Kyle Turchick
MS Student, Integrative Biology, University of Colorado Denver

11:00 a.m. Tuesday
April 16, 2019
Science Building, Room 1086

Linking Long-Term Disturbance Frequency to Terrestrial Carbon Distribution in Southeast Alaska: An Introduction and Preliminary Methods

Predicting the trajectory of the carbon (C) cycle requires an understanding of the ecological processes that redistribute C throughout a landscape. One set of C redistribution processes are disturbances, such as landslides and windstorms, which alter ecosystem processes and, in turn, C cycling. Such disturbances introduce heterogeneity into the composition, quantity, and density of C stocked in the terrestrial system. Our current understanding of the relationship between disturbances and terrestrial C is limited to single disturbance events, while the relationship between C and multiple disturbance events over long periods of time (i.e., thousands of years) remains uninvestigated. I seek to answer the following question: How do differing rates of disturbance influence the spatial distribution of C, over long periods of time beyond single events? In this talk, I will attempt to propose a research project in the context of this question, and my study system: Southeast Alaska. My focus will be on quantifying C in terrestrial biomass and soil in response to the long-term disturbance frequency of both landslides and windstorms. Additionally, I’ll highlight methods to test two hypotheses: the disturbance-baseline C hypothesis and the bog climax hypothesis. Prepare yourself for some earth-moving research! After the talk, stick around for lunch, conversation, and HackR Lab!