Brendan M. Rogers


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Carbon uptake in Eurasian boreal forests dominates the high‐latitude net ecosystem carbon budget
Jennifer D. Watts, Mary Farina, J. S. Kimball, Luke Schiferl, Zhihua Liu, Kyle A. Arndt, Donatella Zona, Ashley P. Ballantyne, Eugénie Euskirchen, Frans-Jan W. Parmentier, Manuel Helbig, Oliver Sonnentag, Torbern Tagesson, Janne Rinne, Hiroki Ikawa, Masahito Ueyama, Hideki Kobayashi, Torsten Sachs, Daniel F. Nadeau, John Kochendorfer, Marcin Jackowicz-Korczyński, Anna‐Maria Virkkala, Mika Aurela, R. Commane, Brendan Byrne, Leah Birch, Matthew S. Johnson, Nima Madani, Brendan M. Rogers, Jinyang Du, Arthur Endsley, K. E. Savage, B. Poulter, Zhen Zhang, L. Bruhwiler, Charles E. Miller, Scott J. Goetz, Walter C. Oechel
Global Change Biology, Volume 29, Issue 7

Arctic-boreal landscapes are experiencing profound warming, along with changes in ecosystem moisture status and disturbance from fire. This region is of global importance in terms of carbon feedbacks to climate, yet the sign (sink or source) and magnitude of the Arctic-boreal carbon budget within recent years remains highly uncertain. Here, we provide new estimates of recent (2003-2015) vegetation gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (Reco ), net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE; Reco - GPP), and terrestrial methane (CH4 ) emissions for the Arctic-boreal zone using a satellite data-driven process-model for northern ecosystems (TCFM-Arctic), calibrated and evaluated using measurements from >60 tower eddy covariance (EC) sites. We used TCFM-Arctic to obtain daily 1-km2 flux estimates and annual carbon budgets for the pan-Arctic-boreal region. Across the domain, the model indicated an overall average NEE sink of -850 Tg CO2 -C year-1 . Eurasian boreal zones, especially those in Siberia, contributed to a majority of the net sink. In contrast, the tundra biome was relatively carbon neutral (ranging from small sink to source). Regional CH4 emissions from tundra and boreal wetlands (not accounting for aquatic CH4 ) were estimated at 35 Tg CH4 -C year-1 . Accounting for additional emissions from open water aquatic bodies and from fire, using available estimates from the literature, reduced the total regional NEE sink by 21% and shifted many far northern tundra landscapes, and some boreal forests, to a net carbon source. This assessment, based on in situ observations and models, improves our understanding of the high-latitude carbon status and also indicates a continued need for integrated site-to-regional assessments to monitor the vulnerability of these ecosystems to climate change.


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Burned Area and Carbon Emissions Across Northwestern Boreal North America from 2001–2019
Stefano Potter, S. Cooperdock, Sander Veraverbeke, Xanthe J. Walker, Michelle C. Mack, Scott J. Goetz, Jennifer L. Baltzer, L. L. Bourgeau-Chavez, Arden Burrell, Catherine M. Dieleman, Nancy H. F. French, Stijn Hantson, Elizabeth Hoy, Liza K. Jenkins, Jill F. Johnstone, Evan S. Kane, Susan M. Natali, James T. Randerson, M. R. Turetsky, Ellen Whitman, Elizabeth B. Wiggins, Brendan M. Rogers

Abstract. Fire is the dominant disturbance agent in Alaskan and Canadian boreal ecosystems and releases large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. Burned area and carbon emissions have been increasing with climate change, which have the potential to alter the carbon balance and shift the region from a historic sink to a source. It is therefore critically important to track the spatiotemporal changes in burned area and fire carbon emissions over time. Here we developed a new burned area detection algorithm between 2001–2019 across Alaska and Canada at 500 meters (m) resolution that utilizes finer-scale 30 m Landsat imagery to account for land cover unsuitable for burning. This method strictly balances omission and commission errors at 500 m to derive accurate landscape- and regional-scale burned area estimates. Using this new burned area product, we developed statistical models to predict burn depth and carbon combustion for the same period within the NASA Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) core and extended domain. Statistical models were constrained using a database of field observations across the domain and were related to a variety of response variables including remotely-sensed indicators of fire severity, fire weather indices, local climate, soils, and topographic indicators. The burn depth and aboveground combustion models performed best, with poorer performance for belowground combustion. We estimate 2.37 million hectares (Mha) burned annually between 2001–2019 over the ABoVE domain (2.87 Mha across all of Alaska and Canada), emitting 79.3 +/- 27.96 (+/- 1 standard deviation) Teragrams of carbon (C) per year, with a mean combustion rate of 3.13 +/- 1.17 kilograms C m-2. Mean combustion and burn depth displayed a general gradient of higher severity in the northwestern portion of the domain to lower severity in the south and east. We also found larger fire years and later season burning were generally associated with greater mean combustion. Our estimates are generally consistent with previous efforts to quantify burned area, fire carbon emissions, and their drivers in regions within boreal North America; however, we generally estimate higher burned area and carbon emissions due to our use of Landsat imagery, greater availability of field observations, and improvements in modeling. The burned area and combustion data sets described here (the ABoVE Fire Emissions Database, or ABoVE-FED) can be used for local to continental-scale applications of boreal fire science.

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The ABCflux database: Arctic–boreal CO<sub>2</sub> flux observations and ancillary information aggregated to monthly time steps across terrestrial ecosystems
Anna-Maria Virkkala, Susan M. Natali, Brendan M. Rogers, Jennifer D. Watts, K. E. Savage, Sara June Connon, Marguerite Mauritz, Edward A. G. Schuur, D. L. Peter, C. Minions, Julia Nojeim, R. Commane, Craig A. Emmerton, Mathias Goeckede, Manuel Helbig, David Holl, Hiroyasu Iwata, Hideki Kobayashi, Pasi Kolari, Efrén López‐Blanco, Maija E. Marushchak, Mikhail Mastepanov, Lutz Merbold, Frans‐Jan W. Parmentier, Matthias Peichl, Torsten Sachs, Oliver Sonnentag, Masahito Ueyama, Carolina Voigt, Mika Aurela, Julia Boike, Gerardo Celis, Namyi Chae, Torben R. Christensen, M. Syndonia Bret‐Harte, Sigrid Dengel, A. J. Dolman, C. Edgar, Bo Elberling, Eugénie Euskirchen, Achim Grelle, Juha Hatakka, Elyn Humphreys, Järvi Järveoja, Ayumi Kotani, Lars Kutzbach, Tuomas Laurila, Annalea Lohila, Ivan Mammarella, Yukiko Matsuura, Gesa Meyer, Mats Nilsson, Steven F. Oberbauer, Sang Jong Park, Roman E. Petrov, А. С. Прокушкин, Christopher Schulze, Vincent L. St. Louis, Eeva‐Stiina Tuittila, Juha‐Pekka Tuovinen, William L. Quinton, Andrej Varlagin, Donatella Zona, Viacheslav I. Zyryanov
Earth System Science Data, Volume 14, Issue 1

Abstract. Past efforts to synthesize and quantify the magnitude and change in carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems across the rapidly warming Arctic–boreal zone (ABZ) have provided valuable information but were limited in their geographical and temporal coverage. Furthermore, these efforts have been based on data aggregated over varying time periods, often with only minimal site ancillary data, thus limiting their potential to be used in large-scale carbon budget assessments. To bridge these gaps, we developed a standardized monthly database of Arctic–boreal CO2 fluxes (ABCflux) that aggregates in situ measurements of terrestrial net ecosystem CO2 exchange and its derived partitioned component fluxes: gross primary productivity and ecosystem respiration. The data span from 1989 to 2020 with over 70 supporting variables that describe key site conditions (e.g., vegetation and disturbance type), micrometeorological and environmental measurements (e.g., air and soil temperatures), and flux measurement techniques. Here, we describe these variables, the spatial and temporal distribution of observations, the main strengths and limitations of the database, and the potential research opportunities it enables. In total, ABCflux includes 244 sites and 6309 monthly observations; 136 sites and 2217 monthly observations represent tundra, and 108 sites and 4092 observations represent the boreal biome. The database includes fluxes estimated with chamber (19 % of the monthly observations), snow diffusion (3 %) and eddy covariance (78 %) techniques. The largest number of observations were collected during the climatological summer (June–August; 32 %), and fewer observations were available for autumn (September–October; 25 %), winter (December–February; 18 %), and spring (March–May; 25 %). ABCflux can be used in a wide array of empirical, remote sensing and modeling studies to improve understanding of the regional and temporal variability in CO2 fluxes and to better estimate the terrestrial ABZ CO2 budget. ABCflux is openly and freely available online (Virkkala et al., 2021b,

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Disturbances in North American boreal forest and Arctic tundra: impacts, interactions, and responses
Adrianna C. Foster, Jonathan Wang, G. V. Frost, Scott J. Davidson, Elizabeth Hoy, Kevin W. Turner, Oliver Sonnentag, Howard E. Epstein, L. T. Berner, A. H. Armstrong, Mary Kang, Brendan M. Rogers, Elizabeth M. Campbell, Kimberley Miner, Kathleen M. Orndahl, Laura Bourgeau‐Chavez, David A. Lutz, Nancy H. F. French, Dong Chen, Jinyang Du, Tatiana A. Shestakova, J. K. Shuman, Ken D. Tape, Anna-Maria Virkkala, Christopher Potter, Scott J. Goetz
Environmental Research Letters, Volume 17, Issue 11

Abstract Ecosystems in the North American Arctic-Boreal Zone (ABZ) experience a diverse set of disturbances associated with wildfire, permafrost dynamics, geomorphic processes, insect outbreaks and pathogens, extreme weather events, and human activity. Climate warming in the ABZ is occurring at over twice the rate of the global average, and as a result the extent, frequency, and severity of these disturbances are increasing rapidly. Disturbances in the ABZ span a wide gradient of spatiotemporal scales and have varying impacts on ecosystem properties and function. However, many ABZ disturbances are relatively understudied and have different sensitivities to climate and trajectories of recovery, resulting in considerable uncertainty in the impacts of climate warming and human land use on ABZ vegetation dynamics and in the interactions between disturbance types. Here we review the current knowledge of ABZ disturbances and their precursors, ecosystem impacts, temporal frequencies, spatial extents, and severity. We also summarize current knowledge of interactions and feedbacks among ABZ disturbances and characterize typical trajectories of vegetation loss and recovery in response to ecosystem disturbance using satellite time-series. We conclude with a summary of critical data and knowledge gaps and identify priorities for future study.


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Increasing fire and the decline of fire adapted black spruce in the boreal forest
Jennifer L. Baltzer, Nicola J. Day, Xanthe J. Walker, David F. Greene, Michelle C. Mack, Heather D. Alexander, Dominique Arseneault, Jennifer L. Barnes, Yves Bergeron, Yan Boucher, Laura Bourgeau‐Chavez, Clifford M. Brown, Suzanne Carrière, Brian K. Howard, Sylvie Gauthier, Marc‐André Parisien, Kirsten A. Reid, Brendan M. Rogers, Carl A. Roland, Luc Sirois, Sarah E. Stehn, Dan K. Thompson, M. R. Turetsky, Sander Veraverbeke, Ellen Whitman, Jian Yang, J. F. Johnstone
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume 118, Issue 45

Intensifying wildfire activity and climate change can drive rapid forest compositional shifts. In boreal North America, black spruce shapes forest flammability and depends on fire for regeneration. This relationship has helped black spruce maintain its dominance through much of the Holocene. However, with climate change and more frequent and severe fires, shifts away from black spruce dominance to broadleaf or pine species are emerging, with implications for ecosystem functions including carbon sequestration, water and energy fluxes, and wildlife habitat. Here, we predict that such reductions in black spruce after fire may already be widespread given current trends in climate and fire. To test this, we synthesize data from 1,538 field sites across boreal North America to evaluate compositional changes in tree species following 58 recent fires (1989 to 2014). While black spruce was resilient following most fires (62%), loss of resilience was common, and spruce regeneration failed completely in 18% of 1,140 black spruce sites. In contrast, postfire regeneration never failed in forests dominated by jack pine, which also possesses an aerial seed bank, or broad-leaved trees. More complete combustion of the soil organic layer, which often occurs in better-drained landscape positions and in dryer duff, promoted compositional changes throughout boreal North America. Forests in western North America, however, were more vulnerable to change due to greater long-term climate moisture deficits. While we find considerable remaining resilience in black spruce forests, predicted increases in climate moisture deficits and fire activity will erode this resilience, pushing the system toward a tipping point that has not been crossed in several thousand years.

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Statistical upscaling of ecosystem CO <sub>2</sub> fluxes across the terrestrial tundra and boreal domain: Regional patterns and uncertainties
Anna‐Maria Virkkala, Juha Aalto, Brendan M. Rogers, Torbern Tagesson, Claire C. Treat, Susan M. Natali, Jennifer D. Watts, Stefano Potter, Aleksi Lehtonen, Marguerite Mauritz, Edward A. G. Schuur, John Kochendorfer, Donatella Zona, Walter C. Oechel, Hideki Kobayashi, Elyn Humphreys, Mathias Goeckede, Hiroyasu Iwata, Peter M. Lafleur, Eugénie Euskirchen, Stef Bokhorst, Maija E. Marushchak, Pertti J. Martikainen, Bo Elberling, Carolina Voigt, Christina Biasi, Oliver Sonnentag, Frans‐Jan W. Parmentier, Masahito Ueyama, Gerardo Celis, Vincent L. St. Louis, Craig A. Emmerton, Matthias Peichl, Jinshu Chi, Järvi Järveoja, Mats Nilsson, Steven F. Oberbauer, M. S. Torn, Sang Jong Park, A. J. Dolman, Ivan Mammarella, Namyi Chae, Rafael Poyatos, Efrén López‐Blanco, Torben R. Christensen, Mi Hye Kwon, Torsten Sachs, David Holl, Miska Luoto
Global Change Biology, Volume 27, Issue 17

The regional variability in tundra and boreal carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes can be high, complicating efforts to quantify sink-source patterns across the entire region. Statistical models are increasingly used to predict (i.e., upscale) CO2 fluxes across large spatial domains, but the reliability of different modeling techniques, each with different specifications and assumptions, has not been assessed in detail. Here, we compile eddy covariance and chamber measurements of annual and growing season CO2 fluxes of gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (ER), and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) during 1990–2015 from 148 terrestrial high-latitude (i.e., tundra and boreal) sites to analyze the spatial patterns and drivers of CO2 fluxes and test the accuracy and uncertainty of different statistical models. CO2 fluxes were upscaled at relatively high spatial resolution (1 km2) across the high-latitude region using five commonly used statistical models and their ensemble, that is, the median of all five models, using climatic, vegetation, and soil predictors. We found the performance of machine learning and ensemble predictions to outperform traditional regression methods. We also found the predictive performance of NEE-focused models to be low, relative to models predicting GPP and ER. Our data compilation and ensemble predictions showed that CO2 sink strength was larger in the boreal biome (observed and predicted average annual NEE −46 and −29 g C m−2 yr−1, respectively) compared to tundra (average annual NEE +10 and −2 g C m−2 yr−1). This pattern was associated with large spatial variability, reflecting local heterogeneity in soil organic carbon stocks, climate, and vegetation productivity. The terrestrial ecosystem CO2 budget, estimated using the annual NEE ensemble prediction, suggests the high-latitude region was on average an annual CO2 sink during 1990–2015, although uncertainty remains high.


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Patterns of Ecosystem Structure and Wildfire Carbon Combustion Across Six Ecoregions of the North American Boreal Forest
Xanthe J. Walker, Jennifer L. Baltzer, Laura Bourgeau‐Chavez, Nicola J. Day, Catherine M. Dieleman, Jill F. Johnstone, Evan S. Kane, Brendan M. Rogers, M. R. Turetsky, Sander Veraverbeke, Michelle C. Mack
Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, Volume 3

Increases in fire frequency, extent, and severity are expected to strongly impact the structure and function of boreal forest ecosystems. An important function of the boreal forest is its ability to sequester and store carbon (C). Increasing disturbance from wildfires, emitting large amounts of C to the atmosphere, may create a positive feedback to climate warming. Variation in ecosystem structure and function throughout the boreal forest are important for predicting the effects of climate warming and changing fire regimes on C dynamics. In this study, we compiled data on soil characteristics, stand structure, pre-fire C pools, C loss from fire, and the potential drivers of these C metrics from 527 sites distributed across six ecoregions of North America’s western boreal forests. We assessed structural and functional differences between these fire-prone ecoregions using data from 417 recently burned sites (2004-2015) and estimated ecoregion-specific relationships between soil characteristics and depth from 167 of these sites plus an additional 110 sites (27 burned, 83 unburned). We found that northern boreal ecoregions were generally older, stored and emitted proportionally more belowground than aboveground C and exhibited lower rates of C accumulation over time than southern ecoregions. We present ecoregion specific estimates of depth-wise soil characteristics that are important for predicting C combustion from fire. As climate continues to warm and disturbance from wildfires increases, the C dynamics of these fire-prone ecoregions are likely to change with significant implications for the global C cycle and its feedbacks to climate change.

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Fuel availability not fire weather controls boreal wildfire severity and carbon emissions
Xanthe J. Walker, Brendan M. Rogers, Sander Veraverbeke, Jill F. Johnstone, Jennifer L. Baltzer, Kirsten Barrett, Laura Bourgeau‐Chavez, Nicola J. Day, William J. de Groot, Catherine M. Dieleman, Scott J. Goetz, Elizabeth Hoy, Liza K. Jenkins, Evan S. Kane, Marc‐André Parisien, Stefano Potter, Edward A. G. Schuur, M. R. Turetsky, Ellen Whitman, Michelle C. Mack
Nature Climate Change, Volume 10, Issue 12

Carbon (C) emissions from wildfires are a key terrestrial–atmosphere interaction that influences global atmospheric composition and climate. Positive feedbacks between climate warming and boreal wildfires are predicted based on top-down controls of fire weather and climate, but C emissions from boreal fires may also depend on bottom-up controls of fuel availability related to edaphic controls and overstory tree composition. Here we synthesized data from 417 field sites spanning six ecoregions in the northwestern North American boreal forest and assessed the network of interactions among potential bottom-up and top-down drivers of C emissions. Our results indicate that C emissions are more strongly driven by fuel availability than by fire weather, highlighting the importance of fine-scale drainage conditions, overstory tree species composition and fuel accumulation rates for predicting total C emissions. By implication, climate change-induced modification of fuels needs to be considered for accurately predicting future C emissions from boreal wildfires.


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Large loss of CO2 in winter observed across the northern permafrost region
Susan M. Natali, Jennifer D. Watts, Brendan M. Rogers, Stefano Potter, S. Ludwig, A. K. Selbmann, Patrick F. Sullivan, Benjamin W. Abbott, Kyle A. Arndt, Leah Birch, Mats Björkman, A. Anthony Bloom, Gerardo Celis, Torben R. Christensen, Casper T. Christiansen, R. Commane, Elisabeth J. Cooper, Patrick Crill, C. I. Czimczik, S. P. Davydov, Jinyang Du, Jocelyn Egan, Bo Elberling, Eugénie Euskirchen, Thomas Friborg, Hélène Genet, Mathias Göckede, Jordan P. Goodrich, Paul Grogan, Manuel Helbig, Elchin Jafarov, Julie D. Jastrow, Aram Kalhori, Yongwon Kim, J. S. Kimball, Lars Kutzbach, Mark J. Lara, Klaus Steenberg Larsen, Bang Yong Lee, Zhihua Liu, M. M. Loranty, Magnus Lund, Massimo Lupascu, Nima Madani, Avni Malhotra, Roser Matamala, J. W. Mcfarland, A. David McGuire, Anders Michelsen, C. Minions, Walter C. Oechel, David Olefeldt, Frans‐Jan W. Parmentier, Norbert Pirk, Benjamin Poulter, William L. Quinton, Fereidoun Rezanezhad, David Risk, Torsten Sachs, Kevin Schaefer, Niels Martin Schmidt, Edward A. G. Schuur, Philipp Semenchuk, Gaius R. Shaver, Oliver Sonnentag, Gregory Starr, Claire C. Treat, Mark P. Waldrop, Yihui Wang, Jeffrey M. Welker, Christian Wille, Xiaofeng Xu, Zhen Zhang, Qianlai Zhuang, Donatella Zona
Nature Climate Change, Volume 9, Issue 11

Recent warming in the Arctic, which has been amplified during the winter1-3, greatly enhances microbial decomposition of soil organic matter and subsequent release of carbon dioxide (CO2)4. However, the amount of CO2 released in winter is highly uncertain and has not been well represented by ecosystem models or by empirically-based estimates5,6. Here we synthesize regional in situ observations of CO2 flux from arctic and boreal soils to assess current and future winter carbon losses from the northern permafrost domain. We estimate a contemporary loss of 1662 Tg C yr-1 from the permafrost region during the winter season (October through April). This loss is greater than the average growing season carbon uptake for this region estimated from process models (-1032 Tg C yr-1). Extending model predictions to warmer conditions in 2100 indicates that winter CO2 emissions will increase 17% under a moderate mitigation scenario-Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5-and 41% under business-as-usual emissions scenario-RCP 8.5. Our results provide a new baseline for winter CO2 emissions from northern terrestrial regions and indicate that enhanced soil CO2 loss due to winter warming may offset growing season carbon uptake under future climatic conditions.

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Increasing wildfires threaten historic carbon sink of boreal forest soils
Xanthe J. Walker, Jennifer L. Baltzer, Steven G. Cumming, Nicola J. Day, Claire E. Ebert, Scott J. Goetz, Jill F. Johnstone, Stefano Potter, Brendan M. Rogers, Edward A. G. Schuur, M. R. Turetsky, Michelle C. Mack
Nature, Volume 572, Issue 7770

Boreal forest fires emit large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere primarily through the combustion of soil organic matter1,2,3. During each fire, a portion of this soil beneath the burned layer can escape combustion, leading to a net accumulation of carbon in forests over multiple fire events4. Climate warming and drying has led to more severe and frequent forest fires5,6,7, which threaten to shift the carbon balance of the boreal ecosystem from net accumulation to net loss1, resulting in a positive climate feedback8. This feedback will occur if organic-soil carbon that escaped burning in previous fires, termed ‘legacy carbon’, combusts. Here we use soil radiocarbon dating to quantitatively assess legacy carbon loss in the 2014 wildfires in the Northwest Territories of Canada2. We found no evidence for the combustion of legacy carbon in forests that were older than the historic fire-return interval of northwestern boreal forests9. In forests that were in dry landscapes and less than 60 years old at the time of the fire, legacy carbon that had escaped burning in the previous fire cycle was combusted. We estimate that 0.34 million hectares of young forests (<60 years) that burned in the 2014 fires could have experienced legacy carbon combustion. This implies a shift to a domain of carbon cycling in which these forests become a net source—instead of a sink—of carbon to the atmosphere over consecutive fires. As boreal wildfires continue to increase in size, frequency and intensity7, the area of young forests that experience legacy carbon combustion will probably increase and have a key role in shifting the boreal carbon balance.


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Biological and geophysical feedbacks with fire in the Earth system
Sally Archibald, Caroline E. R. Lehmann, Claire M. Belcher, William J. Bond, Ross A. Bradstock, Anne-Laure Daniau, Kyle G. Dexter, Elisabeth J. Forrestel, Michelle Greve, Tianhua He, Steven I. Higgins, William A. Hoffmann, Byron B. Lamont, Daniel J. McGlinn, Glenn R. Moncrieff, Colin P. Osborne, Juli G. Pausas, Owen Price, Brad S. Ripley, Brendan M. Rogers, Dylan W. Schwilk, Marcelo F. Simon, M. R. Turetsky, Guido R. van der Werf, Amy E. Zanne
Environmental Research Letters, Volume 13, Issue 3

Roughly 3% of the Earth’s land surface burns annually, representing a critical exchange of energy andmatter between the land and atmosphere via combustion. Fires range from slow smouldering peatfires, to low-intensity surface fires, to intense crown fires, depending on vegetation structure, fuelmoisture, prevailing climate, and weather conditions. While the links between biogeochemistry,climate and fire are widely studied within Earth system science, these relationships are also mediatedby fuels—namely plants and their litter—that are the product of evolutionary and ecologicalprocesses. Fire is a powerful selective force and, over their evolutionary history, plants have evolvedtraits that both tolerate and promote fire numerous times and across diverse clades. Here we outline aconceptual framework of how plant traits determine the flammability of ecosystems and interact withclimate and weather to influence fire regimes. We explore how these evolutionary and ecologicalprocesses scale to impact biogeochemical and Earth system processes. Finally, we outline severalresearch challenges that, when resolved, will improve our understanding of the role of plant evolutionin mediating the fire feedbacks driving Earth system processes. Understanding current patterns of fireand vegetation, as well as patterns of fire over geological time, requires research that incorporatesevolutionary biology, ecology, biogeography, and the biogeosciences.

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Missing pieces to modeling the Arctic-Boreal puzzle
Joshua B. Fisher, D. J. Hayes, Christopher R. Schwalm, D. N. Huntzinger, Eric Stofferahn, Kevin Schaefer, Yiqi Luo, Stan D. Wullschleger, Scott J. Goetz, Charles E. Miller, P. C. Griffith, Sarah Chadburn, Abhishek Chatterjee, Philippe Ciais, Thomas A. Douglas, Hélène Genet, Akihiko Ito, C. S. R. Neigh, Benjamin Poulter, Brendan M. Rogers, Oliver Sonnentag, Hanqin Tian, Weile Wang, Yongkang Xue, Zong‐Liang Yang, Ning Zeng, Zhen Zhang
Environmental Research Letters, Volume 13, Issue 2

Author(s): Fisher, JB; Hayes, DJ; Schwalm, CR; Huntzinger, DN; Stofferahn, E; Schaefer, K; Luo, Y; Wullschleger, SD; Goetz, S; Miller, CE; Griffith, P; Chadburn, S; Chatterjee, A; Ciais, P; Douglas, TA; Genet, H; Ito, A; Neigh, CSR; Poulter, B; Rogers, BM; Sonnentag, O; Tian, H; Wang, W; Xue, Y; Yang, ZL; Zeng, N; Zhang, Z | Abstract: NASA has launched the decade-long Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE). While the initial phases focus on field and airborne data collection, early integration with modeling activities is important to benefit future modeling syntheses. We compiled feedback from ecosystem modeling teams on key data needs, which encompass carbon biogeochemistry, vegetation, permafrost, hydrology, and disturbance dynamics. A suite of variables was identified as part of this activity with a critical requirement that they are collected concurrently and representatively over space and time. Individual projects in ABoVE may not capture all these needs, and thus there is both demand and opportunity for the augmentation of field observations, and synthesis of the observations that are collected, to ensure that science questions and integrated modeling activities are successfully implemented.

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Cross‐scale controls on carbon emissions from boreal forest megafires
Xanthe J. Walker, Brendan M. Rogers, Jennifer L. Baltzer, Steven G. Cumming, Nicola J. Day, Scott J. Goetz, Jill F. Johnstone, Edward A. G. Schuur, M. R. Turetsky, Michelle C. Mack
Global Change Biology, Volume 24, Issue 9

Climate warming and drying is associated with increased wildfire disturbance and the emergence of megafires in North American boreal forests. Changes to the fire regime are expected to strongly increase combustion emissions of carbon (C) which could alter regional C balance and positively feedback to climate warming. In order to accurately estimate C emissions and thereby better predict future climate feedbacks, there is a need to understand the major sources of heterogeneity that impact C emissions at different scales. Here, we examined 211 field plots in boreal forests dominated by black spruce (Picea mariana) or jack pine (Pinus banksiana) of the Northwest Territories (NWT), Canada after an unprecedentedly large area burned in 2014. We assessed both aboveground and soil organic layer (SOL) combustion, with the goal of determining the major drivers in total C emissions, as well as to develop a high spatial resolution model to scale emissions in a relatively understudied region of the boreal forest. On average, 3.35 kg C m−2 was combusted and almost 90% of this was from SOL combustion. Our results indicate that black spruce stands located at landscape positions with intermediate drainage contribute the most to C emissions. Indices associated with fire weather and date of burn did not impact emissions, which we attribute to the extreme fire weather over a short period of time. Using these results, we estimated a total of 94.3 Tg C emitted from 2.85 Mha of burned area across the entire 2014 NWT fire complex, which offsets almost 50% of mean annual net ecosystem production in terrestrial ecosystems of Canada. Our study also highlights the need for fine-scale estimates of burned area that represent small water bodies and regionally specific calibrations of combustion that account for spatial heterogeneity in order to accurately model emissions at the continental scale.

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Soil organic layer combustion in boreal black spruce and jack pine stands of the Northwest Territories, Canada
Xanthe J. Walker, Jennifer L. Baltzer, Steven G. Cumming, Nicola J. Day, Jill F. Johnstone, Brendan M. Rogers, Kylen Solvik, M. R. Turetsky, Michelle C. Mack
International Journal of Wildland Fire, Volume 27, Issue 2

Increased fire frequency, extent and severity are expected to strongly affect the structure and function of boreal forest ecosystems. In this study, we examined 213 plots in boreal forests dominated by black spruce (Picea mariana) or jack pine (Pinus banksiana) of the Northwest Territories, Canada, after an unprecedentedly large area burned in 2014. Large fire size is associated with high fire intensity and severity, which would manifest as areas with deep burning of the soil organic layer (SOL). Our primary objectives were to estimate burn depth in these fires and then to characterise landscapes vulnerable to deep burning throughout this region. Here we quantify burn depth in black spruce stands using the position of adventitious roots within the soil column, and in jack pine stands using measurements of burned and unburned SOL depths. Using these estimates, we then evaluate how burn depth and the proportion of SOL combusted varies among forest type, ecozone, plot-level moisture and stand density. Our results suggest that most of the SOL was combusted in jack pine stands regardless of plot moisture class, but that black spruce forests experience complete combustion of the SOL only in dry and moderately well-drained landscape positions. The models and calibrations we present in this study should allow future research to more accurately estimate burn depth in Canadian boreal forests.