Biogeochemical and ecological impacts resulting from beetle-induced forest mortality
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Over the last two decades, increasing temperatures and drought conditions have caused unprecedented bark beetle infestation across western North America. As forest die-off ensues, several aspects of the hydrologic cycle are altered due to canopy loss, altered evapotranspiration, and decreased water uptake by infested trees. Additionally, the cessation of root exudates along with the decay of enhanced litterfall following tree death alters biogeochemical cycling. These shifts may alter water quality or produce nutrient feedbacks into the atmosphere and hydrosphere. While modeling and field ...