Presented March 9, 2023 | Presentation Slides


“Ecosystem Model Comparison at Multiple Scales and Sites” by Dr. Melissa Lucash and Dr. Robert Scheller (ESTCP Project RC-201702

This project supports ESTCP’s efforts by providing forest managers with state-of-the art knowledge about climate change variability and change and its potential effect on the long-term sustainability of southeastern U.S. forests. This presentation compares model outcomes from two modeling frameworks against each other and empirical data, and examines interactions between climate change, disturbance and management and their impact on the forests and red-cockaded woodpecker habitat of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In this project, we first compared two models, a stand-scale model (PPA-SiBGC) and a landscape-scale model (LANDIS-II/NECN) against empirical data collected from two sites in the eastern U.S.. Second, we applied the LANDIS-II/NECN and LANDIS-II/PnET models to the Fort Bragg landscape under multiple projections of climate change, prescribed fire and hurricanes. We assessed the strengths and weaknesses of each model and quantified the relative risks of climate change and hurricanes on forest biomass, forest type and red‐cockaded woodpecker habitat. In the future, forest managers at the Department of Defense will be able to use either LANDIS-II/NECN or LANDIS-II/PnET to estimate the effects of different management practices on the local installations over varying time horizons and spatial scale resolutions. 

“Ecosystem Model Intercomparison and Applications” by Dr. Jinxun Liu (ESTCP Project RC-201703

To meet the modeling and decision-support needs for DoD land resource management, five process-based ecosystem models (DAYCENT, BIOM-BGC, pIBIS, ED, and CLM) were tested and evaluated at five locations across the U.S. including Puget Sound (Washington State), Wind River (Oregon), Harvard Forest (Massachusetts), Chesapeake Bay (Maryland) and Jones Center (Georgia). Model simulations were focused on 100-year vegetation growth under average climate and no-disturbance conditions. Modeled ecosystem productivity and vegetation biomass change were statistically summarized to reflect model sensitivity and uncertainty. The statistical summary metrics were used to assess the model performance in characterizing biomass pools and ecosystem productivity. In addition, a stock-and-flow model (LUCAS) was developed based on the reference model simulations. This model was used to test and summarize the effects of ecosystem disturbances (fire, logging, and land conversion) and lateral soil carbon transport. This presentation will detail the findings of this model comparison and describe implications of resulting statistics. The benefits of the spatial LUCAL model developed in this study will also be explored, including its utility in supporting land management decision-making. 

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Melissa Lucash is a research assistant professor in the department of geography at the University of Oregon. She has served as a principal and co-principal investigator for projects worth over $8M funded by SERDP, the National Science Foundation, the Oregon Department of State Lands and the U.S. Department of Agriculture focusing on wildfire and climate adaptation, and mitigation of forests using an interdisciplinary framework to study large landscapes. She has authored over 30 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and has delivered over 70 technical presentations and posters. Dr. Lucash received her bachelor’s degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) in Syracuse, NY. She then received a master’s degree from Oregon State University before returning to SUNY-ESF, where she earned a doctoral degree in Forest and Natural Resources Management. 

Dr. Robert Scheller is the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and Professor of Landscape Ecology in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources. His research focuses on how landscapes have changed, how they will change and why it matters. To understand past and future landscape changes, he studies diverse topics including human values, actions and management; land use change and landscape history; forest and ecosystem and landscape ecology; and anthropogenic drivers of change, particularly climate change. These diverse disciplines inform the development of advanced forecasting tools that incorporate many drivers of change, thus enabling local and regional decision-makers to assess the potential to manage for landscape change. Dr. Scheller has published more than 100 manuscripts and book chapters. His first book, Managing Landscapes for Change, was published in 2021. He is the current president of the International Association for Landscape Ecology. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Minnesota, and master’s and doctoral degrees in forest ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Dr. Jinxun Liu is a research ecologist in the Western Geographic Science Center of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). His research interests and expertise are centered on system ecology and ecosystem simulation models. As a post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Liu developed the TRIPLEX forest simulation model (based on 3PG, TreeDYN, CENTURY) and further extended the IBIS dynamic global vegetation model. He started working for the USGS as a senior NRC research associate in 2003. Over the years, he has used a number of models to support carbon simulation studies, such as the CBM-CFS2, CENTURY, GEMS-EDCM and USPED. His recent modeling work involves model applications such as Biome-BGC, DAYCENT, ED, CLM and LUCAS. Beyond carbon modeling, Dr. Liu also employs GIS/RS data processing, artificial neural network modeling, NetCDF data processing and leadership class supper computing (ALCF Theta/NERSC Cori) in his research. His current work focuses on land-aquatic consortium modeling of the conterminous United States using parallel-IBIS with considerations of high-resolution land cover change and carbon lateral transport across landscapes. Dr. Liu received his bachelor’s degree in forestry from Northeast Forestry University, master’s degree in agriculture from the Northeast Agriculture University, and doctoral degree in Forest Ecology from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, all in China.