Developing a model framework for predicting effects of woody expansion and fire on ecosystem carbon and nitrogen in a pinyon-juniper woodland
Sagebrush-steppe ecosystems are one of the most threatened ecosystems in North America due to woodland expansion, wildfire, and exotic annual grass invasion. Some scientists and policy makers have suggested that woodland expansion will lead to increased carbon (C) storage on the landscape. To assess this potential we used data collected from a Joint Fire Sciences Program demonstration area to develop a Microsoft Excel based biomass, carbon, and nitrogen (N) spreadsheet model. The model uses input for tree cover, soil chemistry, soil physical properties, and vegetation chemistry to estimate biomass, carbon, and nitrogen accumulation on the landscape with woodland expansion. The model also estimates C and N losses associated with prescribed burning.