10:00 am - 11:00 am
A graduate seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is a RENR PhD final exam seminar for Kun Xu. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.
Zoom link: https://ualberta-ca.zoom.us/j/94637953767
Thesis Topic: Modeling the Impacts of Global Change on Tree Growth and Stand Density of Boreal Forests in Canada
Abstract: Global change has profoundly impacted boreal forests, and challenges the functional integrity of forests in Canada. However, its impacts on the growth, biomass and tree density of boreal forests remains poorly understood. In this thesis, I compiled over 30,000 permanent sample plots (PSPs) to: (1) develop tree biomass allometric equations for five major timber species by incorporating climatic factors critical to growth, (2) build a fire hazards model to quantify the fire risks of PSPs in Alberta, and (3) estimate boreal tree density in North America. My thesis advances boreal forest ecology on several fronts, including (1) building climate-based allometric models that allow assessing the impact of climate on forest biomass accumulation, (2) finding the mean survival time of PSPs in Alberta as 28.7 years, a parameter critical to maintaining long-term forest inventory plots, and (3) estimating a total of 351.3 billion boreal trees in North America. These findings are expected to contribute to understanding impacts of climate change on Canadian boreal forests and informing climate change mitigation policy-making.