Pests, Pathogens and Mammals in Alaska

The future fate of boreal carbon depends on the impact of climate change on multiple disturbances and their interactions. New biotic disturbances are concurrently emerging in the North American boreal forest that could cause widespread broadleaf tree mortality and threaten to release the carbon accumulated in broadleaf biomass. However, little is known about the causes and consequences of these emerging biotic disturbances, and how they may further alter boreal carbon storage. I recieved funding from the NSF Office of Polar Programs to use process-based forest modeling to better understand (1) the extent, impact and potential threats of new pests, herbivores, and diseases in Alaskan boreal forests; (2) how new outbreaks of pests, herbivores, and diseases may interact with fire and climate to alter how boreal forests store carbon.


Collaborating with the Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research Site, I’m compiling available and emerging data on new pests and pathogens in Alaska and modeling their impacts and interactions using the forest landscape model iLand.

More information

Specific award information is here.

Katherine Hayes
Postdoctoral Scientist