A new publication will be appearing in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research, with John Krapek (UAF graduate student) and Rick Edwards (USFS). In it we investigate the drivers of biomass variability at the watershed scale - focusing on the Heen Latinee Experimental Forest, a beautiful study area that extends from the ocean to the top of the watershed - a couple glaciers and the Juneau Icefield. It's a big study area, and the range of environments investigated simultaneously is unprecedented.
We utilized LiDAR and extensive field work to get a high resolution biomass map (20m) of the entire area, and then statistically explored variability within and across the region. Not surprisingly, elevation was the biggest correlate, so we removed that variation before the real analysis began - which explores the relationship between disturbance exposure, slope, riparian, and drainage related variables. We also learned quite a bit about data needs, by finding areas that stubbornly refused to clarify themselves!
This will be an invaluable data set for monitoring changes in North Pacific temperate forests (as a baseline biomass map) as well as a comparative point for areas in the forest further south (BC, Washington, etc). As climate changes, we should be able to monitor growth change, disturbance change, and spatial patterns in both. Good stuff!