and evaluation. We intend to address the following questions: (1) what are the historical trends in the patterns of LULC, and species composition in US Southeast since the 1950s? (2) How have the changes in forest extent and composition altered gross and net primary productivity? (3) How, and to what extent, does the combination of the historical trends in climate and LCLU impact the vulnerability of carbon storage in the southeast in the past and in the future? Answers to these questions are critical for sustainable development planning in this region, given the high ecological and economic importance of southeastern U.S. forest ecosystems.


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