Hopkinson, Christopher

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 11
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    Fluvial carbon export from a lowland Amazonian rainforest in relation to atmospheric fluxes
    (AGU Publications, 2016) Vihermaa, Leena E.; Waldron, Susan; Domingues, Tomas; Grace, John; Cosio, Eric G.; Limonchi, Fabian; Hopkinson, Christopher; da Rocha, Humberto R.; Gloor, Emanuel
    We constructed a whole carbon budget for a catchment in the Western Amazon Basin, combining drainage water analyses with eddy covariance (EC) measured terrestrial CO2 fluxes. As fluvial C export can represent permanent C export it must be included in assessments of whole site C balance, but it is rarely done. The footprint area of the flux tower is drained by two small streams (~5–7 km2 ) from which we measured the dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), particulate organic carbon (POC) export, and CO2 efflux. The EC measurements showed the site C balance to be +0.7 9.7 Mg C ha 1 yr 1 (a source to the atmosphere) and fluvial export was 0.3 0.04 Mg C ha 1 yr 1 . Of the total fluvial loss 34% was DIC, 37% DOC, and 29% POC. The wet season was most important for fluvial C export. There was a large uncertainty associated with the EC results and with previous biomass plot studies ( 0.5 4.1 Mg C ha 1 yr 1 ); hence, it cannot be concluded with certainty whether the site is C sink or source. The fluvial export corresponds to only 3–7% of the uncertainty related to the site C balance; thus, other factors need to be considered to reduce the uncertainty and refine the estimated C balance. However, stream C export is significant, especially for almost neutral sites where fluvial loss may determine the direction of the site C balance. The fate of C downstream then dictates the overall climate impact of fluvial export.
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    Partitioning carbon losses from fire combustion in a montane valley, Alberta Canada
    (Elsevier, 2021) Gerrand, S.; Aspinall, J.; Jensen, T.; Hopkinson, Christopher; Collingwood, A.; Chasmer, Laura
    Direct carbon (C) emissions from wildland fires have been difficult to quantify, especially in montane environments where sites are difficult to access. Here we examined pre-fire C partitioning and losses in a southern Canadian montane valley ecosystem, in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta Canada. The objectives of this study were to: (a) quantify the C loss due to combustion at a moist riparian site compared with a dry undulating upland site and (b) compare C loss observations to an active multi-spectral lidar remote sensing index. C losses from wildfire were consistently greater at the wet riparian site compared with the dry valley site. Average soil C losses were 92.92 Mg C ha −1 (st. dev. ± 48.60 Mg C ha −1) and 58.05 Mg C ha −1 (st. dev. ± 37.19 Mg C ha −1). Average tree C losses were 114.0 Mg C ha −1 (std.dev. ± 9.9 Mg C ha −1) and 86.9 Mg C ha −1 (std.dev. ± 13.5 Mg C ha −1) respectively. C losses from trees were greater than soils, where trees lost 55% (moist riparian ecosystem) and about 60% (drier valley site) of C during combustion. Using post-fire multi-spectral airborne lidar data, we found that increased proportion of charred soils were significantly related to enhanced reflectivity in SWIR, resulted in more negative active normalised burn ratio (aNBR) results, indicating enhanced burn severity. Increased proportional cover of regenerating vegetation resulted in less negative aNBR both at the drier site, though no significant relationships between aNBR and charred vs. vegetated results were observed at the moist riparian site. No significant relationship was observed between depth of burn/soil C loss and aNBR derived from lidar data, indicating potential limitations when using burn indices for below canopy burn severity. The use of multi-spectral lidar may improve understanding of below canopy fire fuels and C losses in optical imagery, which often occludes these important components of fire ecology. The results of this research improve understanding of C losses associated with wildland fire in montane ecosystems that have undergone fire suppression and management by Euro-American colonizers for over 100 years.
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    Shrub changes with proximity to anthropogenic disturbance in boreal wetlands determined using bi-temporal airborne lidar in the Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada
    (Elsevier, 2021) Chasmer, Laura; Lima, E. Moura; Mahoney, Craig; Hopkinson, Christopher; Montgomery, Joshua; Cobbaert, Danielle
    In this study, we used bi-temporal airborne lidar data to compare changes in vegetation height proximal to anthropogenic disturbances in the Oil Sands Region of Alberta, Canada. We hypothesize that relatively low-impact disturbances such as seismic lines will increase the fragmentation of wetlands, resulting in shrub growth. Bi-temporal lidar data collected circa 2008 and 2018 were used to identify correspondence between the density of anthropogenic disturbances, wetland shape complexity and changes in vegetation height within >1800 wetlands near Fort McKay, Alberta, Canada. We found that up to 50% of wetlands were disturbed by anthropogenic disturbance in some parts of the region, with the highest proportional disturbance occurring within fens. Areas of dense anthropogenic disturbance in bogs resulted in increased growth and expansion of shrubs, while we found the opposite to occur in fens and swamps during the 10-year period. Up to 30% of bogs had increased shrubification, while shrub changes in fens and swamps varied depending on density of disturbance and did not necessarily correspond with shrub growth. As wetland shapes became increasingly elongated, the prevalence of shrubs declined between the two time periods, which may be associated with hydrological drivers (e.g. elongated may indicate surface and ground-water discharge influences). The results of this study indicate that linear disturbances such as seismic lines, considered to have relatively minimal impacts on ecosystems, can impact proximal wetland shape, fragmentation and vegetation community changes, especially in bogs.
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    Peatland-fire interactions: a review of wildland fire feedbacks and interactions in Canadian boreal peatlands
    (Elsevier, 2021) Nelson, Kailyn; Thompson, D.; Hopkinson, Christopher; Petrone, R.; Chasmer, Laura
    Boreal peatlands store a disproportionately large quantity of soil carbon (C) and play a critical role within the global C-climate system; however, with climatic warming, these C stores are at risk. Increased wildfire frequency and severity are expected to increase C loss from boreal peatlands, contributing to a shift from C sink to source. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of pre- and post-fire hydrological and ecological interactions that affect the likelihood of peatland burning, address the connections between peatland fires and the C-climate cycle, and provide a conceptual model of peatland processes as they relate to wildland fire, hydro-climate, and ecosystem change. Despite negative ecohydrological feedback mechanisms that may compensate for increased C loss initially, the cumulative effects of climatic warming, anthropogenic peatland fragmentation, and subsequent peatland drying will increase C loss to the atmosphere, driving a positive C feedback cycle. However, the extent to which negative and positive feedbacks will compensate for one another and the timelines for each remains unclear. We suggest that a multi-disciplinary approach of combining process knowledge with remotely sensed data and ecohydrological and wildland fire models is essential for better understanding the role of boreal peatlands and wildland fire in the global climate system.
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    SAR and lidar temporal data fusion approaches to boreal wetland ecosystem monitoring
    (MDPI, 2019) Montgomery, Joshua; Brisco, Brian; Chasmer, Laura; Devito, Kevin; Cobbaert, Danielle; Hopkinson, Christopher
    The objective of this study was to develop a decision-based methodology, focused on data fusion for wetland classification based on surface water hydroperiod and associated riparian (transitional area between aquatic and upland zones) vegetation community attributes. Multi-temporal, multi-mode data were examined from airborne Lidar (Teledyne Optech, Inc., Toronto, ON, Canada, Titan), synthetic aperture radar (Radarsat-2, single and quad polarization), and optical (SPOT) sensors with near-coincident acquisition dates. Results were compared with 31 field measurement points for six wetlands at riparian transition zones and surface water extents in the Utikuma Regional Study Area (URSA). The methodology was repeated in the Peace-Athabasca Delta (PAD) to determine the transferability of the methods to other boreal environments. Water mask frequency analysis showed accuracies of 93% to 97%, and kappa values of 0.8–0.9 when compared to optical data. Concordance results comparing the semi-permanent/permanent hydroperiod between 2015 and 2016 were found to be 98% similar, suggesting little change in wetland surface water extent between these two years. The results illustrate that the decision-based methodology and data fusion could be applied to a wide range of boreal wetland types and, so far, is not geographically limited. This provides a platform for land use permitting, reclamation monitoring, and wetland regulation in a region of rapid development and uncertainty due to climate change. The methodology offers an innovative time series-based boreal wetland classification approach using data fusion of multiple remote sensing data sources.