You are here: NRS Home  / Research Programs / Forest Disturbance Processes / Climate change and events / Scaling Aspen-FACE Results to Landscape Scale

Forest Disturbance Processes


LANDIS-II models forest succession, disturbance (including fire, wind, harvesting, insects, global change), and seed dispersal across large (>1 million ha) landscapes. 

Scaling Aspen-FACE Results to Landscape Scale

[photo:] Aerial view of the Aspen FACE research project at Harshaw Research FarmResearch Issue

The Aspen-FACE experiment quantified tree response to potential future atmospheric conditions, but it is not known how these one-decade tree-level responses might play out at the landscape scale over multiple decades where competition, succession and destructive disturbances interact with the tree-level responses.  We are using a landscape disturbance and succession model (LANDIS-II) as a tool to scale these site level results to broader spatial and temporal scales.

Our Research

Our objectives are to develop a method to use the LANDIS-II model to scale site-level, experimental results to landscape scale, and to conduct a virtual replication of the Aspen FACE experiment at landscape spatial and temporal scales to investigate the effects of altered atmospheric composition on forest composition and succession dynamics. We used a somewhat mechanistic modeling method to achieved preliminary results, and are working on a highly mechanistic modeling approach to generate more robust results.

Expected Outcomes

The results can be used to help managers understand how future atmospheric conditions might impact forest dynamics and the future abundance of species that have economic and ecological value.

Research Results

Gustafson, E.J.; Kubiske, M.E.; Sturtevant, B.R.; Miranda, B.R.  2013.  Scaling Aspen-FACE experimental results to century and landscape scales.  Landscape Ecology 28:1785-1800.

Research Participants

Principal Investigators

  • Eric J. Gustafson, Ecologist, US Forest Service- Northern Research Station Research Ecologist
  • Brian R. Sturtevant, Research Ecologist, US Forest Service- Northern Research Station
  • Mark E. Kubiske, Plant Physiologist, US Forest Service- Northern Research Station


Last Modified: April 1, 2015