Spatial pattern analysis of pre- and post-hurricane forest canopy structure in North Carolina, USA
Abbreviated Journal Title
autocorrelation; canopy topography; disturbance; Fractal dimension; hurricane; laser altimetry; remote sensing; duke forest; forest; landscape; ecosystem organisation; CATASTROPHIC WIND; RAIN-FOREST; PUERTO-RICO; BASAL AREA; GAP MODEL; LANDSCAPE; LIGHT; TEMPERATE; BIOMASS; LIDAR; Ecology; Geography, Physical; Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Existing spatial patterns of a forest are in part a product of its disturbance history. Using laser altimetry and field measures of canopy top height to represent pre- and post-hurricane canopy topography, respectively, we measured changes in spatial patterns of stand structure of a United States southern mixed coniferous-deciduous forest. Autocorrelative and fractal properties were measured in this opportunistic study to quantify changes in canopy architecture along twelve, 190-250 m transects that were subjected to moderate to high levels of wind disturbance. Prior to the hurricane, canopy heights were autocorrelated at scales < 40 m with an average fractal dimension of 1.71. After the disturbance, autocorrelation disappeared; the average fractal dimension rose to 1.94. This shift towards spatial randomness illustrates part of the cyclical nature of ecosystem development. It shows how a catastrophic collapse of biomass accumulation corresponds to a decrease in ecosystem organization across a landscape.
"Spatial pattern analysis of pre- and post-hurricane forest canopy structure in North Carolina, USA" (2003). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 3635.