What are the consequences of forest die-off?

Exploring the social and ecological impacts of drought-induced forest die-off

Despite the numerous ecological and societal benefits that forests provide, relatively little is known about how widespread forest die-off alters these services. My research has begun to examine what happens after forests die from several angles. First, I have drawn upon remote-sensing techniques, spatial modeling, and field data to estimate the potential biomass loss, and thus potential carbon emissions, from sudden aspen decline in a region in western Colorado. Second, I have examined the changes in understory species assembly and diversity following forest die-off to illuminate the effects of aspen mortality on biodiversity and other species in aspen forests.