Carbon Neutral Landscapes - Hawaii as a model system for reducing the global warming potential of the atmosphere.

Project: Research project

Project Details


This Modification to our agreement with the Arizona State University will provide
continued support for core research in understanding landscape scale dimensions of
carbon neutrality planning. This work will continue developing a next generation
understanding of terrestrial carbon sources and sinks by Island across the state of Hawaii -
relying on a diversity of datasets required for conducting the proposed global warming
potential of each island. This research has assembled a diverse working group representing
organizations and partnerships committed to creatively achieving neutrality locally,
nationally and internationally. Asner and collaborator Roberta Martin based at the USFS -
IPIF are positioned to develop a new understanding of how disease is impacting the most
important native tree species in Hawaii, and the forest structure implications of Rapid Ohia
Death for carbon management.
Specific work will be focused on protection of native biodiversity, and enhancement
of ecosystem services objectives of the USDA Forest Service. Specifically, this new work will
integrate advanced remote sensing methods into the pre-screening of survivor
Metrosideros species, which show promise being resistant to C. lukuohia and C. huliohia
(known locally as rapid Ohia death - ROD).
We will:
(1) use time series analyses to distinguish which survivor trees are escapes (leaf
chemistry follows patterns of pre-symptomatic individuals that eventually die from
ROD) and which appear to be actual survivor trees (leaf chemistry that is
characteristic of healthy);
(2) develop a work flow to automate the identification of live ohia trees within high
mortality patches;
(3) expand our ground based sampling of remotely sensed individual ohia trees to
refine what appears to be a strong relationship between laboratory based leaf
chemistry and hyperspectral signatures of a tree's canopy;
(4) Improve green-house assay outcomes.
From this work, genotypes with putative resistance can examined for follow up
work to identify and sample from a much larger pool of available trees. By developing a
process for operationalizing the identification of potentially disease resistant ohia trees
through our approach of remotely pre-screening remnant surviving ohia based on leaf
characteristics, we can greatly accelerate the time to finding low susceptibility genotypes
that can be used for carbon focused forest restoration. In addition, the work can support
forecasting the impact of ROD on forest structure, helping to support the health of
Americas rural, wildland, and urban forests.
The focus on building awareness of the value of public lands and native ecosystems,
of the cultural linkages that have tied Hawaiis people to the land for millennia, as well as
providing an appreciation to learners of the diverse threats to this natural and cultural
legacy aligns with Forest Service goals of enhancing diversity of our workforce and the
people we serve. This modification also supports our expansion of research on sustainable
Stewardship of the Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest, with the overall goal to enhance
the sustainability and resilience of ohia and these forests through efficient investments into
understanding disease resistance. To achieve this goal, funding will used to create a deeper
understanding of where disease resistant trees are located. The new funding for this
project will rely on collection of remote sensing of the HETF and surrounding forests with
this work anticipated to be completed in the coming 18 months.
Effective start/end date6/11/196/1/24


  • USDA: Forest Service (FS): $159,909.00


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